Tag Archives: literature

Romantic quote #1

Now that it’s the month of love, I think it’s the perfect opportunity to share some of the most romantic words I’ve come across in literature. I’m willing to dig through my classic titles to find a few of the best but for now, here’s one.

quote1

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Castle in the air

I’ve read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women in three different stages of my life: first when I was as young and frivolous as twelve-year-old Amy, second when I was as restless as fifteen-year-old Jo, and third when I felt like I’ve outgrown my frivolity and restlessness. One thing, however, remains the same: I’m still frustrated that Jo and Laurie didn’t end up together.

It’s a pleasure to witness the friendship between Jo and Laurie so the romantic in me wanted nothing more than to see them together happily ever after, however it’s the same romantic who failed to understand the outcome which was Jo and Prof. Bhaer (I guess my romantic ego is still immature for that). I’m thankful for these Oxford World versions because they give readers insights on every bit of detail on the novel and author; so I was able to discover that Jo sought more warmth and intimacy in a partner, something which she saw Laurie lacked. For me, it was quite rash and unfair of her because she will never know if Laurie indeed possessed those qualities unless she gave him a chance to prove it as a lover, but I guess she knew him best and was able to augur she might never see a match in him except as her dearest friend.  In almost a decade that I’ve loved Little Women, I’m quite frustrated and I still hope Jo had a change of heart.

Tell me, are you also a Jo-Laurie supporter, or do you think Bhaer suited her more? What do you think?

This novel never fails to warm my heart.

On another note, I was rather interested in the friends’ confessions of their castles in the air, and there I’ve realized I never shared mine with my intimate friends. Sure, everybody dreams of being successful but it’s too general that most of the time, people don’t even know where to begin. I, for one, surpassing my wish to have a happy and fulfilling life, have been having one castle in the air, something that built itself up as I slowly learned: I dream to ride on a steam train that would take me to a breathtaking manor where inside lies a majestic library filled with all the books I could ever read.

What about you? What is your castle in the air? 🙂

Still on The Portait of a Lady

I wasn’t wrong when I referred to women as volatile creatures because aside from the fact that I am qualitatively speaking from personal experience, I  also guess The Portrait of the Lady is wholly accepted as a connotative portrait of ladies in general.

While reading her adventures, I wanted nothing more than to tell the feisty heroine, “Oh come on, Isabel! Make up your mind!”. Even with the presence of a narrator and the useful state of shifting from one character to another, I still cannot help but be perplexed at what Isabel’s thinking; it’s like she’s a complete enigma on her own! Her mind is a wonderful cornucopia of metaphors and riddles that you have to read between the lines most of the time; if the narrator focused on her thoughts alone, it would not be enough to do her justice. Even though it’s prose, there’s still that air of poetry where you have to figure out the arcane for yourself. I normally skip through the long pretexts of Oxford versions so I only got to appreciate it lately when I had to refer to it to shed me some light on some events, unfortunately though, it’s still not sufficing.

And in my previous post, I said I was not sure whether or not I like Isabel. I now know why. Call me prejudiced but my fondness for her faltered since she became acquainted with Gilbert Osmond; in the nascency of their dreadful relationship, her want of “seeing life” was greatly influenced by Osmond’s adamant view of it. It didn’t help that Madame Merle was there encouraging her all the while; by the way, I knew from the start that this woman was nefarious, her reaction to Isabel’s sudden rise in fortune was a dead give away. It was rather surprising how Isabel easily succumbed to Osmond (I was rooting for Lord Warburton) but you cannot blame her for doing so. According to St. Augustine, we love because we want to partake in another’s personhood and Isabel only thought of doing just that. Besides how could she have augured Osmond’s intentions when the only suffering she knew was literary? I have to admit, she redeemed herself in my eyes when their relationship started to waver and here I thought, Good, all the more for Lord Warburton. 🙂

Let me add this, I don’t know if it’s just me but I absolutely adore Ralph Touchett! I don’t find him selfish at all in amusing himself by putting a little wind in Isabel’s sail because I’m perfectly sure the people who were touched by Isabel’s charm would have wanted to see what this lady would do with her life. Ralph also had this homey aura which gave a sense of comfort to Isabel whenever she thought of him. So as expected, with Ralph’s moribund scene — that was, wow, that was just tear-jerking — I felt as though a part of Isabel died with him as well.

If I ever sensed patent regret on her part (Isabel was kinda proud to admit regret, I have to say), it was evident on her return to Gardencourt, at the part where she was reflecting on the painting of Bonington. She was thinking of the inevitability of circumstances that pervaded to its present outcome. If her aunt, Mrs. Touchett, would have found her somewhere else and not reading alone in her grandmother’s library, things would have turned out differently. If she ever gave a positive thought on Ralph’s and Mrs. Touchett’s warnings, she would not have suffered her fate with Osmond. That scene was incredibly human because we too find ourselves in that situation once in a while (if not most), that bitter sense of regret where our indiscreet choices lead to the rejection or the acceptance of our future.

On the Rhone Valais, Switzerland by Richard Parkes Bonington

Now I don’t really know what happened to Isabel in the end but I guess it’s one those great works of literature that leave to the reader’s imagination the fate of the characters. On my part, I think the “straight path” that Isabel was going to traverse was finishing what she started. She may be miserable but backing out would be an inconsistency with what she said about not wanting to turn away from the usual chances and dangers of life. She had Pansy (who immensely loved her) to take care of and she would not want to put the girl’s expectations in abeyance. It was truly a noble thing to do.

To conclude, I am much grateful for accidentally coming upon The Portrait of a Lady. 🙂

A couple of hours for an 80-day adventure

It seems my anime-watching has been put on hold again. I can’t even use that over-used I’m busy excuse because although I am in my final semester in college, my life has been anything but busy. If I have taken a more complicated course, I might as well have used that excuse but sadly, the precious time undeservedly bestowed on me might end up untouched and wasted. Time has been so elusive for some lately and while these time-constrained people would give anything for a couple of minutes of the day, I meanwhile am given more than enough to practically use on. In order not to waste this, I bought a few books (at a good price ;D) to occupy myself with. Reading was a pastime that I was not able to enjoy to a T during my enlightenment period (high school) mostly because of limited resources (poor library) and partly because of a poor will to incessantly compensate for the limited resources. However, with the discovery of a store selling good books at a good price, I resolve to compromise with my pastime.

I purchased three novels: Quinn’s Book by William Kennedy, the classic Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne, and Object of Virtue by Nicholas Nicholson. In this post, I wish to expatiate on Jules Verne’s classic.

I’m not really good in taking pictures 🙂

We are aware of the impassive British gentleman Phileas Fogg’s circumnavigation of the world so I find no need to provide a summary of it. What I do find rather impeccable in the story is Verne’s subtle hint of wanting to write a romance novel because behind the navigational technicalities is a love story quixotically told. I was struck with the last few paragraphs of the story, if Verne bifurcated it into an adventure and a patent romance novel, he might have pulled it off. So the last paragraphs went like this:

“But what was the point? What had he gained from all this commotion? What had he got out of his journey? 

Nothing, comes the reply? Nothing, agreed, were it not for a lovely wife, who — however unlikely it may seem — made him the happiest of men!

In truth, wouldn’t anyone go around the world for less?”

Verne may not have been able to delve too much on the romance but I think he perfectly captured it even if it was only elucidated in the last few chapters. Even without reading the synopsis at the back of the book, one could tell from the start that everything would pertain to that single resplendent outcome. For without Mrs. Aouda’s confession, Mr. Fogg would not have been able to regain the self-respect that he thought he had already lost; it seemed as though Aouda’s existence had always been a primordial factor in his whole expedition.

In the end, love prevailed. It always does.