The Checkered Blanket is continuing;
started scarf on size 3 needles.
I am now re-reading A Severed Wasp by Madeline L'Engle.
It's very absorbing.
It is not a tale for the faint of heart;
it is bringing together and seeking to make sense of some
really difficult times not only in the character's lives
but in history, in this place the time and circumstances of World War II
and loss of faith, horror, relational complexities,
a changing world and a changing moral set.
It's worth reading and gives much food for thought,
but if you are looking for a cozy, simple and light read,
this is not the book for it.
If you want to read about music, NYC, culture, questions of faith,
growing up, relationship complexities, with tragedy, horrors and hope,
than this may do the trick.
I did not really remember much of the book when I suddenly
had this very sudden focused want of this book
that I read in my undergraduate years.
It brings together not only L'Engle's Small Rain but her
YA book The Young Unicorns and the Austin Family
books that L'Engle has written.
I read so many of L'Engle's books when I was in undergrad;
they helped me process things, move towards further light
and influenced me in areas of music, books, culture but also
city life, need for quiet, baths and things like bath salts and power.
She really is an all encompassing author that way.
Remains of the Day: another my husband listened to
in graduate school.
My next read after L'Engle's book.
I am trying to get through them before Great Lent.
I finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
I kept feeling at places that I'd read it before;
like when the teacher of music gets tea or coffee at the pupils house
or other details; I kept feeling like I'd read of them somewhere else...
This book to me is clearly autobiographical.
There was an irony of how Francie is growing up and questioning the
theatre and what happens if the heroine is not rescued;
what about the continual predicament of the poor, the immigrants
and then at the end of the book there is this huge
comic reversal where the poor Mother of Francie and thus Francie and her brother
are rescued from their own poverty.
What is being documented in this book is important not only
culturally but as a historical record of huge social and technological changes.
One of them is the loss of Francie's faith in God;
her Grandmother Mary's character is crucial; she is not just
'the good woman/ the Saint' but a picture of the innate piety and
love for God, the Saints and Others that
is so deep that she can endure much suffering and
have such a meaningful death.
I think she is painted in ways as rather weak / helpless
but to endure what she did, she had to be very strong.
The changes in the Catholic church that happened after the book was
published in 1943 are very far reaching.
Catholics used to all fast from midnight on for Holy Communion as
Francie fails to do early in the book; the regular confession and
monastic presence (the Aunt who is sent off to a Convent early on
and not seen again) is significant.
While Francie clearly still believes in the existence of Christ
and maintains some piety, she seems to be well on her way to
being hardened to faith as something that can really be a source of help.
Of course we don't get to see Francie later on,
when she is done growing up or at least not in her teens.
This book has much to show about the power of woman for
enduring and loving life; but it also shows a lot of
compassion for most, nearly all, the characters in the book;
and not just triumphs of woman but of Francie's Dad,
Johnny licking his alcohol addiction just days before he dies.
He dies a broken man, stripped of his union and of his strength
but yet he won over the very thing that killed him
and the point of him doing it for the child to be born
is not lost.
It's a well written book and you can tell that the author had
been writing plays by this time; the book lends itself easily,
esp. with the dialogues, to theatre.
And that's what I've read, am reading and hope to read...
and what I am creating.
What are you reading and creating?
Yarn Along with us!