book club thoughts

I started rereading the book; yesterday and so far have finished chapter one – I really enjoyed reading about her “places.” I suppose quotation marks aren’t necessary – but I wanted to put an emphasis on place since she certainly seems to. I think it’s really interesting how place affects writers so differently. In many of Virginia Woolf’s books, for example, London is alive and is as much a character as Clarissa Dalloway or Orlando or any of the Ramsays. Place is of extreme importance to Vita Sackville-West – her most acclaimed piece was basically a love song for Knole, her family’s ancient estate – she describes her separation from Knole in physical terms, as if the land were her mother and her ejection from it her birth. It’s amazing to read. Crosswicks in the same sense becomes Madeleine’s adulthood – it seems to encompass all that she values in her family and her marriage – it is old, comfortably old, ever-changing, ever-welcoming, bustling with life and happiness and tears and all those things that make life worth living.

I guess I think of my family home in the same way – my family home that is now in danger of sale. For those of you who haven’t heard, my parents’ property has been annexed into the city of Rockford, the annexation bringing with it few benefits except the MUCH higher city tax rate. I only lived in the house for a year – but I have so many memories tied to that place – I can understand Madeleine’s loving reverence for her home.

Some thinking on banned books:
http://www.sitehouse.net/jamesbow/000039.shtml;

The same guy has a really quite erudite discussion of the Philip Pullman Dark Materials Trilogy that goes well with yesterday’s article.

Going to Champaign tomorrow. I was supposed to go tonight but accomplished NOTHING this morning before work, including packing – well, I guess I did make my spinach dip. I got to work at 9:30 and promptly panicked cos I couldn’t remember if I turned off the stove – so I begged my boss to let me run home and check, thus wasting half my break. Of course the range was off. Grr. So instead of having my lunch break to pack and do dishes and all that, I didn’t even have time to leave work. Boo. So instead of going down tonight, I’m going down tomorrow.

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