This week in books.

I finished reading Hedda Gabler this evening. I didn’t enjoy it much. I’m trying to figure out why — I suspect it’s that Hedda falls a bit too much into the ‘problem woman’ stock type and doesn’t feel very real to me. Maybe I just have a really bad imagination and seeing more productions of the play would help fill out the character. Enh.

I’ve been picking away slowly at Alice Major’s The Office Tower Tales (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2008) for the past several months. It’s something of a mix of The Canterbury Tales and 1001 Nights, but with a modern backdrop. (Scheherazade, Aphrodite, and Pandora work in the titular office tower, with Scheherazade telling stories on their breaks.) Reading it very slowly over a long period of time has allowed me to spend a lot of time thinking about the structural and thematic connections in the poem as a whole. Hopefully will have more thoughts on this after it’s done.

I also finally finished the Welcome to Night Vale novel (Cranor and Fink, New York: HarperPerennial, 2015) which was really fun. I hadn’t realised how much the weirdness of Night Vale had seeped into my brain until I was reading one of the Alice Major poems and a character opened a(n ordinary desk) drawer and my brain automatically supplied hot milk drawer. WTNV is so weird but the weirdness comes off as completely normal.

Finally, I started Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters (London:Penguin, 2012) and it is funny in a way I didn’t at all expect (Gaskell is very witty, and intentionally so, I think). It’s 700+ pages so expect lots more melodrama in the coming weeks.

(For work I am reading Jill Dolan’s The Feminist Spectator as Critic (Ann Arbor: U of Michigan P, 1991) but that is for work so I’m not going to talk about it here.)

23 September 2016

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