Saturday, June 21, 2014

The times, they are a-changin'

Life has been somewhat tempestuous for the last six or seven weeks. The details are boring and unnecessary, but the upshot of it all is that I've been sort of cloistered away in a haze of uncommunicative business.

One interesting feature of the last six or seven weeks is that my [new] employer wants me to have a disclaimer on any blogs to make it clear that my opinions don't reflect theirs. Of course they don't! But it's a simple enough request, and not unreasonable. So I've added a disclaimer block to the bottom of the page.

In other news, I've been reading a lot recently. I finally read Emma. I've watched several movie adaptations and listened to it as an audiobook; but it's only been in the last month that I read it. It is a delightful book. I find I like about half of Jane Austen's books. Persuasion is on the short-list of my favorite novels, but I couldn't make it past the fourth page of Northanger Abbey. It was simply too annoying.

Now that I think about it, that's why I never read Hunger Games. It's not that I haven't tried to read it, it's just I hadn't made it to the third page when I realized I completely hated it. Which says something, because I hated Wuthering Heights too, but I actually finished it.

At any rate, what I love about Jane Austen is how she can make me love, hate, despise, pity, or admire a character with just a few bold strokes. She leaves me despising Sir Walter, while at the same time patiently tolerating Mr. Woodhouse. It's not that her stories are terribly interesting: it's the characters who live in them. To be blunt, Jane Austen writes some pretty boring stories about people I find very interesting.

Since my acknowledgement of reading Jane Austen likely will cost me any claims to being a Real Man, I might was well go the distance and say I've been reading Georgette Heyer again too. Like Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer wrote some really boring stories. In fact, I wouldn't even call her characters interesting, but they are so terribly witty. One doesn't read Georgette Heyer for the story, nor even for the characters. One reads Georgette Heyer for the dialogue.