I was dubious about this book at first (not least of all because of the absolutely horrible cover), but I’m actually enjoying it quite a bit. The two frame stories are excellently chosen. They both really go a long way to help reinforce the sense of atmosphere which is so important to this story. The voices are good. They could be a little better differentiated at times (especially the secondary characters), but, for the most part, they work. The novel’s voice in general is excellent so far and I’m looking forward to reading further.
This episode plays with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and The Wizard of Oz (ruby slippers, not silver shoes). Grams says that fairy tales are recountings of battles between good and evil. That is actually great, since that idea is very strong in fairy tales. This was a cute story playing with that idea and the core of the episode was structured like a fairy tale with Piper as the hero. I like this episode a great deal.
This was actually a really nice retelling of the story of Queen Esther, the story of Purim. This telling included a surprising amount of history on King Xerxes and the planning and early phases of the great war that Persia under his rule waged against the Greek territories. This telling was very good. It highlighted Esther’s intelligence and spirit – she won the king’s heart partially because she could read to him and was brave enough to tell him stories, things other women could not or would not do. This is the best movie version that I’ve seen so far.
Some of my favorite stories in this collection are the folk tale style stories. I enjoyed the wartime stories and the family stories, but there is a wonderful charm to the folk tales. They’re the kinds of stories that you want to tell again and again orally. They’re fun and familiar somehow, even if you’ve never heard them before.
Auerbach makes some fascinating observations about Shakespeare and Chaucer and various French writers. I have noticed, however, that he has yet to mention a woman writer of any kind. Not a memoirist or even a letter writer, much less a fiction writer of some kind. It’s as though his view of the history of European literature women played no part at all. It’s very frustrating.
There are some great stories in here. I loved the story about Elijah visiting for Chanukah and the folk tale about the family with the mirror. The story about the noisy children and animals was marvelous as well! I was a little bothered by the story about the little girl starving herself to lose weight, but I thought that it ended well and was ultimately a good story. Overall, I’m enjoying this book a great deal.
The discussion of texts that cover the transition from the ancient tradition to the medieval style was interesting. I found the discussion of medieval chivalric tales fascinating, particularly the importance of women to such tales. The discussion of the story from the Decameron was also interesting, although it made me wonder why The Canterbury Tales was not included.
This is an enjoyable movie to watch, but it does have a few issues. I like that Odette rejects Derek initially for his statement about beauty being the only thing that matters. The problem is that the issue is never addressed again and yet she marries him. What happened to that? Did he learn that beauty isn’t the important thing or does she simply forget it in order to get the spell broken? See – problematic.
This was a very comic-book-like Superman movie. It told a big, Earth-shaking, game-changing story that resulted in the universe not having changed at all at the end of the movie. Clark gave up his powers to be with Lois when she figured out who he was. The problem is that in true comic book form Clark was able to get all his powers back pretty easily when they were needed, despite the initial very serious warnings that it was a very permanent step to take. It makes it hard to care when everything is so easily undone as soon as a writer or editor or whatever wants it undone.
This was fairly enjoyable, but felt a little sensationalized. I mean, not that scandalous things don’t happen in the story, it’s simply that the movie seemed to relish lingering over them a little bit too much. Still, I liked Fanny just fine. I felt like some of the other characters were a little too forgettable, though (like the aunt with the dog and even Edward). So I guess I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t great.
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