This blog might also be called Narcissa since I conceive it as autobiographical at root: my writing and reading life, seasonal happenings, my political thoughts, spontaneous outbursts. It's a record for me to recur to to remember, to situate memories, to make plans, to try to understand all sorts of things. How do I know what I think until I see what I say? Writing is my way of understanding my mind and thus coping. I am aware of how small and petty or self-absorbed my difficulties might seem in comparison to the troubles of the world and many other people. I say this once for all to apologize to anyone who bothers to read it.
This is a continuation of my struggle to organize my literary work.
So, good news: I finally got myself to read my essay as published in Bloom and Pollock's Victorian Literature and Film Adaptation and am intensely relieved to say it's close to what I wrote originally, a shortened version of the first paper I wrote. The published essay contains just about all that I had about the Pallisers (see my website), including the analysis of the two episodes and central scenes, and the relationship of the Pallisers to two of Raven's best mini-series, a slightly briefer version of the comparison of the Pallisers to Plater's Barchester Chronicles, and a choice of scenes from the other three important films since (Malachi's Cove, The Way We live Now, He Knew He Was Right) to show how ironically closely transposed scenes from Trollope are just about consistently altered from his original meaning while semi-invented brilliant scenes from where the narrator had been peculiarly brilliant in his irony kept close to Trollope's meaning. The published title is a variant on the title I originally proposed, "Intertextuality in Simon Raven's The Pallisers and Other Trollope Films. The filmography I labored on is published, plus most of the bibliography and a number of the longer notes are there (quoting Raven, describing details of the Palliser films compared to Trollope's novels, giving unknown intertextual background to Barchester Chronicles). Now having read the paper I know that all the cant theory (which was a distressing embarrassment for me to read and think someone might believe that I had written it) was after all not interwoven into my work, that the inappropriate (to me absurd) title was after all not used, and some generous person supplied in a style close to my own (plain, a talking style) a new introduction, brought forward my thesis, subdivided the sections by headers which did make everything much easier to follow and read, and put my general definitions of types of films and general comparison of Raven's Trollope to the other three writers' (Herbert Wise, Alan Plater, Andrew Davies) into further notes IN fact this new introduction is a slightly cut down or summery version of what I originally had plus one of the three paragraphs on Raven brought forward for a second paragraph and then into my thesis. Far from having to feel ashamed, mortified, and frustrated helplessly hurt at what happened, I'm proud of my paper and proud to see it in this volume which has a number of super film studies.
This does change my summer, or to put it another way, what I need to do now with Trollope, what I can do. I had been thinking I just had to spend time somehow or other re-vamping all I had written of the film adaptations of Trollope's novels enough so it differed from whatever had been published in this volume so I could send it to Film and Literature Quarterly or some such periodical. No need now. I may yet want to publish an essay on Davies's films separately but that would not be in a Trollope paper but as part of my Austen book or a paper simply on Davies's as a startling genius of film adaptation for TV. Not that mine is needed as Sarah Caldwell's books go very far: I just think more could be said about his romances which she admits she scants as (she says) she does not favor romance. Here though I've made blogs (e.g., his 1984 BBC Diana, elegiac romance, spy thriller the complex heroine) so no hurry. if someone really want to read about Davies's treatment of romance, it is available on the Net on my website. Just google for it.
So bear with me as I lay out what is ahead; it becomes much easier for me to see my way and evolve a plan and new routs.
So next up is: The Important or Bad Tuesday in Austen and then A Place of Refuge: The Sense and Sensibility Films and The work is intertwined. The thesis I came up with comes out of the work I did on the Austen letters and I have to return to Austen herself to hold the book together. I will finish reading Hubback's The Younger Sister to see what it reveals about what was intended in this repressed book, what is true about Frank and Jane and then go on to the novels and letters. I am right about her relationship with her brothers, about her love for Martha Lloyed, and the pattern of Tuesdays however inexplicable simply there. I know it is -- I found another Tuesday in these mid-career unfinished books and began to find references to the badness of Tuesday as a day to be gotten over around Letter 70. The Unknown Austen. I have to read more of her more immediate relatives' documents and lives. Read some more biography and (hard to believe) yet more of the criticism.
I've answered my question about publication La comedia e finita. These two things and then no more. Well, reviews when they are fun I could try for a published paper on Trollope's original illustrations or the Graham Poldark novels, but it's not necessary. I've thought of a way I can get myself to write a paper on the illustrations: thanks to my kind friend, Eleanor, I joined Sharp and in two years they will have a conference in Philadelphia. I could try for a proposal again (book illustration in Victorian era) and then when I've done put the paper on the Net.
Remember Yvette's comment: if she had had to think about publication when she wrote her novels, she would not have done it. If I had thought it was necessary to publish my poems while writing them, I never would have. I didn't do it for that
Today I came across on Facebook and on Wompo two threads showing people just obsessed with publication. That's what they write for. In both cases there would be no or tiny amounts of money at best, small runs of books probably (good thing).
Now I have time (starting next week I'll weave it in) to work on my website and make a region for the foremother poet blogs in one place; a region for the Poldark blogs in another.
I'll begin the actual work on the paper for EC/ASECS in later August but as part of the above, put the proposal on my website too: 'Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me!': paranoia in the writings of Charlotte Smith, Anne Radcliffe, Mary Brunton, and Sophie Cottin
A little known photo of Elsa Morante in her forties with a then favorite cat
So now I can see my way towards reading at night for pleasure and alternating reading for the above projects with older interest that few people I know seem to share with me. Elsa Morante's Menzogna and Sortilegio after I finish the biography by Lily Tuck. I hunger to read more women's novels about the central aspect of women's existence: female sexuality.
The Elsa Morante desire is what's left over from my years working on Italian sonnets by Colonna and Gambara: to teach myself to read Italian I read a lot of Italian and discovered the greatness of Italian literature during, just before WW2 ended and the era directly afterward.
I'll be able to make time for two threads of reading and discussion. I've made a start on Trollope's Kellys and OKellys; after that on Trollope19thCStudies I and one other person will try George Moore's Esther Waters and A storyteller's Holiday. Then we'll see. On EighteenthCenturyWorlds I and one other person are going for Charlotte Smith's A Young Philosopher and/or or then Walter Scott's Antiquary.
The weather has been beautiful. Cool air, warm sun, breezes, low in the 50s, high in the 70s. Jim will soon be going to a practice session for the amateur reading aloud of Joyce's work by the local Irish community on Bloomsday and then we'll have that new experience to try.