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Let it be ...

Dear friends and readers,

I first began this thinking about what do with my summer on May 13; that was the day before I proctored my second and last final; I sent in the grades on May 16; and I wrote again that my problem was partly solved on May 18 when I discovered that my essay on Trollope film adaptations had been published in close to its original form after all (with all the scholarship, all the filmography, the bibliography). Still on May 22 I knew I still had too much before me and was spending too little time on each thing,

A couple of days ago after I finished reading Catherine Hubback's The Younger Sister, an excellent continuation-sequel to Austen's The Watsons, I did find myself beginning to concentrate on one subject area and point of view and yesterday found myself humming the tune and repeating those of the lyrics to the Beatles's Let It Be that I could remember. I just looked them up. No Mother Mary comes to me, rather the Beatles' song does so I'll start here

Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken-hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be  ...

I find I am posting onto the three listservs I am still moderator/owner for in the morning but am cutting down successfully so that I finish within the first hour of getting up. I'm writing up notes of what I read or watched and my plan for the immediate future, and if I come across a good article that day before I share that, a picture for the site. At night sometimes I am blogging like tonight. Sometimes if I get up very early I'll blog and send the URL for the blog along. The blogs are for all sorts of things; the early morning one is often something I did or saw or experienced the day or night before. I write friends and answer queries in the early morning and late at night.

During the day and my "goodawakeness hours" I find I am reading towards "The Important [or Bad] Tuesday" in Jane Austen. Right now that means Claire Tomalin's biography (one of the best of what there is). Then I'll go on to reread the novels (yet again!) but against my calendars and make myself remember the Tuesdays and my calendars. Write half the paper. Then read her letters and some of the family letters, documents, biographies and write the second half. Send it to ELH.


A favorite moment from the 1995 P&P by Davies (Part 6)

When I've done that, whenever it happens, then I'll turn back to the film book ("A Place of Refuge: S&S films") and try hard to write a first and concluding chapter. I now have a thesis of sorts and then send that out to some publisher of Austen or film books.

Of course this is a two year schedule and since I promised a conference paper I'll have to stop in September and resume again in November, it is doable and I feel I can see the end of it. After that I don't see why I should write for publication -- beyond maybe reviews that I enjoy.  I do want to do another conference paper on the original illustrations to Trollope's novels and will try for a Sharp conference but I am not hopeful.


Hat in shop window in Truro, Poldark, Season 1, Part 9, Episode 3

Sometime around 4 each day I tire, sometimes a little later and then I find I can do the Poldark novels and films. I did try some of the other projects I suggested to myself in early May but just could not connect, could not get on with them at that time of day or maybe any day. I am actually struggling to read the Poldark books in tandem with the movies and found I had to go back and reread with a print out I made (at the time of my conference paper of summaries) of the first seven novels and what seem to be summaries of all the parts of the two mini-series (some longer and more detailed than others). I am persisting because something in me responds to this and I think to myself whatever may be the problems or obstacles in the way I'd like to write something here -- for my website or maybe a fiction. I just don't care if no one else is interested any more, or few are and thus no publishers. I am not doing it for publication

The one thing that disappointed me most was I tried to read Italian in the later afternoon, but just couldn't. My mind won't except during my good hours. I did read Lily Tuck's Woman of Rome, a literary biography of Elsa Morante, which had some interesting analyses of Morante's fiction and was reasonably candid about her life, but it read like an extended imagined interview and Tuck was so concerned to prove her subject financially successful and stable or respectable that I found myself reading admiring descriptions of Morante's apartment. Well, this is silly I said to myself. I write this out here because I will return to my Italian studies when I've finished the Austen materials. I will not write or study and read Austen so centrally for the rest of my life. Once I've done Tuesday and JA films, I shall really make a large change in my days and subjects. I want to read books like Lessing's The Good Terrorist (just to name one book I can't get near right now).

Evenings are the same uneven experience. Mostly I watch movies or Amy Goodman. We walk. We go out. I have found a book I can read at night, one I fell into:  Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. I like her memoirs and point of view enormously (she gets away without that upbeat trajectory most authors seem to be pressured into imitating or just do so) and know Tudor history pretty well. This accounts for my ability to read this book and it holds me. Wolf Hall takes its start, it was prompted by Bolt's Man for All Season: it focuses on the man who is the villain there, Thomas Cromwell and Mantel just loves to expose More as a rigid torturer, hypocrite (just the opposite of Bolt's view).  Then if I can I'll go on to Bring Up the Bodies, Julia Fox's Jane Boleyn and Ford Madox Ford's The Fifth Queen. I do like historical fiction :)  When I've done maybe I'll blog about the Tudor books I've read (which includes Retha Warnke's good book on Anne Boleyn).


Two by Two, Susan LaMonte

Fridays are for working on my website. All day long. Right now I'm gathering up and working on a page to be called Foremother Poets Corner or some such title. I will from now on use this day to work on my website and items for my website (including more foremother poet and Poldark and Trollope material.)

So that's it. Let it be also goes for my job which I'll add as part of a screened comment. I'd like to write to a newspaper and tell my story of my 23 years teaching at GMU and how shabbily I've been treated. I may try if what I think will come to pass does.

No. I must keep to my own style & go on in my own Way (Jane Austen, 1 April 1816, to James Stanier Clarke, from Chawton

Sylvia

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