I’m so glad August is over. It’s been a busy month, and life sort of caught up with me. For the past two weeks I’ve pretty much ignored my blog. Oh sure, I posted book reviews. But my other posts were obligatory filler, like this “here’s what I’ve been reading” post, and a wedding anniversary celebration. I didn’t want to go completely quiet, but I just couldn’t muster my creative energies. We were preparing to take daughter #1 to university, and I may have underestimated the stress that would bring. 🙂 And then there was Hurricane Irene, when I missed another Sunday Salon because I was too busy doing laundry before the power went out.
But now the month is behind me, and I’ve been seized with”back to school” spirit, which always boosts my energy. I’m really excited for daughter #1, who is beginning her university experience with the most amazing English class:
Recent political debates about marriage rights have highlighted public disagreement about function of marriage in society. Is marriage a sacrament, or a civil right, or a civic responsibility? Is it fundamentally about procreation? Or is it the highest form of human friendship? In this course, we will read poems, stories, novels, plays and nonfiction of all kinds in pursuit of the answer to a simple question: what is marriage for? How has the institution been shaped by law and culture over the centuries, and how has it shaped human lives in turn? Most importantly for us, how has it left its mark on the genres of English literature? Through literary readings spanning seven centuries, we will consider the institution’s medieval inheritance (in our ideal of monogamous, lifelong marriage; and in “coverture,” the legal doctrine of women’s subordination to their husbands). We will also take up the sometimes vexed role of love within marriage; debates about marriage and citizenship in 19th century America and today; and finally, the role of marriage in today’s consumer society. Readings by Plato, Chaucer, Spencer, Shakespeare, Milton, Bradstreet, Austen, and many others.
Wow! If she weren’t 8 hours away I know I’d sneak in there from time to time!
Daughter #2 had a pile of summer reading, culminating in Steinbeck’s East of Eden. At first she was put off by its length, but then began disappearing to read for long periods of time. Ultimately, she really enjoyed the book and found it hard to leave the story and characters behind. Her enthusiasm inspired me to pull a couple of short Steinbeck works off my shelves to read early in September. I wanted to take part in The Classics Circuit John Steinbeck Tour, but I knew better than to commit to something like that so close to daughter #1’s departure. However, reading Steinbeck now makes me feel good, because I’ll be clearing dusty books from my stacks. And several people recommended him in response to my “Where Have all the Men Gone?” post a few weeks ago. And who am I to ignore all you smart people?
So look for my reviews of Tortilla Flat and The Pearl, coming soon. And I hope to replenish my creative energy and bring you some other interesting stuff, too.