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Moved

I did it!  After a couple days of hard work, lots of help from my very tech savy boyfriend, and some good luck, I have created my very own, self designed, self hosted blog.  For those of you who would like to follow me, here are the details:

http://www.justicejennifer.com

and here’s a rss feed button if you’d like to subscribe to the new me:



Subscribe to my feed

Hope to see you all there!

Hello All,

I am being ambitious and proactive.  Last night, I bought my own domain name and my boyfriend helped me begin the process of self-hosting my blog.  The move is not complete yet though because I am still looking for a custom layout/header, ect.  If you know anyone who is really great at graphic design that might be interesting in helping out (and is affordable), please let me know.

Thanks!

I can’t wait to share the finished product with you all … if I ever get there.

Like many of Poe’s stories, The Turn of the Screw is a story that refuses to be read.  From the very beginning, you aren’t really sure what exactly this story is about.  Even after you have delved into the story completely, you’re still uncertain.  And the story doesn’t really give you many clues either.  For this reason, I am not going to summarize the story, because every piece of it is all based on reader interpretation.  There are very few facts in this book.  In fact, the only fact I could walk away with is that there is no objective reality: only interpretation.  The details of this story are absolutely unimportant and irrelevant.  It’s more of an experience than a novel.

Still, I highly recommend it.  I understand why it is a must for English majors.  This is definitely the emergence of the postmodern.  The story is full of suspense and disbelief.  The whole time, the reader is left wondering what the newest development means to their interpretation of the events so far: is your take on the story supported or completely destroyed?  I changed my mind about this story several times only to change it several more in my class discussion.

This book is definitely nightmarish, but it shows the creative possibilities of fiction work.  James take a story that he reportedly heard from a Protestant pope and turned it into a psychological thriller.  If that isn’t awesome, what is?

Although it was difficult for me to get through at times – the language is a little daunting and the story is definitely difficult – it is a worthwhile journey.

This morning, I was browsing through my Google Reader when I came across a truly wonderful and inspired idea from Jennifer at Crazy for Books: The Book Blogger Hop!  Immediately, I signed up.  Obviously, this is something that interests me as I have been eagerly searching for new ways to get my blog out there and discover new blogs.  Seriously, the more I blog, the more I realize I can’t get enough of it!  So I highly recommend that if you haven’t yet, you head over there and check out The Book Blogger Hop.

Only 2.5 weeks left between me and the wonderful relaxation of Spring Break.  Obviously, I will be spending most of it reading.  What else would you expect?

I’m hoping to cross some books off of my challenge list and discover some new reads.  Any suggestions? I obviously already have a stack waiting, but I love to hear what you guys think I MUST READ!  It will undoubtedly help me in finalizing my Spring Break List, which I will obviously share with you when it is finalized.

I have spent the last several days with this story: analyzing it, researching it, reading it, and writing about it.  For a short story, it is quite gripping and moving.  It’s funny out times, outlandish at others.  Like Dorian Gray in many respects, it explores human nature.  It doesn’t critique it explicitly but extremely subtly.  Wilde is ingenious in that way: he makes the reader do all the work.

Without giving it all away, here’s a general summary of what the story is about :

At a party at Lady Windermere’s house, Lord Arthur Savile meets the cheiromantist (hand reader), Septimus Podgers.  After some convincing, Podgers reads Lord Arthur’s hand and tells him that he will commit a murder.  After hearing this, Lord Arthur Savile feels a great duty to carry out the deed before he marries his sweetheart, Sybil Morton: “He felt that to marry her, with the doom of a murder hanging over his head, would be a betrayal like that of Judas, a sin worse than any the Borgia had ever dreamed of” (Wilde 39).

I am really glad I decided to write my paper on this story because it really brought out some interesting topics.  The story itself took me less than an hour to read and I found myself really enjoying it.  Usually I don’t get really involved with short stories, but I was genuinely interested in what would happen next. If you like short stories and are interested/enjoy the works of Oscar Wilde, I definitely recommend this one.  It has a lot of the same themes and motifs that show up in his later works.

Publisher’s Synopsis: In Oscar Wilde’s famous novel, Dorian Gray is tempted by Henry Watton to sell his soul in order to hold on ot beauty and youth.  Dorian succumbs and murders the portrait painter Basil Hallward, who stands between him and his goal.  Though in the end vice is punished and virtue rewarded, the novel remains one of the most important expressions of fin de siecle decadence.  It is the preface to the expanded edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray that Wilde coined the most famous expression of this aesthetic: “There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book.  Books are well-written or badly-written.  That is all.”

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 Quills

Review: Honestly, I loved this book.  It is definitely going into my list of all-time favorites.  I’m not sure exactly why, but something about this book just really gripped me.  In so many ways, the subjects explored in this novel are extremely relevant today.

Dorian Gray decides to trade his soul for eternal beauty.  At least, that’s what I thought this story was about; however, Gray’s decisions are so much more complex than that.  Yes, there is a painting that ages and changes according to the decisions that Dorian makes while he stays vivaciously young and hansom.  However, the degradation of his soul as seen by the changing picture and the increasingly evil acts that Gray commits are complexly nuanced.  The changes that he undergoes after the painting of the portrait are due to the influence of Lord Henry.  If anything, this story definitely shows the dangers of negative influences.

In many ways,this book is also like a philosophy text.  Lord Henry espouses a particularly hedonistic and cynical philosophy that serves as problematic from a current viewpoint in many ways.  Even more, Wilde’s novel is considered by many as a kind of book for the aesthetics.  He seems to be arguing throughout his book that art should only exist for art’s sake.  I find this to be problematic because I think that this particular piece of art exists for more than just beauty’s sake but to teach a lesson.  Even more, I think that Dorian’s downfall shows the dangers in not listening to the lessons that the various forms of art are trying to teach us.

But that’s just my humble opinion.  I’m sure it has many flaws.  Still, I’d love to hear your thoughts if you’ve read this wonderful piece of fiction.  It’s definitely something that stays with you long after you’ve read it.  The characters are remarkably unforgettable.  Wilde is amazing and I definitely want to read more of his works.  He was a scandalous personality in real life and his fiction definitely carries some of that zeal.

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