Friday, September 26, 2014

Not As Planned

This week really hasn't gone as planned.

The first half of the week was just fine.  I finished a sock, I taught my classes, I got a bunch of writing done, and I read Coetzee's Foe.

I talked to a friend about Coetzee and my impressions of Disgrace.  She confirmed that my feelings were basically justified--I was right to not like the narrator-- he possessed "no moral insight"-- and she agreed that the novel was "completely unsatisfying" in terms of resolving the events of the plot.  So I felt greatly relieved.

And no, she wasn't just saying that.  If there's one thing that my friends and I agree upon, it's that you don't lie when it comes to your opinion about a book.  Because if you do, what will the world come to?

Lying about a book?  You must be kidding.  Chaos and moral anarchy will ensue, it's that simple.

That said, I finished Foe and I can safely say that this is basically going to be it for Coetzee and I, even though my friend did suggest that Waiting for the Barbarians was "okay."  I think I'll pass.

I liked the concept behind the novel (a retelling of the story of Robinson Crusoe), but once again, Coetzee's representation of women made me decidedly uneasy, and by the end of the novel, all I could think was, "Okay, that's enough of that."

I don't like when novelists try to show you how clever they are by name-dropping or including obscure references to texts that only a literary nerd like myself is going to pick up on.  And that's what the end of Foe had: a lot of pretentious literary name-dropping and waxing philosophical about "the nature of storytelling."  Spare me. 

The ending of Foe made offhand references to Dostoevsky and Dickens (that I couldn't really see the point of, quite frankly) and it did all kinds of literary loop-de-loops that only a well-read reader-in-the-know would be able to follow.

I suspected this was included so that readers could bask--along with Coetzee--in the feeling of just how smart they are.  I don't like that kind of thing.  Get over yourself.   Books are for everyone. 

On Wednesday, I woke up feeling really tired.  I was kind of surprised by that.  Especially when it lasted all day.  I thought it was just because I'd had a late night the night before.   But then, by evening, my allergies were acting up in strange ways that I couldn't quite explain.

At least, I thought it was my allergies.  I took allergy meds, but when I woke up at midnight sneezing, I thought, "Maybe I'm getting... sick...?"

So yes, I have a cold.  Nothing bad, just a pesky, annoying little thing.  I spent all day yesterday on the couch, reading and knitting.  Which was good, in a way, because I managed to read Julia Alvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies-- I'll have to blog about that soon, since it's on my Classics Club list.

And I'm enjoying making all kinds of progress on knitting the back of a cardigan.  Although, I kind of thought the pattern would be a bit more challenging than it's turning out to be, so I've had to resist the temptation to start working on another cardigan.  Because I do have a sock on the needles as well.  Oh, and another sweater.  But now I'm not so sure about that last one--I don't know if I like it as much as I thought I would, so I may ditch it.

Basically, I'm using up my yarn stash.  I have a whole bunch of yarn that I bought over the last year or so, and I can't really justify buying more (well, I could, but it wouldn't be a solid argument--it would have a lot of loopholes and non sequiturs).

So that's what I'm trying to do.  And really, it's a good thing to have to do when you don't feel well.

The problem is, I don't really have to do it--it's all I feel like doing when I'm snuffling and sneezing all day long.  (And feeling grumpy--did I mention I feel kinda grumpy today?)  What I have to do, actually, is grade a few papers and then get a chunk of writing revised... by Monday.

It was okay that yesterday didn't go as planned.  But as far as today goes, I'm going to have to just power through what I need to do, and hope that this annoying bug goes away by tomorrow, when I'll need to get down to serious business to get ready for next week.

I hope it's not too much to hope.

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