Friday, January 11, 2008

Something in the Eyre

During my week of solitude, I re-read Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre in the handsome illustrated version beautifully rendered by Dame Darcy. It's been ages since I last read it and months since a friend went off on a long rant about how he hated Jane. I found myself instantly captivated by the iconoclastic rebel, Jane. There were several words that made me want to reach for my dictionary and it was odd to be without both a dictionary and Most could be figured out from context (e.g. "vicinage" as an analogue to "vicinity") but many were simply out of fashion (like negus and bashaw). And speaking of fashion I ought to have known what a pelisse was, but it didn't matter too much. Brontë's habit of using painters to flavor her descriptions led me to several unfamiliar artists, like Cuyp. While watching Krapp's Last Tape, a Beckett play I thought I had read before (but hadn't) starring the wonderful John Hurt and a tape recorder (it's mesmerizing!), he uses the word "viduity" and I thought, argh, where's that dictionary. But Krapp has to look up the word he used 30 years ago on the tape, so I guess I ought not feel bad about looking words up that I thought I knew at one time.

Trying to hold on to the feeling of peace that permeated last week. That's always the hard part. As Larry Darrell says in The Razor's Edge, it's very easy to be a holy man on the top of a mountain; the challenge is holding on to a sense of tranquility when you're back in the noisy whirl of daily life. It pays to keep that sense of quiet in mind and to make some more concrete changes to that daily life. One endeavors.

Last night we drove down to make birthday tacos for Robert. They turned out pretty good, as did the nice chocolate cake from Hannaford's. We even had a chance to chat with the folks and Steve thanks to the speakerphone, then watched some SCTV. Around midnight we heard a crash outside -- it was the Possum of Unusual Size. The size of a schnauzer it was! Yikes. Robert's fattening it for slaughter, I think. How do possums taste?

Back to work on the last syllabus -- argh! Choices to make; decisions, decisions. Writing to do, too; I don't want to lose the momentum of last week.


The Queen said...

If Robert needs, I have a recipe for Glennie Nell's Roast Christmas Possum from pg. 72 of the 'Treasury of White Trash Cooking' book....apparently "feedin 'em nothin but corn bread & milk cleans 'em right out" before slaughter.

And "...cut up the possum into rabbit pieces. Thata way the city folk'll never know they eatin' possum"

Good to know.

C. Margery Kempe said...

Ewwww! I guess "city folk" wouldn't be put off by rabbit?

Anonymous said...

Did you see the recent Masterpiece Theatre rendition of J.E.?! Blasphemy!! Jane and Rochester and their 3 children in a tableau at the end.

C. Margery Kempe said...

I saw it, but I have to admit that I don't recall too much about it other than (I think) Jane having amnesia rather than simply concealing her past, which seems silly. Jane is nothing if not decided. I think the happy tableau speaks to the current romanticism of the "happy family" -- and an almost Victorian neglect of Jane's passionate nature. She wasn't mooning about Rochester because she wanted a yuppie dream -- she wanted him and she wanted him badly.

Have you ever seen "Jane Air-head" on SCTV? Silly, but worth a giggle just for the always brilliant Andrea Martin (and Jack Benny's "Rochester"). She and Catherine O'Hara ought to have statues put up in their honor -- they're just so funny.

The Queen said...

Kate, possum is the least offensive recipe in the entire about some fried cooter? Or really inedible animals fried, stewed, fricasseed, you name it.

Notfood for 'city folk' AT ALL.

CL said...

I've had rabbit! In stew, no less! It's pretty good. And it does not taste like chicken.
Why do people say that?

Besides the usual beef, pork, poultry, and mutton, I've also had squirrel (taste like rabbit), quail, pheasent, duck, goose, goat (I make a great goat stew), alligator (chewy), venison, frog legs (not great), buffalo, and all manner of fresh and sea water fish and shellfish. My dad had recipes for bear, moose, and snake, among others! That's what happens when you grow up in a hunting family. Anything that can be eaten, will be eaten.

Had any long pig lately? 8-\

C. Margery Kempe said...

I've had rabbit, goat, deer, pheasant, quail, grouse (I think) -- all kinds of fish. You're right, living around hunters makes a difference. We always have venison when we visit Steve.