Monday, September 21, 2015

Hemingway, Elvis and a Couple Fights

Yup!  Another Hemingway checked off.  Of course, I will not accomplish my goal of reading all his work this year.  This stuff is exhausting.  "Snows" may be a short story, but Hemingway packed it full of artistry. Much of this semi-autobiographical work is told through stream of consciousness sequences in which the main character ruminates - with great bitterness - about the missed opportunities in his life.  Harry is dying of gangrene due to an untreated scratch he received while on safari.  The fever and the fear death feed his need to philosophize.  Regret regret regret - loves unfulfilled, women used and tossed. books unwritten, talent not used...and the biggest regret of all - nothing stood in his way except himself.

Harry is the typical cold, unhappy, callous Hemingway man.  Interestingly, most of the women in "Snow" display whispers of strength, but seldom do they assert themselves enough to press either themselves or Harry into action that could take them away from the seedier sides of life.

Symbolism? Oh yes.  More than I recall in other Papa H writing.  The frozen leopard atop the mountain, vultures, hyenas and the mountain itself.  For me, a symbol has to be purposeful and in this case, they are. Sure, I can see where debate is possible, and in some cases the symbols have multiple layers, but theses are not so cryptic as to render them little more than pompous displays of "Look what I can do."  

Time to pick up a happier book.

On the LaDeDa front...things were hopping around here on Friday beginning with a customer altercation. Oh my goodness.  Such exciement.   A brother and sister stopped in after school for Italian sodas.  The little brother announced that his sister has a new boyfriend.  She screamed!  She shouted.  He laughed.  He didn't take the hint when she told him to stop or else.  When he continued to shout out the boy's name "or else" happened.  The sister got him in the best 4th grade girl  head lock I have ever seen.  You go girl.  When little brother refused to stop calling out the boy friend's name, she suddenly unlocked the death grip. She snapped to attention and I saw tears well up. Then she ran and locked herself in our bathroom and cried.  Between sobs she managed to inform me that she was never coming out.  I went to the car and told mom. Soon the door was unlocked and off the siblings went.  I can only imagine what that ride home was like.

Then, of all things, an Elvis impersonator walked into the store.  It seems he has written a couple books. In one, he recounts his 50 years of entertaining as a faux Elvis and another is a murder involving Abraham Lincoln.  The third book has three titles : Elvirus! Elvi-Geddon, Dawn of the Elvi Invasion.  Rather than me trying to explain, here's what the back of the book has to say....

Elvis is everywhere.  Elvis impersonators are taking over every facet of our society.  T.V.  Movies.  Social Media.  Education and even Politics.  A group of 100 Elvi in 1977 has grown to over 100,00 with no end in sight.

There's more, but that gives you an idea.

Later that night, our book group met to discuss Peyton Place.  Fireworks!  I can't remember the last time we had such emotional disagreements.  For the record, most of the group enjoyed the book, including me and yet the points of contention got...well... contentious.  This isn't the first time I have left a discussion thinking that I don't belong in a book group.  My taste is often different for others, and as a result I walk away wondering if my logic and my view of the world is warped.  Maybe we have grown so close that we have left any pretence of politeness behind and can  disagree more like sisters than the group of strangers were were 8+ years ago.  Still, that's a tough concept for an only-lonely like myself.  Anyway....

Thanks for stopping by.
What am I reading now?  Not sure.  I just received an Advance Reader Spy of a little mystery set in Lily Dale, that quirky new age community  in New York that I wrote about a few months back.  Realistically though, I think it's time for me to read I am Malala.  We'll see.....