69 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2020
  2. icla2020b.jonreeve.com icla2020b.jonreeve.com
    1. and his eyes filled up so much with tears that he could not find what he was looking for and in the end he had to ask his wife to tell him where the corkscrew was.

      Maria is a something of a saint, at least an uncomplicated depiction of a good christian woman--but in a very real sense--she doesn't judge, nor expect or wish malice, that people are drinking around her (perhaps excessively) or have motives that are confusing, does not touch upon her mind as bad taste or ill will (instead she gets upset at herself for forgetting the cake). I feel Joyce is depicting that to be a good christian, is to be single, loveless, bland--like shapeless clay. I wonder if Joyce liked this woman.

    2. She said they were all very good to her.

      she said this to who?

    3. But as soon as his father-in-law was dead Mr. Mooney began to go to the devil.

      It's fun to see how Joyce uses tone in his narrative voice, knowing how cerebral he can be. Colloquialisms such as this one, or "that the young men were only passing the time away: none of them meant business" not only turn the narrator into a character, but also reveal the kind of je ne se quoi of the characters in the story itself.

  3. Nov 2020
  4. icla2020b.jonreeve.com icla2020b.jonreeve.com
    1. “Derevaun Seraun! Derevaun Seraun!”

      Apparently some people have translated this bit as meaning "At the end of pleasure there is pain"

    2. Still they seemed to have been rather happy then. Her father was not so bad then; and besides, her mother was alive.

      There's a direct, uncomplicated style in Eveline. Although it is written in the Third Person, it feels like Joyce is narrating in a way that reflects the thoughts of Eveline. Contrasting this with Araby, I wonder if it's because Eveline is a young woman that Joyce felt the need to write with a certain degree of separation.

    3. Her dress swung as she moved her body and the soft rope of her hair tossed from side to side.

      I love the imagery in these first three paragraphs, everything is imbued with futility, and pain--The only music is the unimpassioned shaking of a horses harness, the air stings, the gardens are dark and ashen, and people appear in and out of shadows--it's like a mundane type of hell-scape.

    4. EVE

      Eve... interesting to think that it's possible Eveline could be a parallel of the woman the boy pines for in Araby. What the boy imagines as some angelic beautiful woman, could be in just such a state of paralysis as Eveline is in her own story. Everyone is stuck, and nobody wins.

    5. I drew the blankets over my head and tried to think of Christmas.

      This bit of "Christmas" sticks out. Like he's trying, perhaps even pathetically, to hold on to some positive notion of his own christianity.

    6. But then I remembered that it had died of paralysis and I felt that I too was smiling feebly as if to absolve the simoniac of his sin.

      The simoniac of his sin... how important is this detail? Or is the boy just using words he only half understands?

    7. THERE was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke.

      It's interesting how this story starts in such a disorienting way. Who's dead? who's narrating? All the half sentences and unfinished thoughts. By the end we feel only certain suggstions can be accounted for.

    8. I watched him lazily as I chewed one of those green stems on which girls tell fortunes.

      Two instances of green so far: to see had any of them green eyes for I had some confused notion & "I watched him lazily as I chewed one of those green stems on which girls tell fortunes. "

    9. “Wide-awake and laughing-like to himself…. So then, of course, when they saw that, that made them think that there was something gone wrong with him….”

      I think it is interesting that the story is told from the young mans perspective, and has so much to do with his thoughts on death and Father James, and yet Joyce titled the story "The Sisters." What about their conversation should make it the focus of the story?

    10. His face was very truculent, grey and massive, with black cavernous nostrils and circled by a scanty white fur. There was a heavy odour in the room—the flowers.

      "Even as he raised his large trembling hand to his nose little clouds of smoke dribbled through his fingers over the front of his coat." The descriptions of Father James make him stand out in my mind as some sort of big ugly dragon slug--covetous of his esoteric knowledge--Who looms over the story and the young man as a larger than life figure--"his massive face"--"huge hands". The way he nods "his head twice or thrice", or how "When he smiled he used to uncover his big discoloured teeth and let his tongue lie upon his lower lip", or the fact that the young man knows that if he were still alive, he would be in the back of the shop near the fire place, as if everything the Father is and does was wrought from some inhuman fundament.

    11. The drapery consisted mainly of children’s bootees and umbrellas; and on ordinary days a notice used to hang in the window, saying: Umbrellas Re-covered

      Children bootees and umbrellas seems like such an odd tandem. Children's bootees are not recovered but umbrellas are recovered. Umbrellas Re-covered, what an odd thing. What is a recovered umbrella? one that someone abandoned? Wouldn't child booties Recovered make a little more sense since child bootees are often out grown well before they have worn out. It's hard to imagine this is not symbolic somehow--or it is a very specific memory to Joyce.

    1. Strange faces smiled at Leila—sweetly, vaguely. Strange voices answered, “Of course, my dear.”

      This bit seems to go right past, obviously it is hard to keep track of anyone at a dance party, but I think this detail is a bit more suggestive than that. This world is new and exciting, and there are creeps out there--Leila is on her own.

    2. and they pressed their way through the crush in the passage towards the big double doors of the drill hall.

      I love the use of the word crush here, and again we see doors, as a barrier into strange and exciting worlds. In the Garden Party it was the Green Baize Door, and in the Colonels Daughters it was the door to the Colonels room.

  5. Oct 2020
    1. No, it was too difficult. “I’ll—I’ll go with them, and write to William later. Some other time. Later. Not now. But I shall certainly write,” thought Isabel hurriedly.

      Once again we see themes of neglect, and of becoming ones own person. The ambiguity of Mansfield's stories, leave us to our own subjective interpretations. This is the kind of writing that I love, because it challenges our own sensibilities, forcing the reader into making up their own minds, without anymore meaningful a measure for right or wrong, than the readers own life experience. In this way her stories successfully imitate real life. We go around imperfect machines, interpreting life through a murky lens, with feelings that are complicated, dull, sharp, definite... I know this story is a sad one. I feel sad for William, but I'm not sure I should.

    2. Her dark coat fell open, and her white throat—all her soft young body in the blue dress—was like a flower that is just emerging from its dark bud.

      The ambiguity of Mansfield's stories, and there sudden endings, place the tensions and moral implications, on our laps. What are the relationships between motherly neglect, wealth, and the sexuality of a young girl? Is the young girls bratiness a reasonable reaction to her circumstances (assuming the mother, really is a neglectful mother). Is she spoiled? or is the young girl simply lashing out. Do we develop our identities, or does circumstance?

    3. He offered them to Hennie. Hennie gave me a swift look—it must have been satisfactory—for he took a chocolate cream, a coffee eclair, a meringue stuffed with chestnut and a tiny horn filled with fresh strawberries. She could hardly bear to watch him. But just as the boy swerved away she held up her plate.

      Food seems to be a theme in Mansfield work. In Colonels, the garden party, the young girl, and marraige a la mode, food plays an important role in character development. I think it's partially due to Mansfield's focus on realism. What is strange about it is that In three of these stories, the main characters seem to have an aversion to overeating, or a generaly adverse relationship to food, and/or the manners of others. Judging from this 4 story sample size, manners seem to play an important part in Mansfield's stories.

    4. It was dark in the hall. It had been a rule for years never to disturb father in the morning, whatever happened. And now they were going to open the door without knocking even... Constantia’s eyes were enormous at the idea; Josephine felt weak in the knees.

      Both this story and the Garden Party have themes of psychological abuse perpetrated on the young. Laura seems fated by those around her to be nothing more than a doll at a garden party, and Jug and Con. seem to live in persistent fear of their own father.

    5. burst open the sideboard

      Like literally it BURST open? Why burst?

    6. blancmange

      A terrified blancmange you say?!

    7. Why will you children insist on giving parties!”

      I doubt the children had much to do with this, consider Laura's apathy for the silly boys she dances with, or Laura's desire to end the party on the account of Scott, or how Jose felt it was too late to call it off, rather than feeling like she would be personally upset to call it off. These parties are the adults ideas, but Sheridan likely has trouble accepting such a vapid pass-time as worth while, her ego is a mess, because its such a pointless endeavor, and that's why she must convince herself that it's the children's idea.

    8. I’ll remember it again after the party’s over, she decided. And somehow that seemed quite the best plan...

      The use of the word quite again--it's like nothing is real, or embodied. There is a lot of flighty language and flighty characters, 'Laura flew' 'butterfly' descriptions of air, and wind, and puffs, and angels--nothing feels grounded. The characters and the place feel like they could just be blown away like dead dandelion puffs.

    9. “Oh, what a fright you gave me!” Mrs. Sheridan sighed with relief, and took off the big hat and held it on her knees.

      God Anywhere But the Garden! These people are nuts.

    10. Laura and Laurie on their prowls sometimes walked through. It was disgusting and sordid. They came out with a shudder.

      Laura likes the working class men for their novel charm, but shudders while walking through working class neighborhoods. It's offensive, but I feel Laura is to naive to understand why that is.

    11. How old is Laura? Her naivete is funny but it's also kind of disturbing. Is she being held captive by her family? does she ever leave her estate? It's creepy to think someone could be so sheltered.

    12. Oh, how extraordinarily nice workmen were, she thought

      This is the second time her impression of the workers has made me really laugh. This story so far feels like it takes place in some strange utopia, I guess Laura and her family are very rich, but it seems much stranger than just that--the rose bushes are visited by "archangels", Jose is a "butterfly". and 'workers' are practically alien. Laura seems as taken with the beauty around her as if she is seeing it only for the first few times. This story has a very dreamy feel, maybe even a dystopian quality.

    1. So the years pass, and repeat each other; so the same events revolve in the cycles of time. What will be the next adventures of the Moonstone? Who can tell?

      I feel the strongest themes in the novel were those of exoticism, and the reversal of Victorian mores, and the shallowness of judging by appearance. Ablewhite, the most outawadly christian in his selflessness, is the one most possessed by materialism, Male authority is undermined by the very fact that almost no man in the novel is in control of anything. Those with dark complexions, are the ones who consistently fool the white characters. And with Rosanna, we see the damaging aspects of reformation, which is utlimately a punitive measure, being doled out on a character for whom even being able to work for Victorians of high class, is considered a blessing, and of selfless charity on the high classes behalf.

    2. servant

      We get a lot of telling detective report type language in this passage. words like, "Infer", "Murder", "Investigation", "established', "statement", "guilty", "motive", "Inquest." Etc...

    3. The sublime intoxication of opium gleamed in his eyes; the dew of a stealthy perspiration began to glisten on his face.

      It's interesting to me that not the moonstone, but rather a different exotic import (from India), would be the thing with strange and mysterious powers.

    4. he Guardian; The Tatler; Richardson’s Pamela; Mackenzie’s Man of Feeling; Roscoe’s Lorenzo de Medici; and Robertson’s Charles the Fifth–all classical works; all (of course) immeasurably superior to anything produced in later times; and all (from my present point of view) possessing the one great merit of enchaining nobody’s interest, and exciting nobody’s brain

      Given that Jennings is someone who we are supposed to feel empathy for and the high regard Collins seems to have for him, it seems we are supposed to take his criticisms as owning some special validity. It feels weird, that in a novel where every-other character has some defect of character, or satirical persona, we would get a character like Jennings who is drawn in such a way as to be beyond reproach (maybe not to the characters there-in, but to the reader.) It gives me the feeling that Collins is injecting himself into Jennings. That this is as much Collins opinion as it is Jennings.

    5. the light complexion and the Roman nose.

      What is this supposed to insinuate?

    6. Wherever the Report touches on the events of the birthday, or of the three days that followed it, compare with Betteredge’s Narrative, chapters viii. to xiii.

      Interesting, I wonder if Collins knew how he was going to end this mystery, and if he placed clues earlier in the novel.

    7. p from the coffee-house.”


    8. So, after vanquishing Betteredge and Mr. Bruff, Ezra Jennings vanquished Mrs. Merridew herself. There is a great deal of undeveloped liberal feeling in the world, after all!

      I Jennings supposed to be some paragon of rationality, and open mindedness? He feels a little like a Mary Stu.

    9. “Where is he now?” she asked, giving free expression to her one dominant interest–the interest in Mr. Blake. “What is he doing? Has he spoken of me? Is he in good spirits? How does he bear the sight of the house, after what happened in it last year? When are you going to give him the laudanum? May I see you pour it out? I am so interested; I am so excited–I have ten thousand things to say to you, and they all crowd together so that I don’t know what to say first. Do you wonder at the interest I take in this?”

      And since when has Rachel been so willing to simply trust a stranger, who says he has the answers? I had the impression that she was more discerning,more matter of fact, more skeptical than that.

    10. She looked at my ugly wrinkled face, with a bright gratitude so new to me in my experience of my fellow-creatures, that I was at a loss how to answer her.

      I can't help feeling that Jennings's inclusion in the plot feels incongruous to the rest of the book. Why would a character with such a heavy backstory, and strong characterization as a total outcast, just short of Frankenstien, all of a sudden appear in the last fifth of the book?

    11. “Mr. Jennings, do you happen to be acquainted with Robinson Crusoe?”

      That cinches it. Betteredge is my favorite character.

    12. the

      I think it's interesting that every male character is fond of Rachel.

    13. that the loss of the faculty of speaking connectedly, implies of necessity the loss of the faculty of thinking connectedly as well.

      This Book was written during a time when people like Paul Broca and Wernicke, were discovering that damage to specific areas of the brain could affect specific functions while keeping most every other function in tact. In fact, it sounds as though Jennings is describing Broca's, or Wernicke's aphasia, both of which, sort of fit Mr. Candy's behavior. If this is the case Candy's memory would be in tact, he would just be having trouble finding the words to express himself.

    14. “After what she has suffered, and after what I have suffered,” I said, “you may rely on me.”

      After an impassioned heated debate between lovers like that? How could this book end any other way than with Franklin proving his innocence, and Rachel and Franklin confessing their love for eachother?

    15. with the frantic perversity of a roused woman

      Oh god...

    16. Who that person might be, I couldn’t guess then, and can’t guess now.

      This is an interesting bit of emphasis. Is she not, in one way or another, under the control (whether Franklin knows it or not) of Mr Franklin? Is this what Collins is suggesting?

    17. and he’s up to his eyes in the growing of roses. I have it in his own handwriting, Mr. Franklin. He has grown the white moss rose, without budding it on the dog-rose first.

      ha! This is a fantastic chapter.

    18. the hospitable impulse was the uppermost impulse

      Earlier in this passage, Franklin made it clear that he objects to Betteredge's 'overdrawn' account of his (Franklin's) character. This quote, is a nice reversal of Betteredge's use of 'uppermost'.

    19. ‘I stood like one Thunderstruck, or as if I had seen an Apparition.’ If that isn’t as much as to say: ‘Expect the sudden appearance of Mr. Franklin Blake’–there’s no meaning in the English language!” said Betteredge, closing the book with a bang, and getting one of his hands free at last to take the hand which I offered him.

      This is hysterical. I love how Betteredge takes obtuse passages of Crusoe as gospel--full of premonitions, and spiritual wisdom. Betteredge's Christianess may be questionable, but certainly not his Crusoeness. I love Collins use of pop culture in critiquing popular modes of religious thinking.

    20. Mr. Bruff looked unaffectedly distressed.

      what is it to look 'unaffectedly distressed?'

    21. Having heard the story of the past, my next inquiries (still inquiries after Rachel!) advanced naturally to the present time. Under whose care had she been placed after leaving Mr. Bruff’s house? and where was she living now?

      Mr Franklin seems more concerned with himself, than with Rachel. He doesn't ask about how she's doing regarding her mother's death. Similarly, in regards to his own fathers death, he only mentions the inheritance and the responsibilities that came with it. It's a little selfish, no?

  6. Sep 2020
    1. Her answer silenced me for the moment. It set me trying to trace the explanation of her conduct, at the time of the loss of the Moonstone, out of the strange avowal which had just escaped her. I might perhaps have done it when I was younger. I certainly couldn’t do it now.

      Another example of men at a loss.

    2. This absolute self-dependence is a great virtue in a man. In a woman it has a serious drawback of morally separating her from the mass of her sex, and so exposing her to misconstruction by the general opinion.

      So much of the sexism portrayed by the narrators seems so on the nose, and inverted by the actions of the women in the novel. Rachel is strong, assertive, and segacious. Lady Verinder, kept her agency, and did not bend under the scrutiny of Mr. Cuff, Penelope was right about Rachel's feelings for Franklin, whereas Betteredge was none the wiser. And Rosanna, though tragically, also maintained her agency. I wonder if this was Collins's intent, is he making a critique?

    3. How can I describe the joy with which I now remembered that the precious clerical friends on whom I could rely, were to be counted, not by ones or twos, but by tens and twenties.

      Is this not a genius bit of writing? her count of "Precious clerical friends" mapping to common monetary denominations: one pence, two pence, 10 pounds, 20 pounds! Its beautiful how concisely this one sentence describes Clack's character.

    4. There, again, lay the illuminated manuscript on a table. Mr. Luker’s attention was absorbed, as Mr. Godfrey’s attention had been absorbed, by this beautiful work of Indian art. He too was aroused from his studies by a tawny naked arm round his throat, by a bandage over his eyes, and by a gag in his mouth.

      It's rewarding to see the Indians use the characters own Orientalism as a trap. Especially in the midst of what is possibly the most racist bit of narration yet. I wonder if Collins meant this as a sly critique of Orientalism, I also wonder if the frequent use of 'Christian' in place of kind, or decent (or good, etc.), wasn't so on the nose, as to be satirical. Especially, in a story, which by it's very nature, makes us curious to the true nature of its characters.

    5. Nota bene:–I am an average good Christian, when you don’t push my Christianity too far. And all the rest of you–which is a great comfort–are, in this respect, much the same as I am.)

      This novel is one step removed from being meta. How common was it during the Victorian era for serialized novels to acknowledge the relationship between reader and writer?

    6. Your knowledge of her character dates from a day or two since. My knowledge of her character dates from the beginning of her life. State your suspicion of her as strongly as you please–it is impossible that you can offend me by doing so. I am sure, beforehand, that (with all your experience) the circumstances have fatally misled you in this case. Mind! I am in possession of no private information. I am as absolutely shut out of my daughter’s confidence as you are. My one reason for speaking positively, is the reason you have heard already. I know my child.”

      Is it not possible that Rachel read the will, that proposed the diamond be sent away and chopped up into little pieces? Is it not possible that being possessed by the diamond, she decided to protect it? Why have the other characters not noticed this? Am I missing something?

    7. I went round with him to the servants’ hall. It is very disgraceful, but it is not the less true, that I had another attack of the detective-fever, when he said those last words. I forgot that I hated Sergeant Cuff. I seized him confidentially by the arm. I said, “For goodness’ sake, tell us what you are going to do with the servants now?”

      I can't help but think the detective fever stuff is a little incongruous with Betteredge's character. Clearly Betteredge holds authority in high regard, and takes pride in being useful, but he also struck me as someone who does not like complications, especially those that involve the people he feels most loyal to. Even in his own personal life he seemed to prefer a cool detachment, opting for (in his old age, perhaps) the least complicated answers to troubling questions.

      The image in my mind of him was something like the thin mustachioed butler character that I vaguely remember from old looney tunes cartoons.

    8. Going into the house to get a light to read it by, Samuel remarked that there seemed a change coming in the weather.

      Just as Cuff said there was, when he tried to make small talk with Betteredge, after noticing that Rosanna was eavesdropping.

    9. megrims


      1. depression; low spirits.

      2. a whim or fancy.

      I love this word.

    10. We all got excited and impatient as the time drew near for the appearance of this renowned and capable character.

      I love how, on only Mr. Franklin's word, Betteredge goes straight into hyperbole.

    11. he appeared to think that Miss Rachel–if the suspense about the Moonstone was not soon set at rest–might stand in urgent need of the best medical advice at our disposal.

      That Mr. Betteredge seems to give practically equal weight to Mr. Candy being sick as he does to Rosanna (possibly) being seen by the baker's man, is very suspect! is he being facetious while indulging himself in taking knocks at Mr. Candy? was his judgment clouded by his apparent affection for Rosanna?

      I think it likely that Betteredge, writing well after these events took place, might be trying to come off as naive while using his wit as a smokescreen, as to not implicate himself too harshly in any nefarious business. But who knows? Maybe the fact that Mr. Candy is sick is an important bit of foreshadowing.

    12. Mr. Franklin, whose clear head I had confidently counted on to advise us, seemed to be as helpless as his cousin when he heard the news in his turn

      I find Mr, Betteredge to be a confounding character. On one hand he is a kind of buffoonish everyman, who, by way of idiomatic expressions--both, often, sexist, and xenophobic--seems capable of explaining away any complications in the world around him (except perhaps, for Rachel, and Rosanna). On the other hand, however, he is overwhelmingly sardonic, showing a highly developed sense of sarcasm and irony, which sharply contrasts, his hokey, populist, kind of wisdom.

    13. I was aroused from what I am inclined to think must have been, not a nap, but a reverie, by the clatter of horses’ hoofs outside;

      This is the second time Betteredge has taken what is most certainly not a nap.

    14. bout two years before the time of which I am now writing, and about a year and a half before the time of his death, the Colonel came unexpectedly to my lady’s house in London. It was the night of Miss Rachel’s birthday, the twenty-first of June

      Interesting that Mr. Franklin would also be coming in time to 'keep Rachel's birthday'.

    15. the right way of telling it.”

      would the wrong way be the honest way?

    16. and to publish a statement on the subject of the Duke in possession, which has remained an unfinished statement from that day to this.

      obsessions: Franklin = the Duke's possessions Betteredge = Crusoe

    17. there I was in clover

      in ease and luxury.

    18. We will take a new sheet of paper, if you please, and begin over again, with my best respects to you.

      is 'you' the lawyer, and family asking for the 'true' story, is it us the reader? Is everything we are seeing literally only what is written by the narrator. are we standing over his should looking at what he writes as he writes it. Or are we reading a prepared transcript of his writings?

    19. When my spirits are bad–Robinson Crusoe. When I want advice–Robinson Crusoe. In past times when my wife plagued me; in present times when I have had a drop too much–Robinson Crusoe. I have worn out six stout Robinson Crusoes with hard work in my service. On my lady’s last birthday she gave me a seventh. I took a drop too much on the strength of it; and Robinson Crusoe put me right again. Price four shillings and sixpence, bound in blue, with a picture into the bargain.

      This is funny! I wonder how this mans obsession will pay off, and whether or not you would have had to read Robinson Crusoe, or been an English citizen in the 19th century to 'get the joke.'

    20. this don’t look much like starting the story of the Diamond–does it?

      I have a theory that each new narrator will have their own linguistic peculiarities. Notice the incorrect usage of don't. Perhaps an interesting project would be to see whether we could use a model to tell which character is which based solely on usage. Perhaps we can discover things about each character we wouldn't have noticed on a first reading?