This is a bit of a non-post - I just felt like updating, although there's nothing of great interest to report.
I'm still working on my 'Ought to have Read' challenge, and having finished Gulliver's Travels (of which I have little to say) over the weekend, I now just have Interpretation of Dreams by Freud (not terribly looking forward to: although I loved reading Freud in university, I seem to have fallen out with him a little), two thirds of Doctor Zhivago (on the whole loving it, although there are a few bits that I'm not so taken with), and finally Canterbury Tales, which I made good progress with last night when I couldn't sleep. I've finished Fragment III, and am about to start The Clerk's Prologue. I can't see anything topping The Wife of Bath's Prologue, but you never know. Thoroughly enjoying it. Interesting that I find the 14th Century Chaucer far easier to read than the 16th Century Spenser. It makes me wonder why The Faerie Queene has a place in the Western Canon. Of all the comments I've had, no one has said they loved it, or even vaguely liked it. The only people who have read it were forced to do so by their university. Perhaps I'm being unfair, and the ideas and themes of The Faerie Queene are genuinely interesting, however the product, the end result, leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes we're told something is a classic and that is that. Interaction and enjoyment don't even seem to come into it. There have been plenty of times I have read a classic and wondered why on earth people like it so much, but the fact is, they do. We can't all like the same thing, and part of the fun of exploring classics is the connection it brings to other people. Not only can we learn a lot about people, humanity, and what makes everything tick along, but also about certain individuals. I wouldn't go so far as to say you can judge someone solely by their favourite book, but I think you can learn a lot about them from listening to them talk or reading what they've written about why they love it so much. And, having read the book in question already, it gives one a certain advantage. It's always lovely to join in, and that's essentially a part of reading - not just the personal enjoyment it brings, but understanding and engaging with others. But not so with The Faerie Queene. It seems to me to be universally disliked. I haven't gleaned a thing from it. Chaucer, on the other hand, is a great read. Of course there's a language barrier, but it's overcome as easily as overcoming the 19th or 18th Century novels. When I first read Jane Eyre or Jude the Obscure (I forget which I read first) it wasn't so easy for me to read, but now the style is as familiar to me as 21st Century. Same to with 18th - Clarissa was a struggle for the first few letters, but now I wonder what the problem was. I never overcame that with The Faerie Queene, and actually, Shakespeare to this day remains a bit of a mystery. Part of me is glad to have read all of Shakespeare so I don't have to again, but then I remember some plays and poems which I did really love, so one day I'll revisit it.
And aside from reading, I've been enjoying Tumblr once again. I've been using it differently, which I said in another post, and returning to exploring other people's pictures and getting inspiration from that. And the oddest thing happened last night: I put that picture of Alice in Wonderland up, which I found on weheartit, and it has an astonishing number of notes to it now! I really love that picture, and I thought others would, so I shared it, but I'm so surprised as to how many people liked or reblogged it. So, right now my other pictures are lost in the sea of notes on my dashboard. It's quite exciting - I've never had as many notes for a picture I've put up! Maybe one day a picture of my own will have as many notes...
So, that is pretty much my news of the weekend. Reading and photography - perfect. Now we're going shopping, and then this evening I plan on making a few lists of things I want to do for the spring clean. And, I forgot to say in my March post - I still have One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez to tackle for the Classics Spin. I'm starting to look forward to it a little, but I do want to finish my Ought to Have Read challenge before I begin.
Hope everyone has a lovely week :)
Hope everyone has a lovely week :)