Friday, May 31, 2013

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver

I finally finished it!--By way of the audiobook, actually, which was narrated by Kingsolver herself, which was kind of fun. 

This book wasn't much like I was expecting. From the jacket description, it would be the narrative of a family used to the average consumer life of city folk who decide to leave it all behind and try their hand at growing most of their food and eating local. I expected many dreadful and hilarious mishaps along the way, a lot of humble research, and a "you can do it, too," attitude. 

Well, there was sort of a "you can do it too" attitude, but other than that, it was very different from that. Actually, Kingsolver and her family had had the ol' family farm (aka summer home) for several years before deciding to live on it exclusively and rely on it for food. They knew what they were doing when it came to farming. And even when they lived in Arizona, they were more "enlightened" about food than the average folk. 

From the very beginning, Kingsolver made it very clear that city slickers=dumb, country folk=smart. I resented that throughout the entire book. Kingsolver was constantly lamenting that "America doesn't know this! America doesn't know that!" Good thing she's around to teach us stupid urban dwellers that spending every meal eating TV dinners in front of the ol' set is unhealthy. Otherwise, we would just eat up everything the market tells us! (Uh....corn syrup has corn in it, so it's healthy, right?) 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Bartleby, the Scrivener" by Herman Melville

So...hi, everyone.

Can I just say that it's hard to write about literature that I've viewed strictly academically? (Unless I'm writing about it academically, that is.) After analyzing a poem or a story, it's hard to see it in a personal light anymore.

But, as I'm getting into the more and more modern part of American literary history in my class, I've been finding it easier and easier to make a strong personal connection to the story.

Here's something I actually wrote about a week ago about Herman Melville's short story (which, by the way, is not actually that short), "Bartleby, the Scrivener":