Posts Tagged ‘geeking out’

LiteraryLadies #10: Emma Bovary

November 15, 2009

Emma Bovary is one of the most influential female characters in literature, behind Moll Flanders, Edna Pontellier & Anna Karenina . While I don’t love Emma, her pathetic attempts at a magical life make her tangibly pitiable; I end up rooting for her every time I read it. For a role like Emma Bovary, an actress with some flexibility is necessary, because the novel begins when she is a teenager and ends when she is about middle-aged. I thought Elizabeth Banks would be good for the role:
banks-1

I chose Banks for a few reasons– one, she’s beautiful, and I always imagined Emma’s beauty as too big for the tiny market town she resides in. Two, she has that classic, ageless loveliness that has the ability to look young and naive or mature and vampy with a change of neckline and some extra rouge. Third, her versatility as an actress is important for a role like Emma Bovary: she must simultaneously portray a woman who is utterly unhappy, swamped in guilt for that unhappiness, “ripe for seduction” (as her later lover called her), and flagrantly apathetic about the consequences her behavior has on anyone but herself.

Emma is a dreamer & a romantic, having read a great many novels during her time in the convent school. With more education than many women of her time, her proclivity to dissatisfaction is organic: she can see past the provincial delights of the stultifying market town in which she resides, past her bumbling husband’s mediocre attempts at love, and past the practically-written-in-stone mores of mid-19th century France. When even motherhood’s veiled secrets escape her, she is left listless and depressed, falling to affairs and insurmountable debts.

Emma Bovary

If Madame Bovary were set in today’s society, there would have to be some superficial changes to the plot. For example, I feel like Emma must be more of a “kept woman” than she is in the original story. In the novel Emma’s husband Charles Bovary has a second-rate medical license; since things are more regulated now, he could simply be a nurse, or a physician’s assistant– something that doesn’t require the same amount of school as an MD.

Their life together should be comfortable, but not luxurious. Modern-day Emma would constantly be looking at catalogues and browsing the internet for things lovelier and more decadent than they can afford. She is prim and childlike in the beginning of their marriage– and her daughter does nothing to alleviate the boredom and sadness that has seeped into her life– in fact, motherhood seems to make Emma’s dissatisfaction even greater. The novelty of having a child wears off quickly for her, and she begins to torture herself with the first of two ill-fated affairs.

The second affair, however, proves to be her undoing. Emma is enamored of and ensnared by the rakish Rodolphe Boulanger– in my version, he is a more successful version of Charles Bovary– perhaps a plastic surgeon or something equally superficial– and a womanizer, of course– a la Christian Troy in Nip/Tuck. When he abandons her on the eve of their elopement by leaving a cursory apology at the bottom of a basket of apricots, Emma falls apart. She is ill and unmanageable, even briefly turning to religion before discovering her true love: Shopping.

The collage above is meant to show Emma’s decadent tastes– while she is beautiful and loves luxurious things, I never pictured her to have a very sophisticated palate. Her clothes would be expensive but over-the-top, her closet overflowing with things your mother might have worn clubbing in 1987. The debts pile up quickly, and before she knows what has happened to her, she is begging money off of the men she’s used and who have used her, including Rodolphe. Without a penny and with no man to save her, Emma attempts to take her own life with arsenic, but ends up dying slowly, painfully, and without the dignity of anyone thinking it was an accident. A fitting– if messy– end for a woman whose disregard for those around her brings down her entire family.

Wherein I admit that I like seeing my stats be higher than normal

November 9, 2009

senseandsensibility via flickr

I am a competitive person. So competitive, in fact, that if I’m not sure I’ll win, I often won’t even play. That’s also called “Being a Giant Brat”, but that’s a post for another time. I’ve noticed that the posts that get the most hits–either search engine hits or pageviews–are my Literary Ladies posts. Those also happen to be the least frequently posted of all my rambling. (You can see some old Literary Ladies posts here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. The very very first is here.)

But, back to my brattiness competitive edge: because I like reading my stats, and because they are fun to write, I am going to make the LLs a bigger part of the writing I do for this website. I’ve learned that the only way to do something right it to do it better, more frequently, and geekier than the rest. Geekier I can certainly manage, no question.

Now, it’s your turn: Who do you want to see here? Which actresses are you interested in seeing reprise your favorite leading role? Check out the last poll for some inspiration, and please leave a comment if you have any ideas.
That said, I’m glad to be back to blogging with a bit more regularity! I know it’s not perfect, but things are slowly improving on the stress front, for various reasons.

What’s making Monday less manic for you, today?

The Wedding Post (Finally!)

October 28, 2009

Saturday, September 12th was not a sunny day. Nay, it was, in fact, pouring.

Even though the weather didn’t cooperate, everything came off beautifully & we couldn’t have asked for a more lovely day.  Our wedding was small, with only 60 guests, the great majority of whom were family. Adam and I had decided when we first got engaged that we wanted a small reception & family-only bridal party, to rely on local vendors & talented acquaintances and family for the wedding must-haves, and to be as eco-conscious as we could. It was a lot to consider, but all in all, we met our goals and then some.

Awhile back, I posted some of the decorations we wanted to make for the reception. Yes, I said make, and although many members of my family thought I was nuts (a new job, and a HANDMADE wedding? Oookay, Catherine) everyone was super-supportive and helpful. My mom is awesome, but she’s not in the least crafty– one of my favorite things about my handmade wedding was getting to share my love of making things with my mom. Even if she’s not a crafter, she’s always encouraged me to do my own thing– and she’s worn every puffy-paint t-shirt and ziti necklace I’ve ever made her like it was Chanel and Tiffany. (Love you, Mama!) Anyyyway, here are the results:

Our take on the fresh flower & bird garland, via OnceWed.

Antique books as centerpieces, again from OnceWed.

Terrarium party favors, from Design*Sponge. We loved the idea of giving a growing favor at our wedding.

And, of course, obligatory glamourshots, because this was honestly and truly the best day of our lives.

let's hear it for the boys! (L-R: Matt, Zach, Adam, Sean, Sam)

My best girl (& our Justice for the Day) Meggie & me

bird's nest cupcakes

our rings

our beautiful handmade arch (which is now going to be the entrance to our garden)

Flowers! My favorite part.

When the photographer is a friend, you end up with the best & most personal pictures imaginable. Thank you, Steph!

Now, go on over to Steph’s website and book her for your wedding, too!

No promises, but… I’m back.

October 25, 2009

I need to make time for this blog, because I enjoy it & also because I need an outlet for my geekery. The thing is, my new job is a lot of work. A lot. Like, I’ve never worked this much in my life a lot. And that’s good in many ways, we all love a good challenge. But it also means I’ve got to do some major restructuring of my time, which is proving difficult. We shall see. For now, I’ll let it lie, and try to take advantage of the changes in the most positive way I can.

The day has come

September 12, 2009
photo by stephanie stevens

photo by stephanie stevens

Adam and I are getting married today.  Not really feeling sleep coming on anytime soon, so I thought I’d update for the first time in forever. Hi. I’m getting married in a few hours. :)