Word from the wise: when you move out of home, try and not live with a stranger because that gets pretty awkward and annoying.
You know what I’m grateful for? That they never made movie covers for the Harry Potter books. Can we all just take a moment to appreciate that?
The “Queen of the Cakewalk”, Aida Overton Walker addressed Black writers/critics’ disregard for and criticism of the acting profession in a December issue of The Freeman. After first addressing the main topic at hand, she proceeded to suggest proactive steps that could prepare up-and-coming black performers for the stage. Below is an excerpt from her article:
"I have stated that we ought to strive to produce great actors and actresses; by this I do not mean that all our men and women who possess talent for the stage should commence the study of Shakespeare’s works. Already, too many of our people wish to master Shakespeare, which is really a ridiculous notion. There are characteristics and natural tendencies in our own people which make as beautiful studies for the stage as any to be found in the make-up of any other race, and perhaps far more. By carefully studying our own graces, we learn to appreciate the noble and the beautiful in ourselves, just as other people have discovered the graces and beauty in themselves from studying and acting that which is noble in them. Unless we learn the lesson of self-appreciating and practice it, we shall spend our lives imitating other people and depreciating ourselves. There is nothing equal to originality, and I think much time is lost in trying to do something that has been done and "overdone," much better than you will be able to do it."
The Freeman (Dec. 28, 1912) - Link
“Perfect, he, as a lover, might have called them off-hand. But no — they were not perfect. And it was the touch of the imperfect upon the would-be perfect that gave the sweetness, because it was that which gave the humanity.”— Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles
"At times her whimsical fancy would intensify natural processes around her till they seemed a part of her own story. Rather they became a part of it; for the world is only a psychological phenomenon, and what they seemed, they were."
"Beauty lay not in the thing, but in what the thing symbolized."
"Persons with any weight of character carry, like planets, their atmospheres along with them in their orbits"
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.
Book Review by the-library-and-step-on-it.
When I first read Tess of the D’Urbervilles, I was nineteen years old and staying at my parents’ house. Every fifty pages or so, I would let out a sound of frustration, slam the book shut, and fume silently with my arms crossed for a few minutes before sighing and picking it up again. Tess made me angry. Six years and a whole lot of feminist criticism later, this book makes me furious.
In a good way.
Thomas Hardy had a habit of writing controversial novels that were difficult to get published; his work was considered obscene and publishers did not appreciate the way he questioned the morals established by Victorian society. In Tess of the D’Urbervilles, he took the familiar trope of the fallen woman and turned it on its head, not only showing the utmost sympathy for his main character, but also defiantly giving his novel the subtitle “A Pure Woman.” His book was one of the first books, if not the first, to call society out on its hypocrisy towards female sexuality and the matter of rape.
Tess of the D’Urbervilles is an incredibly important book and is more relevant than ever in the ongoing rape culture debate. Tess is told that she asked for it, that she dresses provocatively, that she seduces people simply by looking at them. When I posted a particularly horrible quote spoken by Alec D’Urberville on this very blog, zlot reblogged it and wrote in the tags: “things don’t change much do they.” Hardy put Tess through all this misery to make a point about how the Victorian conservative attitude towards female sexuality was incredibly harmful towards women, but it is eerie to see how we can still see similar struggles today. It’s difficult to read about Alec’s aggressive advances without remembering the recent Blurred Lines debacle. Hey hey hey.
This book is at times almost unbearably painful to read and will leave you sad, frustrated, and angry.
"Fun" fact: in Fifty Shades of Grey, Ana Steele is sent a 1891 edition of Tess by Christian before she signs her contract with him. The gift comes with notes that quote two of Hardy’s lines: “Why didn’t you tell me there was danger? Why didn’t you warn me?” and “Ladies know what to guard against because they read novels that tell them of these tricks.” These are the words that Tess cries out to her mother after she’s been raped. I would like you to think about that for a second and really let it sink in. Yeah.
Find more reviews here.