Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bah! Humbug!

I am convinced that if Charles Dickens were alive in this era of crass commercialism, he and Ebeneezer Scrooge would be cursing Valentine's Day along with me.

Seriously. The whole thing is enough to make a girl sick--if she weren't already home sick today, that is.

So instead of attending classes or going on dates, how am I keeping the day? By finishing the abominable Under the Tuscan Sun, which I have to read for the class I T.A., and by making a dent in Kate Chopin's The Awakening. Of course, I plan on watching one of either Moonstruck or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, two of my favourite movies, later on tonight--just which one I choose depends entirely upon my level of cynicism at the end of the day (though, since today I'm cloistered away from much of the Valentine's crapola, I figure my cynicism might be fairly low tonight, and that I'll find myself watching Moonstruck.) But the bulk of today will be spent reading books and just trying to feel better.

Apparently, I'm not the only singleton turning to the books today (link via Bookslut.) Has Valentine's Day always been so connected with books with me noticing it only now, or is it just Valentine's Day this year? I mean, I know books can console a lonely heart. But maybe the book-romance connection (and I'm not talking about romance novels here) isn't so tenuous as that?

The things one chooses to read speak volumes (ha, ha--an unintended pun!) about one's personality. So what if we were to start evaluating partners/would-be partners on their reading materials? Doppelganger over at 50 Books has got me thinking, "What are the literary signs of a dead-end relationship?"

For me, it's finding out that he:

- has a subscription to/buys The National Post;

- has read anything by Ann Coulter;

- loves Frank Miller's Sin City. I have nothing against graphic novels or comics. Just Sin City and the way it portrays women. (Incidentally, citing the film version of Sin City as a favourite movie would also make me reconsider a relationship with a guy);

- enjoyed The Da Vinci Code. Just reading it--out of morbid curiosity, for example--isn't bad. Reading it and citing it as a good and/or favourite book is terrible;

- writes-off Margaret Atwood solely because of "the feminism thing." Disliking her is fine; disliking her for that alone is not; and

- is over-enthusiastic at the mention of The Beats, or looks for ways to work William S. Burroughs into everyday conversation. Admittedly, this one is included on this list more because of my experience with a Burroughs fan than any problem with Burroughs'/Beat writing itself.

But the ultimate literary portent that a guy is a bad match for me? Not reading at all. I can even overlook an appreciation of Mitch Albom's books. But refusing to read at all--and being proud of it--is unforgivable.

No wonder I'm single (link via 50 Books.)


Anonymous said...

Weird, I was catching up with your blog when this entry popped up.

May I veto the Ann Coulter thing? I think she's worth reading simply because we need to know our enemies. May I suggest replacing it with "thinking Ann Coulter is intelligent? or worse, sexy?"

Totally agree on the National Post. I think it's worth reading online for the same reason that I think Ann Coulter's worth reading. But giving them money? No frickin way. Buying the National Post is up there with thinking that Dave Matthews is the best guitarist ever or wearing a baseball cap when not in a baseball match.

XO, Oceandessa

Natalie said...

You are, of course, free to disagree, but not veto. Ann's books stay on the list (I mean, it's only a list of my own preferences; it's not meant to be prescriptive.)

I agree that you need to know your enemies, but Coulter's not so much an enemy as an attention-seeking ignoramus (clip via "the fifth estate".) Buying her books only gives her attention, and attention only encourages her/gives credence to her hairbrained ideas. And I wouldn't want any potential boyfriend/lover of mine to encourage Ann Coulter.


P.S. When's the next time you're in town?

Natalie said...

Now that I think of it, I think that putting Coulter's books on this list already may be giving them more credence/attention than they're worth.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that she has some kind of credence with the extreme right. Luckily, with all of the recent plagirism allegations and what not I think her star will fade. That's what happens when "intellectuals" and "pundits" become celebrities. There are no second chapters for celebrities.

I don't know when I am going to be in town next but it's going to be March-ish, I hope (and I sure hope this nasty weather you're having starts behaving itself soon). Of course I will let you know. There will be many lattes and academia-related bitchings.

Oh, I picked up a book that was mentioned in the Guardian blog (The Food of Love by Anthony Capella). It's cute, and the discriptions of the food are mouth-watering! I fear that it will become insipid in no time, and there are more than one "OH THOSE WACKY SEXY ITALIANS" moment, but I am hoping that the food will carry me through.


Natalie said...

This is the first I've heard of the Capella book. Please let me know what you think of it once you finish.