Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Professor & Others

I was late reading Charlotte Bronte's The Professor.

Somehow, I got the impression that this book would be dry and dull and depressing and difficult and ultimately unsatisfying, in comparison to her other works. I should have known it would not be so.

True, it does not have so much magic as Jane Eyre; nor quite the poignancy of Villette, but it was an intriguing read. I did not find it so different from Charlotte's other works as critics led me to believe, though it does have obvious differences. I found in it a sense of inspiration. Our narrator, William Crimsworth, is called the "self-made man;" in his actions is the assurance that we have power over our own selves and hence over our destinies. Seeing him struggle and feel hopeless at times, but still come through was very encouraging for me.

Aside from this, The Professor is a must simply for being a Charlotte Bronte lover. We all know about the time she spent in Belgium and the, er, attachment she formed for a certain married colleague and how this school helped form the French one in Villette. But in The Professor, you're right there in Belgium. The setting is so tangible, the themes a part of an entire tapestry of CB novels. Amazing to look at.

On the other side, I have been enjoying Netflix and other Internet videos a bit too much. Here are some things I've seen lately:

1) Little Men the TV series, with two seasons. Very bizarre at first. The professor is dead; Jo is a widow trying to keep up their dream by running the school alone. And of course, a certain man comes along in the first episode and becomes the new caretaker on the grounds; let the hints at a relationship begin. Very unlike the book at first. I thought I wouldn't be able to watch the whole pilot, but two episodes in, I found myself enjoying some pure, sticky drama. Dan, Nan, and Nat are all great, though I did sorely miss Daisy. I hate to think of Nat being alone without her . . . I have no idea why she and Demi were kept back at toddler-age. There are other strange things (like Franz being the teacher until he runs off to Arizona to follow his girl), but once you get past them, it's an alright show. I moved through all 26 episodes very quickly.

2) The original Star Trek series. I'm on Season 2, and enjoying it much more than I would have imagined. The potential sci-fi gives for exploration not just of the galaxy, but of human nature can really be engrossing. Not to mention all the seasoning of humor.

3) Twilight in Forks; the documentary about the impact the Twilight Saga has had on the actual town of Forks, Washington. It wasn't too big of a deal; don't bend head over heels to get the chance to watch it. I was glad to see it and I'm sure it will mean even more a few years from now, but the things I got most excited over were seeing Kaleb Nation and The Hillywood Show pop up in it.

4) Back to the Future. I'm not getting the third movie until tomorrow, but I've been enjoying these so much. My memories of them were vague; now I got to return to them with a fresh perspective. "Fresh." That's an apt word to describe the movies, too. There is attention to detail and awareness of how movies and the mind work.

5) A collaboration between The Hillywood Show and Evil Iguana Productions. I don't watch the latter, only the former, but I laughed to tears over this video. Best if you know Twilight and Hillywood, hilariously and uniquely put together.

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