Saturday, May 28, 2016

Literary History of "Charlotte Sometimes" by The Cure

The Cure is currently touring the United States to wide acclaim given their amazing back catalogue of fantastic music. What's more, each concert has had a different playlist with some reaching five encores of artistic glory.

One classic Cure song that has been played at every concert so far is "Charlotte Sometimes," which Robert Smith wrote about the English time travel story. The video by The Cure is great, too.

Below is a repost of my blog and my impressions after reading the novel. Enjoy and go see The Cure if you are able!

I’ve recently read “Charlotte Sometimes” if for no other reason than to compare The Cure lyrics of their classic song Charlotte Sometimes to parts of the children’s fantasy. This is what I learned and it’s very interesting. ***Spoiler Alter***

All the faces, All the voices blur
Change to one face, Change to one voice

First sentence: By bedtime all the faces, the voices, had blurred for Charlotte to one face, one voice.

Prepare yourself for bed

Second sentence: She prepared herself for bed . . . .

The light seems bright, And glares on white walls

Book 2nd paragraph, 6th sentence: The light seemed to bright for them, glaring on white walls . . . .

All the sounds of

Book 4th paragraph, 4th sentence: All the sounds about her . . . .

Charlotte sometimes
Into the night with
Charlotte sometimes

Book 5th paragraph, 1st sentence: She must have slept at last . . . .

Night after night she lay alone in bed
Her eyes so open to the dark

Part II, chapter 4, 1st sentence:  Night after night, Charlotte lay in bed with her eyes open to the dark . . . .

The streets all looked so strange
They seemed so far away
But Charlotte did not cry

Part II, chapter 4, paragraph 15, 1st sentence: The streets looked strange . . . .

The people seemed so close
Playing expressionless games

Part II, chapter 2, paragraph 24, 3rd sentence: Charlotte, on the other hand, became absorbed, concentrating wholly on her fingers’ easing . . . .

The people seemed so close
So many other names

Part II, chapter 2, paragraph 37: “Good night, Mr. Chisel Brown,” she said with almost a curtsy. “Good night, Mrs. Chisel Brown. Good night, Miss Agnes Chisel Brown. Good night, cat. Good night, dog . . ..”

When all the other people dance - Reference to school dance

Expressionless the trance - Reference to séance

So many different names - Reference to names of Brown family

The sounds all stay the same - Reference to airplane sounds overhead

On a different world - Past that Charlotte travels to

On that bleak track
(See the sun is gone again)
The tears were pouring down her face
She was crying and crying for a girl
Who died so many years before

 Part III, chapter 2, paragraph 53, 1st sentence: On that bleak track, the sun almost gone again, tears were pouring down her face. She was crying and crying for a girl for a girl who had died more than 40 years before.

Charlotte sometimes crying for herself

Part III, chapter 7, paragraph 13, last sentence: She began crying bitterly, could not stop . . . .

Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself

Part III, chapter 7, paragraph 10, 1st sentence: She dreamed she stood below the picture, The Mark of the Beast, and there were soldiers all around her in red uniforms, stiff as toys but tall as men. There were dolls, too, like Miss Agnes’s doll, as tall as the soldiers . . .

Glass sealed and pretty

Part III, chapter 7, paragraph 15, 4th sentence: And when she looked at the wall at the picture glass, it looked quite empty, as if a mirror hung there, not a picture at all.

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Madame Bovary - A Review

I must admit I didn't feel so manly toting around my dog-eared copy of Madame Bovary the past six weeks. I was stared at on planes and subways. I live in a household with three females and was mockingly regaled by each.

I told them all the explosions and spy intrigue in the book was keeping me riveted to the pages. They knew this was a falsehood since I struggled through the novel and hate books/movies with high explosions to plot ratios.

But I needed to read this novel for no other reason that it has become a classic. It set France aflame nearly 200 years ago and caused poor Gustave Flaubert, the author, to suffer through an immorality trial. He was acquitted, and rightly so. A novel where no body parts are described, where no sex scenes are described, immoral? A criminal trial launched against a French author for publishing a book set in France, immoral? A novel with only one or two common swearwords, immoral? Pshaw!

Today, it is required reading in many high schools. It just shows how much literature has degraded over the centuries. Not to call 50 Shades a Gray literature, but it makes one wonder the beheading that would have befallen (every pun intended) the modern author if she published it in Flaubert's day. Off with her head!

Emma. Emma. Emma. Is the bored housewife of a country doctor. Her choices used to make her more exciting don't turn out well for her. Poor Emma. She gathers little sympathy from readers, though. And Flaubert's greatest crime in publishing the novel is he expressed the hidden desires of bored housewives everywhere on the page.

In Madame Bovary he pushed the envelope of literature and should forever be rewarded. The novel seems rambling at times--almost restless--and I believe Flaubert wrote it this way to reflect the restlessness of Emma. Apart from Flaubert being terrible at setting in the novel, this was a groundbreaking novel in every respect.

Henry James once said, "Madame Bovary has a perfection that not only stamps it, but that makes it stand almost alone; it holds itself with such a supreme unapproachable assurance as both excites and defies judgment."

It's worth a read even if romance is not your preferred genre.

#MadameBovary #MadameBovaryReview