We made it; it's time. Today marks the first post in our wonderful Alice's Bleak House Readalong. We're doing away with introductions (by this time I know you guys like the back of my ha-OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT) and discussing chapters 1 through 11. So, to that end,
|*jumps through your window*|
would you like to talk about Bleak House? I've only read through the end of chapter 6 (HAHA THIS IS GOING SO WELL), but I hope to distract you with GIFs and quips like ... nope, I just looked through my notes and there's no quippy material there. It'll have to be the GIFs, then.
|Who's worried? I'm not worried.|
I bought the Penguin Classics clothbound edition,
and I was a bit daunted at the beginning, because there were thirteen endnotes on the first page of the first chapter. That is too many. We're just talking about fog. I am concerned. But I'm finding myself mainly ignoring these unless I'm actually confused about something. Plenty of helpful notes on Chancery, for example.
But the story. We hear about the fog; we read what's got to be one of the first instances of the phrase "blew his brains out" (pg 16 in my edition); Mr. Sladdery the librarian waxes Gilbert and Sullivanesque, repeating "of my high connexion, sir," with all the grace of a modern major general (pg 25); and finally we come to Esther's narrative.
Oh, Esther. You with your Jane Eyre backstory and your complete lack of guts. I am not particularly fond, you guys. Ada's a bit nothing, too. The Jellyby ladies, at least, have personalities — Mrs. with her passion for Africa and disinterest in family, Miss with her unparalleled expression of teenage angst ("I wish Africa was dead").
|I have an urge to pat her on the head.|
It's taking me a bit to get into the story. I mean, when we get to Bleak House, Dickens walks us through what feels like every room of the house, describing every piece of furniture in every room. I mean, I just. It's getting better, though. We're getting to the characters now. For example John Jarndyce and his blame-taking east wind (anyone else go immediately to "His Last Vow" [Sherlock season finale] with that one? Cry a little, maybe? Search for a GIF of John saying "There's an east wind coming" for half an hour and break your heart all over again?
So, higher hopes for next week, in which I will catch up with you guys if it's the last thing I do. I am SO HAPPY to be reading along with you lovely internet dwellers again. Thanks for bringing us together, Alice.