Thursday, January 28, 2010

Joaquin Murieta

I think I'm going to take a little different approach to this post and talk about the author....I had never heard of Joaquin Murieta and what his story is, nor did I know who John Rollin Ridge was. I have a horrible habit of Google(ing) things as soon as I don't know something or feel uncertain. This was no different, I googled Ridge and found out that he was American Cherokee and how his family signed their tribes removal from Georgia, this immediately raised some questions for me. Why would he want to write about Joaquin Murieta? It seems that he ended up in California for the gold rush and heard stories about Joaquin Murieta, the details after the basic facts seem to get sketchy and it starts to get hard to separate the myth of Murieta and real life. Maybe this is why Ridge decided to write about an out law, to clear the air and set the record straight or maybe the renegade lifestyle appealed to Ridge and gave him some sort of creative muse.
Either way this story seems to be really interesting. I read somewhere that Joaquin Murieta was the Mexican or Chilean version of Robin Hood. I guess you could say that, maybe after I read on I will feel differently about the book and the character.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Blithedale Romance

I’m not the biggest fan of romance novels and I’m not very well versed in the likes of Hawthorne. With that said I was rather disappointed by this novel and found it very hard to get engaged in the text. But, as I read on and made progress through the long winded descriptions I noticed and undeniable tension that persists through all of the characters. Tensions between Coverdale, Hollingsworth, Zenobia and Priscilla that at first glance are seemingly healthy and a natural progression through development of each character but as we move on the tensions grow into something more, something more complex than emotional strain between all of the moving parts of this book. Coverdale is the problem with the entire book, we only see things the way he wants us to see them. We are only allowed to see what Coverdale thinks is of importance and because of this our view of each character is affected. I have a problem with this because it limits our ability to look at the texts objectively. By only seeing the characters through the eyes of Coverdale and his very unique look not only on the world but his place in it, the book starts to become this twisted tale of one’s personal life view. By essentially taking everyone’s problems and making them of his concern he starts to see people as objects that fit into his life. Hawthorne uses a very interesting ploy to allow Coverdale to act this way by claiming that he is an artist. But an artist only has so much room to say the things they want to say and play them off as art or say some cliché like art imitates life. Coverdale is a sad soul whom Hawthorne wants us to pity, which we do to some extent.