January 7th, 2012

fiction: two girls reading

Little Women aka What the hell are they doing now

For Yuletide, my friend Snacky wrote Little Women: IN SPAAAACE (that's what I like to call it, but it was actually a serious fic and it was quite nice! I heartily recommend it) and to help her, I started rereading Little Women which I haven't done since I was a tiny hamster determined to read the biggest book in the kid's section.

I didn't finish it in time, but I did render aid in the form of 'have you considered separating scenes?' so I count that as a plus.

Right now I'm about halfway in of book one and I love it. I love the Marchs. I love the shit they get up to and how weird they are and Beth breaks my heart.

I described their main problems like this on the twitter: Meg is envious, Jo isn't being allowed to live as a man, Beth has social anxiety, and Amy is twelve.

This is my favourite scene so far, where the March sisters are putting on a play for their friends. Roderigo is Jo, Zara is Amy, and Don Pedro is Meg:
A good deal of hammering went on before the curtain rose again, but when it became evident what a masterpiece of stage carpentering had been got up, no one murmured at the delay. It was truly superb! A tower rose to the ceiling; halfway up appeared a window with a lamp burning at it, and behind the white curtain appeared Zara in a lovely blue and silver dress, waiting for Roderigo. He came in gorgeous array, with plumed cap, red cloak, chestnut lovelocks, a guitar, and the boots, of course. Kneeling at the foot of the tower, he sang a serenade in melting tones. Zara replied and, after a musical dialogue, consented to fly. Then came the grand effect of the play. Roderigo produced a rope ladder, with five steps to it, threw up one end, and invited Zara to descend. Timidly she crept from her lattice, put her hand on Roderigo's shoulder, and was about to leap gracefully down when "Alas! alas for Zara!" she forgot her train—it caught in the window, the tower tottered, leaned forward, fell with a crash, and buried the unhappy lovers in the ruins!

A universal shriek arose as the russet boots waved wildly from the wreck and a golden head emerged, exclaiming, "I told you so! I told you so!" With wonderful presence of mind, Don Pedro, the cruel sire, rushed in, dragged out his daughter, with a hasty aside—

"Don't laugh! Act as if it was all right!"—and, ordering Roderigo up, banished him from the kingdom with wrath and scorn. Though decidedly shaken by the fall of the tower upon him, Roderigo defied the old gentleman and refused to stir.

The copy I have is heavily footnoted, but I haven't been checking them out much except when something seems intriguing with a note attached. David Attenborough voice for footnotes: and this is where the author reveals she hates the Irish. Okay, they didn't say that exactly but that is what they do say. Apparently Louisa May Alcott loved everyone but the Irish, which is shown once in the story via Amy declaring that the Irish kids are her nemesis.