My hands are war-torn with eczema right now, which means that I’m not using them a whole lot. This is why I haven’t posted lately – I dont have much that’s new. Mostly I’ve just been reading (and studying Italian) in my free time. Conveniently, these things require an absolute minimum of hand movement.

My friend Rachel asked me to participate in a project she is working on. Rachel is one of the most interesting and inspired people I know, so I am excited to see where this goes. This project, which will be a film at some point, is still in the beginning stages right now, but it has to do with the evolution of inspiration and creativity. Check out her blog to see some cool stuff.

As for reading, I finished Their Eyes Were Watching God and I’m on to I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, both of which I mentioned in my last post. I think I love Their Eyes Were Watching God. I’m going to check out some of Zora Neale Hurston’s other books the next time I go to the library. I mentioned before that I was having some trouble with the thick dialect that the dialogue was written in… After a little while, it wasn’t a problem at all and I even found myself thinking in dialect a couple times. (This has happened before with other books.) I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is an interesting literary pairing to TEWWG, so far. Despite certain similarities (female protagonists in the rural South whose lives, at least for a time, center around their all-black towns’ general stores, owned by the people who take care of them) they are very distinct from one another. For one thing IKWTCBS is a memoir. It also deals a lot more with racial oppression/ tension. At one point, Marguerite’s (Maya Angelou’s) grandmother and pillar of strength, is being taunted by a few young powhitetrash girls. As the reader, you feel humiliated by her inability to speak out against cruel children (because it would be too dangerous in this place in the segregated South), but at the same time so proud of how tall she stands in the face of adversity. Angelou does a beautiful job of communicating those complicated feelings. At this stage in the book (about half way through) I am seeing the duality of pride and shame as the common thread in her story.

Conversely, TEWWG was mainly a personal-growth-through-love story. Where race is discussed it is mostly in the context of in-fighting among blacks over more or less Negroid features and what that means to social status and/or trustworthiness. The only interactions that the characters have with white people serve as a general reminder about why they shouldn’t be trusted. The love story is such a timeless tale of grand-amour. It makes me swoon.

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