Greetings and salutations, dear All!
I have not vanished from this platform. Quite the opposite: I plan on contributing to this site regularly.
However, I am currently also pursuing a Doctor’s in Philosophy/Literary Studies and writing a circa 200-page thesis on the topic of Melancholy in the 20th century with a specification regarding modern German novels. The thesis is in German.
Furthermore, I write a literature blog on a weekly basis with book reviews on each Wednesday, essays on the topic spectre of literature and reading and a monthly movie review. The blog is in Estonian.
I would rather not venture to say Estonian to be my first language as I was brought up trilingually, or rather even, multilingually. Thus, I aspire to regularly practice all of the abovementioned plus a few more languages on at least a weekly basis.
So, content and essays on a more regular basis are sure to come.
How to prioritize the multilingual and the multimedial publishing machine, however?
Well, at the moment I do absolutely have to work with the utmost speed towards the Thesis-completion part of the portion, as it has a deadline coming up. A deadline I set myself, to finally be finished with the process. Nevertheless, the last years of my life have been a rather messy affair a la Sarah-Andersen-Time-Management:
Teaching at my university, conducting an international seminar, writing an (unfortunately non-published) article on the topic my Masters’ Thesis, moving to another city and another workplace (and a few smaller ventures) aren’t unimportant at all, but on the whole just too time-consuming.
So I’ve been slowly chipping away all else until the blog, the actually-paying-work, the relationship and a fragment of social life remain. Which brings me to a very good progress in the last weeks – but writing in the same language on the same topic just doesn’t satisfy me in the long run. So we meet again, english-speaking Internet!
So, I read and write a lot for business and pleasure purposes all the same. I’ve always loved reading and writing and languages, so this is where I thrive and what I take joy in.
My current love-hate relationship is with Philip Roth: I like him, I dislike him, I admire him, he’s thorough, he’s irritating, he makes me feel some type of way – but disregarding my current opinion, I can’t keep off his books for some or several reasons.
I read “American Pastoral” and loved how it absolutely demands your attention and hated how in the movie they dilettantishly misplaced the key points. I enjoyed the thorough descriptions of an economical niche in the 60s and 70s and the political changes and how very significant visuals can politically affect a very small person. I wasn’t particularly interested in the formal approach of a frame narrative or of all of the characters of this novel. But, in any case, I was impressed and decided to read on.
Subsequently I read “When She Was Good” which took me in until the very end which at first completely irritated me but as I kept thinking about a woman going mad about the fact that she is actually trying to be decent in her own mind and live in a world where nobody actually is or wants to be, which drives her mad and leads her to harm her own family – well the idea is so very real and not spoken of, I concluded the novel to be an absolute necessity.
Women find their archetypical weaknesses in Roths literature, and even if they don’t identify with those characters, they find their mother and their grandmother and the unhappy element of those childhoods which impacted their own which, if they are modern females, they know to have been opressing in so many ways back in the day – but they either think less of their mothers for wanting them, the daughter, to continue the conventional path, or they are lead to pity the older generation.
Either way it’s not even overly dramatic but very real and very ugly, making it very interesting, but also very hard to read.
Maybe I can just understand his logic: “Nothing bad can happen to a writer. Everything is material.”
These are my thoughts for now – if you are interested this topic, leave me a ‘like’ and I will continue this train of thought by uploading an essay on “Portnoy’s Complaint” in the near future.
If you’ve read up to here, be a doll and share your thoughts, too, I’d love to know! Did you have a bi- or multilingual upbringing? Which aspects did you find rewarding and/or challenging in that regard? Do you think it is smart to teach your children languages from an early age?
Do you like Philip Roth’s writing? Do you feel women specifically should read it? Or do you dislike him? I’d love to know your opinion.