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Showing posts from May, 2020

"Bright Star" - John Keats's quarantine poem

Where I live in Oregon we’re going on 10 weeks of “shelter-in-place,” an order from the governor that feels very much like quarantine. Movie theatres, dine-in restaurants, hair salons, shopping malls, parks, playgrounds – all are currently closed in an effort to stop the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus.
Like many of my friends, family, and neighbors, I‘ve been experiencing a range of emotions as the weeks drag on. At times I’ve felt anxious, depressed, confined, and even angry. That's to be expected, or so we're told. But what I didn’t expect was to feel a surge of creativity. 
Since lockdown I’ve worked on revising a novel, started another blog, planted flowers, tried new recipes, spackled and painted dings in our walls (that I’ve been meaning to get to for years), de-cluttered closets and crocheted a blanket, a wall hanging and an amigurumi cat.
Who knew that staying home could be so productive? Just about everybody, I guess. It should be no surprise that if you can…

Emma.

Last March, just before COVID-19 caused most of the world to go into lockdown, I actually went to a movie theater. That’s how I got to see Emma. in all its glory on the big screen, just like God and Hollywood intended.
And what a treat it is! Emma. is a confection of a movie, whipped up in pretty candy color hues of yellow, blue, and pink. This visual sweetness is offset by Jane Austen’s tart observations. The story is further embellished with lush scenery, beautiful costumes (I don’t think Emma wears the same gown twice), and a soundtrack featuring Mozart and Haydn as well as traditional English melodies.
Emma was the fourth novel Jane published, and by 1815 when the book came out she was a successful author writing under her own name. Her fame was such that even the Prince Regent was an admirer. Through an intermediary, he invited her to dedicate Emma to him.
That request must have bemused Jane. She was no fan of Prinny; she sided with his estranged wife Caroline of Brunswick. Writin…