The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe

Hey everyone. If you didn’t already know The Raven is a poem.  I personally didn’t particularly like this poem. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t like it mainly because I’d heard so many good things about Poe and his work. I think the only reason I disliked it so much is because it reminded me too much of that Hitchcock film Birds and the fact that the Raven keeps repeating the word, “Nevermore.” To be honest I found that quite creepy.

If you like creepy poems about birds then this one is for you. If you like other works by Poe then you might like that television series called The Following which was about a serial killer who becomes a leader of a cult obsessed with Poe and his works.

Feel free to recommend me work by Poe that I might find interesting,

S.

Works mentioned:

Hitchcock, A. (1963) Birds.

Poe, E. A. (2005) The Raven in Ferguson, M., Salter, M.J., Stallworthy, J. (5th edn). The Norton Anthology of Poetry. New York: W.W Norton & Company. Pp.977-980.

Williamson, K. (2013-2015) The Following. Fox Broadcasting. (In the UK was broadcasted on Sky).

 

 

Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway.

This was fourth on my reading list. Now after reading Katherine Mansfield’s Prelude I thought a good follow up read would be Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf even though I’ve read Mrs Dalloway before.  For some reason I hadn’t finished it so for this reason it’s on my reading list.

Virginia Woolf talks about mental health issues and the treatments of PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder). The character Septimus, a former solider experiences hallucinations , paranoia and deals with thoughts about suicide. He blurs reality with the surreal and often has and talks about his incoherent thoughts.  [SPOILER], Septimus kills himself.  I felt this could have been prevented. I felt really bad for his wife but I think Woolf’s intention may have been to highlight the lack of support for those suffering with PTSD, in particular soldiers and the impact it has on their loved ones.  I was upset by Septimus’s suicide even though I knew it was coming. What Woolf reveals by doing this is how mental health conditions were seen and dealt with in that time. It  allows us as readers to think about the importance of having services and support available to those who are experiencing mental illnesses and raising awareness about these conditions. After all a healthy mind allows for a much healthier life.

I like this book but one of the things I actually disliked was Clarissa Dalloway.  A shallow woman to say the least. Her cold indifference to her daughter and the fact that she conveys very little maternal love for her irritated me. The love triangle between Clarissa, Peter and Richard is also quite interesting but to a certain point I felt like yelling with frustration. The characters are too nostalgic about their pasts. I felt as though they were romanticising about the past instead of focusing on the present and the future. Maybe this was Woolf’s intention?  I liked the contrast between Sally Seton’s personality and Clarissa Dalloway’s. I also liked  Miss Kilman, I found her attitude towards Clarissa quite funny.

Overall I did enjoy this book.

Text mentioned:

Woolf, V. (1996). Mrs Dalloway. London: Wordsworth Editions Limited.

Useful links:

For further information about mental health please visit  http://www.mind.org.uk/

Katherine Mansfield, Prelude

Katherine Mansfield’s story ‘Prelude’ is seventh on my reading list but I decided to read it first because it’s a short story. Now for those of you who haven’t read it, what have you been doing? I first came across Katherine Mansfield while I was trying to find books by Virginia Woolf on Google. Google suggested to me similar authors and this is exactly how I came across Mansfield.

After doing some research about Mansfield  I came across  The Global Life of New Zealanders    and found that Woolf was jealous of Mansfield’s work.  If the very talented Virginia Woolf was jealous well then there must have been a very good reason.

Now after reading the Prelude I can  understand why Woolf was jealous and experienced a little something of the green-eyed monster myself. Mansfields story  captures the characters emotions and portrays them through beautiful writing. She makes the story  relatable  to what we’ve all experienced in our own lives. I particularly enjoyed  the opening of Chapter 5, “Dawn came sharp and chill with red clouds on a faint green sky and drops of water on every leaf and blade”  (p.24).  I also found most of the story quite funny as well. In particular later on in the story when we learn about the truth about Beryls’ affection for Stanley.

A lot  of the story will make you laugh and I definitely recommend that you take out time to read it because I’ll definetly be reading it again.

Information about the book discussed:

Mansfield, K. (2001) The Collected Stories. London: Penguin Books. Pp.11-60.

Hey everyone. Welcome to my blog. On this blog I will write about books that I’ve read and I’ll let you all know what I think, like a review. Feel free to comment and express your opinions. I love hearing different perspectives.

The first review will be posted on the 9th  June 2016. I’ll be starting with, Katherine Mansfield’s Prelude in The Collected Short Stories. Published in 2001 by Penguin Books.

 

Note: If you do comment please be kind and treat others with respect.

Sundeep.