NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Saturday, February 21, 2009

TTC: Classic Novels, Lecture 2


This Teaching Company: Classic Novels lecture was on Moll Flanders. Professor Weinstein discussed a bit of biographical information about the author, Daniel Defoe, who is arguably considered the father of the English novel, and the style of his writing. Moll Flanders specifically is written in an episodic manner rather than having what we would think of as a plot, and the writing is very plain as opposed to poetic. Moll pretty much tells her story like it was -- straight-up without a lot of flourishes.

The quote from the book around which most of the lecture was based was from a scene when she is speaking to a man she loved deeply and had not seen for many years. She asks him, "Do you not know me?" Professor Weinstein used that quote to discuss the many forms of disguise Moll uses at various times in her life, both literal disguises one can see, such as when she dresses up as a boy while thieving, and figurative in the sense that when one lives in a large metropolis, it is easy to become "invisible".

That is still true today. Considering all the people we come into contact with daily, how many of them really know us? How many do we really know in return? Who really knows our past or what our daily lives are like away from places such as school or work? Who knows our hopes, our dreams, or what goes on in our heads? In the book, other characters see Moll doing things such as scheming to get a rich husband or stealing valuables. From the surface she looks to be very shallow and materialistic, but reading her story lets us into her private thoughts and reasonings which reveal a much deeper humanity. However, in our daily lives, we don't get to read people's inner workings. We only see how they act, what they do, and they see the same of us. We can and do disguise our real selves for privacy, for emotional protection, from embarrassment, from a desire to be something we're not, for any number of reasons. Sometimes we disguise ourselves so well that the question becomes not "Do you know me?", but "Do I know me."



5 comments:

BooksPlease said...

I've had this book for years and have yet to read it. Your posts have been so interesting I think I'll bump it up the list of tbr books.

I often think of how we're made up of separate selves - is the me who blogs the same as the me who is a mother and grandmother, wife and sister-in-law etc, how do other people see me, would I recognise their version of me? Sometimes people tell me how organised and calm I am when I think I'm hopelessly muddled, untidy and anything but calm. Just who am I?

BooksPlease said...

PS where have your photos of the border collies gone??

Lezlie said...

Books Please ~ I'm glad you've enjoyed the multiple posts! I thought maybe I was overdoing it, but there were so many interesting things to point out!

The photos aren't showing up for you? Whether or not they show for me seems to depend on which computer I'm using. Very weird. I'll have to see if I can figure out what's up with that. Thanks for letting me know!

Lezlie

Ladytink_534 said...

Huh. Well that seems like a very interesting lecture!!!

Lezlie said...

Ladytink ~ This professor is really good. I'm excited to see how he handles all the other books for this series!

Lezlie