Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.

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After seeing the final installment of Pride & Prejudice on PBS Sunday night, the same thought occurred, regarding a girl's virtue, and how Mr. Darcy saved the entire Bennett family's place in society by forcing Wickham to marry the youngest daughter. It does seem a bit quaint today, but I do recall that at our illustrious alma mater as recent as the early 1980's, when a girl found herself pregnant, it certainly affected her status and that of her siblings that followed behind her at the school....

By Blogger Mary, at 12:12 PM  

It was so fun to see you yesterday!

Hugs, Jen

By Blogger Jennifer, at 1:40 PM  

I only own 3 movies. Gandhi, Lawrence of Arabia and Dr Z. I have reread only a few books. Most of them are Thomas Hardy, the rest are Jane Austen.

I had one of those hats. I chewed on the fur balls at the ends of the strings when I got nervous.

By Blogger Alice, at 10:58 AM  

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008  

The past 2 evenings we have been watching the beautiful movie Dr. Zhivago and it has had my mind wandering off in a couple of different directions, pondering some questions. Like – is there a movie now that could have such a sweeping impact on fashion? That film ushered in so many styles – long belted coats, big fur hats, knee high boots. The military look gets dragged out periodically, but I suspect DrZ made it more popular in the second half of the 1960's than any year since world war II.
I also remember the spread Vogue magazine did on Geraldine Chaplin in her gigantic fur hat. I remember getting my own version of a white fur hood when I was 15 – some time after the movie had been out – and feeling very Tonya-esque. Two years alter I got one of those long grey sweeping winter coats that just added to the look and feel of turn of the century grandeur and elegance threatened by military overthrow. Of course, I could never be that tall or have quite such a tiny nose. But I could pretend I was and did and in fact, we are only ever – or always ever – as elegant as we believe we are. Not everyone needs feedback in the form of a Vogue fashion spread. Some of us can feed ourselves.

The original
The knockoff


I also remember the impact on my own (very loose) political philosophy as my loathing of Tom Courtenay's character Pasha grew throughout the film. The social engineers of this world, those who say there is no private life when the revolution comes, are the worst of all the political murderers and offenders. No art, no truth no goal they strive for, ever justifies the mountains of corpses upon which they build their shabby fragile edifices. Give me a Tamerlane or a Genghis Khan any day, if I am to have my skull added to the pile. That is an honest massacre. The Pablo Nerudas who wax poetic about TheRevolution merely add the insult of hypocrisy to their blood lust and leave me cold.


The other question that has threaded its way through conversation in TheCastle the past 2 days is the profound change in our mores, after centuries of worshiping the innocent virgin, in a few short decades. Where, in our western world today, would a woman who was seduced at 17 by an older man, find her life ruined, her future blighted, her reputation condemning her wherever she went?


When I saw that film as a teenager, I knew immediately that Evil Rod Steiger had destroyed innocent Julie Christie. I didn't need any words to tell me the story of her victimhood and my heart grieved for her tragedy. Watching it today – it's hard to imagine anywhere outside countries ruled by the Shariah where this would matter at all. As someone who lived during the Clinton/Lewinski debacle, this premise is oddly naive today.


And the vulgarity of the 90's White House aside, I am glad of that. The personal tragedy of a girl seduced is one thing, but for it to be a societal tragedy too seems such an enormous waste of talent, value and love. Of course, that old thematic trap of trusting the guy who says “I forgive you. I won't hold it against you” has been plumbed deeply by better authors than Pasternak – anybody who has the slightest understanding of human nature would be screaming to Lara “Don't believe him!” much the same way one would at poor Tess of the D'Ubervilles. I remember thinking, at 15, that any man who was not my husband, who had the arrogance to tell me that he forgave me for anything I'd done before I'd given him the full commitment could just keep on movin' on down the highway.


Anyway, that is where my head has been these past few days. Pondering society and drama and art. My needles have been knitting little bits of this and that. My camera will be taking photos some other time.

posted by Bess | 9:58 AM
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