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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sleeping with Shakespeare

What is wrong with the word 'pregnant' - it rolls off your tongue with a delicious twang, it is succinct, it is pithy and most of all you know what it bloody means! Why can't a woman say it like it is? Why must she stoop to euphemisms and not make the matter-of-fact declaration 'I am pregnant'. Is that a cuss word? Will God strike her down?? Or does the P-word shrivel sensitive high bred ears? I am not sure but honestly 'I am carrying' and 'I am expecting' are so totally half-assed. Er Carrying what? A lotta to the nearest field???

Now I infinitely prefer a 'bun in the oven'..or two as the case may be. It appeals to my Wilkie Collins/Edith Wharton/Austen sensibilities and is vague enough to keep the less informed in a haze of ignorance. But you NEVER get to hear that. I have heard it only once. But all that carrying and expecting is still carrying on. And to that I add my latest gem 'She is in the family way'. I should hope so, it is not pleasant having a child out of wedlock.

At the risk of sounding self-centred, I cleared my MA Lit with a first div! Huzzah! On a sort of related note, and this was before my results were declared, I have been going to bed with Shakespeare. Eight pages down 'Taming of the Shrew' and I sleep like a babe. SS has this soporific, lulling effect but then I am still on the comedies :)

My vote for the most horrendous book of 2007 or at least read in the year 2007. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. A pretentious, pompous, lame attempt at merging a travelogue with a thriller Kostova falls flat on both counts. Dubbed as a 'chilling thiller' - it is about as chilling as yesteday's pudding spilt on the tarmac. Appallingly silly not to mention tiresome, I have never read vampire lore this asinine and my non-fictional book on Vlad the Impaler positively gallops after this bit of plodding drivel. The days of judging a book by its reviews are long gone. What beats me is how Kostova wangled those dazzling recommendations.

Offsetting this canker, is RK Laxman and his quirky autobiography: 'The Tunnel of Time', if you enjoyed Narayan's 'Malguidi Days', you can trace his inspiration from Laxman's life. However the best books I have read over the past month are definitely the 'Girl who Played Go' and 'The Comfort Woman' (See previous posts).


scorpius said...

very funny!i have to agree with you on the sopoforic effect that ss has.but i personally find it interesting to read[not the whole bunch,but just some of them],to really note the development of english since elizabethean times.i guess in those days the correct form would have been 'my husband has proved himself' or 'the oven is occupied' -something very middle ages comment.but my advice to you,if you want everyone to know that you are P-just hang a notice board around yourself with the P word.that wil get you some very 'nice' comments.
tk care and do get that board.hope you have oddles of fun with 'words and letters'.

Varsha said...

Cheesiest is "Main tumhare bacche ki maa banane wali hu" or "Meri kokh mein hamare pyaar ki nishani badh rahee hain"....hah haha hah

Congratulations on your success..1st class Ma Lit...whew

Id it is said...

Thanks for the heads up on those two books.
I don't understand the stigma associated with using the word pregnant. Is it a cultural thing?

Where I live, the 'p' word works wonders; gets people not only to open doors for you but also to pamper you in ways unimaginable! I fact the word has now made inroads into other contexts such as 'a pregnant idea', undoubtedly positive.

Mellowdrama said...

Scorpius: Lol!!! Tracing the development of English is intriguing, hey you should subscribe to word-a-day (wordsmith)'s fun! Glad to see a fellow SS sleeper..hehe

Varsha: Thank ye kindly!! OH man I should have included all those Hindi phrases, though my favourite was the two flowers bobbing to signify the naughty act and the subsequent bud!!

Id: How are you? Been ages! Yup, it is definitely a prejudice of some sort. The P Word is bad...tsk tsk. How about 'a pregnant pause' - isn't that poignant? It says so much!!

Id it is said...

Undoubtedly, the word 'pregnant' is so pfull of possibilities! How can one disregard it let aside ignore it!

Canary said...

Hahaha! I guess 'carrying' 'expecting' makes it sound very chic (or something like that, pseudo if u ask me)
Congratulations on 1st class :p

Lotus Reads said...

Your impressions of Elizabeth Kostova's book are spot on...I had the hard cover (still have it) and I am having a hard time giving it away because it is huge, intimidating and boring!

Congrats on doing so well on your MA Lit!!! Wish I could go to school again, I would definitely pick Eng Lit over the Sciences!

Mellowdrama said...

Hiya Canary: Lol hardly chic more aunty-ish if you ask me!! Aaagh and I HATE FAMILY WAY. ugh ugh. Thanks a tonne for the wishes

Hi Lotus: I LOVE your blog, always informative and I am SO glad you shared my opinion. When I started on the book I thought I wasn't getting the deeper message or that I was too dense to appreciate some underlying meaning. Hooboy, it was a rotten book, honestly how did Kostova get the reviews she did!! Beats me! Thank you so much for the wishes and hope you do your Lit someday but anthropology has its own charm right:)

Born-again Protestant in Rome said...

I know exactly where you are coming from. To some of us it is more than just another of life's peccadillos - we'd much rather we had dropped dead than get caught saying someone had died - as if saying out loud , the word 'expired' is going to rest the dearly departed's soul in peace.

On your cracking success at the English lit. exam what can I say?! Alf Mabruk!
Oh, yes and the night is still young and pregnant with possibility....of the academic kind ( of course) for you. So enrol for a Ph.D yesterday.

Shakespeare in Lust said...

Sleeper cells are spawning even as we speak - such is the organic chemistry they feel for Joseph Fiennes.
Yours finicky,

anumita said...

Congrats on the M.A.!

scorpius said...

for names,wanna try ganghzou??

Endevourme said...

sooo many buks yu keep reading haa?
after looong time here :D!!

prado said...

Can I go and P{eee}........................haha.

How do we know said...

Congratulations on your MA lit!

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purpleglitter*~ said...

i love 'pregnnat'. 'carrying' and 'expecting' are definintely half-assed. :))
just LOVED the post.
congrats on the baby n MA lit(wow!)...