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Day: June 14, 2017

Review: Miss Julie

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Miss Julie
Miss Julie by August Strindberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Book Review


Miss Julie is one of the more naturalistic pieces that I have ever seen. Throughout the piece, everything is real and truly shows a tranche de vie or ‘slice of life.’ The characters are usually treated much more as psychological personas than in realistic productions like Ghosts. In Miss Julie it seemed as if each character was representative of a specific type of person. Julie was the vixen from a higher class who was attracted to Jean, a man from a lower class. Jean was the strong man who put up with their relationship enough to hold a sexual advantage, or at times, disadvantage, but put a stop to it in the end. Kristin was a typical cook or maid in the house who was forced to put up with things simply because she had to. All of the characters were incredibly strong. Although the play was an idea play, it was the characters that stick out in my mind. Also, the characters are different when one looks at the idea of a crowd. While in Ghosts there was a priest, a matriarch, a diseased son, a housemaid turned inheritor, and a bum for a father, in Miss Julie, there were the three main characters and a group of characters that was representative of lower servant’s games. It is typical in naturalistic pieces that a group of characters stand for one idea or persona. In Miss Julie, the lower class servants are showing the pagan ritual of losing virginity. This highly symbolic scene contributes to the idea that a crowd can sometime be the protagonist of a play. Although the servants were not the main characters, they contributed to the understanding of when Julie loses her virginity to Jean in the upstairs bedroom at the same time as the pagan ritual.
The characters in Miss Julie also seemed to have more life in them than the characters in Ghosts. Although in Ghosts they constantly talk about the “love of life,” I don’t always see this love. Also, the characters in Ghosts are never truly defined. It is left for the audience to interpret who set the nursery on fire, and whether Pastor Manders has lust inside of him or if he doesn’t. I never understood whether or not Engstrand was a pious and reverent man, or if he was an unscrupulous man who wanted to offer his ‘daughter’ up to others. Each of the characters had some good and each had some bad so that they were just common everyday people. They could represent any man or woman. In Miss Julie though, there were stereotypes and strongly defined characters. They weren’t just any characters put on a stage so get an idea across, which is the impression that I received after seeing Ghosts.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

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Review: Ghosts

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Ghosts
Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars



Book Review


3 out of 5 stars to Ghosts, a play written in 1881 by Henrik Ibsen. After I read Henrik Ibsens’s realistic play Ghosts, I immediately formed opinions of the characters. I liked Mrs. Alving and Regina. I thought that Oswald was a brat and a nuisance. I didn’t understand how Mrs. Alving could love him, even though he was her flesh and blood. He seemed to be nothing but a spoiled child despite being in his twenties. Mrs. Alving exemplified a woman who was angry with her late husband for the misdeeds he committed. She was a figurehead for the family, and thus a powerful character. Pastor Manders was definitely an exhausting character as was Engstrand. I couldn’t get a strong grip on either of them because I didn’t know who set the nursery on fire. In my mind, whichever one of them set it aflame was the evil character, and the other was the good character. It is not all that black and white though, which I didn’t find out until I watched the film version.
After seeing the film version of the play Ghosts, I fell in love with the actress who portrayed Mrs. Alving. She definitely improved upon the character of Mrs. Alving that I understood when I read the play. She showed me how much of a woman she was when she flirted with Pastor Manders in the very beginning. She was played much more feminine in the film version than she was in the written script, at least in my opinion. I believe that seeing her act out the pain, show her emotions and enter into deep thought showed how human and real the character was. I did not feel this way while I was reading the script. I liked her character then, but that was only because she was losing someone that she loved. I always pity the underdog, which is what I think she is even more so in the film version. She had to fight Pastor Manders, remain strong for Oswald, deal with Engstrand, and find the ability to support Regina. She was losing in every situation of her life, and by seeing her in the play, I was able to not only understand her pain even more, but root for her. I liked her in the script version, but it was not until the video version that I could truly realize what she had to go through.
The character of Engstrand was a puzzle to me. While reading the script, I didn’t like Engstrand, but I didn’t dislike him either. He just didn’t appeal to me at all. I didn’t have a picture of him in my mind either, which is odd. Normally, I can see a movie of the story in my mind as I read the script, but in this case, his appearance was vague and blurry. I had no face to match the character. Consequently, when I saw the film version, I was destined to interpret Engstrand exactly as the director of the play did. As a result, he did and he didn’t improve upon the impression that I had of him; however, I also don’t know if I liked what I saw. Engstrand appeared too rough looking, and all of the facial hair diminished the charm of the character. I thought that he was a little bit more clean-cut, but the film shows the darker side of Engstrand. I was convinced though, that it was not Engstrand who set the nursery aflame though. I felt that it was Pastor Manders, at least in the film version.
Pastor Manders was another character who produced a myriad of opinions in my mind. When I read the script, he seemed to be full of passion and life. I thought that he would end up in bed with Mrs. Alving. However, in the film, he is asexual, except for the brief interlude with Mrs. Alving at the opening of the film. He came across as a priest, and only a priest, which is why he did not appeal to me. He didn’t have any “love of life” in him as Regina, Oswald, and the Captain all did. Overall, I think that the film version improved my opinions of most characters, but I ended up disliking certain characters that I hadn’t before.
The film version definitely exemplifies realism more than naturalism for several reasons. One of the main reasons that makes the film version realistic instead of naturalistic is that the film version did not actually show the barn ablaze. In naturalistic pieces, directors would actually show the smoke and the burning from the barn. Also, they would have the camera focus on Oswald, who would be standing there ready to fight it. I understand that it would be hard to do in a theatre though. I am unsure about the staging of the film. Was it staged without an audience simply so that someone could just video record it? Or, was the play staged for an audience with someone in the background videotaping it. I think that it was meant only to be videotaped, in which case, it could have been done outdoors to show the barn burning. Therefore, since the burning barn was not actually shown, the film is more realistic than naturalistic.



About Me


For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

View all my reviews

TAG: Romance Fails in Fiction Choice

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Thank you very much to Kate at MeltingPotsandOtherCalamities for tagging me on this fun new tag she’s created. Here’s what she’s told us:

heart.jpg

Overview:

Let me explain the tag to clarify the confusing title. Basically, I saw a comment on the Webtoon A Budgie’s Life about…romance fails in Webtoons. They cracked me up, even the serious ones! I may not be a romantic, but I found it funny and decided to do this tag. And that’s how this tag came to be. Who knows? I may make a more serious Webtoon list about this later.

The Rules:

  • Please PINGBACK to her at Kate @ Melting Pots and Other Calamities. Or just Kate. And PINGBACK TO A SPECIFIC POST.  She won’t see the post otherwise, and she’d like to see it.
  • At the very top of this post is the post I did the pingback for – other can copy that to make it easier if you’d like!
  • You can choose ten romance fails from ANY media you like: books, movies, anime, manga, T.V shows, or Webtoons. You can even mix them up if you want.
  • You can choose funny fails or serious ones; for the serious ones, phrase it humorously. Remember, this is a fun tag! It’s not meant to be serious.
  • Mention who’s who in the fails. (I.E, who fails and who is the recipient of the failure). If there isn’t  recipient, per se, just state the couple (or non-couple).
  • Optional: Rank the failures from least extreme to most extreme.
  • 5 failures at LEAST.
  • Tag as many people as you want, but at least one person.

 

The Tag:

Oh, I hope I did this one correctly!!! I’ve decided to pick from 5 different genres: (5) former bestseller & movie, (4) Netflix Show, (3) TV sitcom, (2) classic play and (1) current thriller. And I am not huge on the romance stuff, so I couldn’t easily come up with more than the 5, but I think they are all funny!

 

5. Henry and Clare in “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger

    teverelr

Love is hard enough without your husband randomly jumping time periods. Sometimes he’s 5 and sometimes he’s 85. That’s just sick! I don’t want to worry what’s going on when I’m with my other half… they could randomly disappear or change their age. And then I’m learning sh*t about you before I even get to that age. Or you’re watching me as a little girl, knowing you’ll be my husband and what happens in our life… Woah. My head’s gonna explode. Seriously? Yes… we love each other… but how do I buy you presents when you already know what’s gonna happen? Something’s just nuts here… and while the book and movie were OK… ayayayayaya… this kinda romance is not for me! And so you’re on the list, buddy… don’t be disappearing from it either, please.

 

4. “Grace and Frankie” on Netflix

Ah, life is good in Southern California. Grace is married to Robert for 40 years with 2 kids. Frankie is married to Sol for 40 years with 2 kids. Both are “happy” couples. But one day, Robert and Sol decide they must confess a little secret they’ve been keeping. At 70 years old, they can no longer hide the affair they’ve been having for 30+ years. Yes, my friends, both men are gay and have been in a secret relationship at the office where they run a law firm and at home behind closed doors when the girls are out. Frankie and Grace are shocked… and they hate each other… so now what? Both couples divorce. Sol and Robert get married. Grace and Frankie move in together and try to become friends. Ha! I don’t think it works this way in real life, but kudos to them. They make me laugh whenever I watch this show. But seriously… an epic fail on romance not to have discovered their gay husbands sooner in life.

3. “Rachel and Ross” from Friends

Love is hard. But when you’ve secretly been in love with your sister’s best friend for years, you might just do anything to make it happen. Except… you marry two other women first, knowing you really don’t love them. And then you say the wrong name at the wedding. Oh Ross… how on earth do you expect to win us over… oh, that’s right… you finally get the girl! Yay… Ross and Rachel are together. Except there are a few issues. And you break up. And then one of you sleeps with someone else while you are not together. But then you get back together. And OMG…. the secret’s out. And someone shouts “WE WERE ON A BREAK!”  Well… if you loved her Ross, you shouldn’t have done that.  Yeah Yeah Yeah… you eventually get back together, but so much drama here. And for that, you are on my list of epic failures for what should have been a fairly straightforward romance. I still love you guys together tho!

2. “Romeo & Juliet” by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet fall in love, but their families hate one another. What’s a teenage couple to do when this happens? Kill yourself, of course. Or at least make it look like you’ve killed yourself. But then when one of you wakes up and thinks the other person is really dead, you actually kill yourself. And then the other person wakes up and freaks out. So what do they do… kill themselves… Whaaaat????? Love the story, but yikes… so much confusion over love. Why didn’t you run away together and live happily ever after like all the fairy tales say? And for that, you”re on my list of epic fails (in a good way, of course).

1. Joe and  Beck from “You” by Caroline Kepnes

you

Joe falls in love with Beck when she wanders into his bookstore. He tries to convince her to go out with him, but she puts him off for a few months. Eventually, she gives it a chance; however, she doesn’t realize that he’s engineering everything happening in her life, behind the scenes, of course. She eventually falls in love with him and everything appears like it might actually work out. And even though he’s a bit of a psycho, as readers, you will root for him to win her heart. But it seems all may not be as it appears. Beck’s got some issues, too. And as this tale slowly unravels, it becomes clear there will be blood, as the cover shows. And for that reason, this is a major fail in the sense of romance! P.S. I love Joe and would not have been upset with him for stalking me. :O (not an excuse for anyone to stalk me… I’m fine, thanks!)

 

I Tag:

 

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking. Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.

AWARD: Liebster – Discover New Blogs #2

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Thank you so very much to Didi Oviatt for nominating me for this award.  She is a fantastic author and book reviewer, but her site has so much more to offer. We connected about a month ago on WordPress, and I find great things whenever I spend a few minutes on her blog. Go check it out!

The Rules:

  • Say thank you to the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Answer the 11 questions you have been asked.
  • Nominate and notify 11 bloggers for the award.
  • Ask those you have nominated 11 questions.

My Own Answers:

1.Why did you choose book blogging over something else?

I had some free time and wanted to connect with other people. It had to be something I could work on at any time of day. This felt like a good opportunity to push myself outside the limits of just writing fiction.

 

2. What is one thing you’re really passionate about beside books?

Does food count? On a more serious note… people just being kind, considerate and non-confrontational. The world is too wonderful and beautiful to get caught up in being upset with other people. Move on. Enjoy life and don’t harm or interfere with others. Be peaceful.

 

3. Have your reading tastes changed over the years?

Yes. I’ve always loved mysteries and serial fiction, but I’ve grown more fond of historical fiction and thrillers in the last decade.

 

4. What is your favorite vacation spot?

I loved Barcelona and Argentina for the beautiful vineyards, history and waters… but if I could vacation anywhere again, it would be The Cotswolds in England. It’s such an amazing and calming place. I love the people, the gardens and the countryside. Total perfect vacation spot for me.

 

5. Do you collect anything (other than books)?

No! I used to collect a few things, but now I like having as little as possible besides all the stuff you need in a house. Between cooking, gardening, reading, art, clothes, etc. I have enough already!

 

6. What has been your favorite book so far this year?

You by Caroline Kepnes.

you.jpg

 

7. What is one law you would change if you could?

Good question! I tend not to think about laws and just do what feels like the right thing to do. I’m not sure if I know enough about them… so I’ll go with taxes! I think our tax system needs a makeover and I have lots of suggestions. I should try to fix it, shouldn’t I?

 

8. If you had to donate money to a charity, which one would you choose?

Pets. I would first look for things to help people, but pets are probably on the top of my list. I would want to help care for homeless pets who have been abandoned by cruel people.

 

9. What is your favorite genre to read?

Mystery, Thriller or Historical Fiction. Love all three.

 

10. What is your dream car?

I don’t drive anymore, as I live in NYC. But if I were back in the suburbs, I tend to like small sporty cars. The last car I owned tho was a 4 by 4, and I did enjoy the height of it, compared to sitting in a low car. So… it’d be hard to choose. It would be silver, as I like the color. I know that!

 

11. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

I think writing a novel and seeking to get it published. I’ve talked about it being important to me since I was around 10-years-old, but between school and work, I’ve never had time. I made it a priority last fall, and in 6 weeks, I wrote 350 pages. It felt so natural, as though it were something I was meant to do. Now it’s all I want to do!

My nominees:

I’m being a rule-breaker on this one as I did this one before and tagged 11 people. Since it’s different questions, I wanted to do it again… but instead of tagging 11 people, I offer it up to all my friends… I want to see those answers from everyone!

The Rules:

  • Say thank you to the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Answer the 11 questions you have been asked.
  • Nominate and notify 11 bloggers for the award.
  • Ask those you have nominated 11 questions.

The Questions:

1.Why did you choose book blogging over something else?

2. What is one thing you’re really passionate about beside books?

3. Have your reading tastes changed over the years?

4. What is your favorite vacation spot?

5. Do you collect anything (other than books)?

6. What has been your favorite book so far this year?

7. What is one law you would change if you could?

8. If you had to donate money to a charity, which one would you choose?

9. What is your favorite genre to read?

10. What is your dream car?

11. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

 

About Me

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. Once you hit my site “ThisIsMyTruthNow” at https://thisismytruthnow.com, you can join the fun and see my blog and various site content. You’ll find book reviews, published and in-progress fiction, TV/Film reviews, favorite vacation spots and my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge.” Since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life… see how you compare! Each month, I will post a summary of a trip I’ve taken somewhere in the world. I’ll cover the transportation, hotel, restaurants, activities, who, what, when, where and why… and let you decide for yourself if it’s a trip worth taking.

Feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Tell me what you think.

365 Challenge: Day 94 – Meddlesome

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Meddlesome: nosy; fond of interfering in something that is not of your concern

meddle

I am not meddlesome, nor do I wish to become a meddler. When I began the 365 Daily Challenge, I know I indicated these traits would be something I am or want to be, but let’s face it… there aren’t 365 traits that will provide unique content, which means on occasion, I may discuss why I don’t want to have a certain characteristic. And this is one of them.

As you’ve probably guessed from reading many of the previous posts, I am somewhat of a quiet and shy guy, a bit on the private side when it comes to letting people get close to me. While I am friendly and I am very open about myself either with friends, when asked a question or in these daily posts, I have a pretty strict line when it comes to interfering in other people’s business. I’ve been accused of being cold and distant, or that I don’t care about other people, but it’s quite the opposite. I believe it’s important for people to have the freedom to make their own choices, and unless they ask for advice, I rarely provide it.

If I see someone doing something stupid, hurtful or risky, I will certainly relay my opinion or try to assist; however, it’s only in either extreme circumstances or if we’re deep into a conversation and talking about the best way to handle a situation. My opinion is generally my opinion, right? And unless you ask for it, why would I push it on you? That tends to be approach to most situations, as it feels comfortable and appropriate. Let me explain a little more so it doesn’t look like I’m being too indifferent.

In conversations with friends or family, they may mention that another family member or friend is doing something that might not be such a good idea. We’ll talk a little bit about, usually because the other person wants to, but once it’s been covered or explained, I’m generally good to move on to the next topic. But when I drop the subject, people often ask me if I’m going to get involved or if I think they should do something about it. I always say “no.” If the person is not going to hurt themselves, and they didn’t ask you, then stay out of it. At least that’s my motto. It’s probably because I am not a fan of confrontation, but ultimately, it’s really because I do what I would want others to do for or to me. If I didn’t tell you about something, or I didn’t ask you for help, then you don’t need to do anything. I don’t take offense to it. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings.

Of course, there are exceptions. If a friend goes on a date with someone and begins to say they think they are falling in love, and I see that other person cheating or doing something my friend may want to know about, I will probably mention it to him or her. But that’s where it ends. What you choose to do with that information is your business.  Similarly, if I hear that you’re going on an interview at a company I know has some issues or may treat their employees unfairly, I’ll relay my prior experiences. But I won’t try to convince you not to do it. That’s where the line is drawn.

I’ve run the gamut of feelings on this one, trying to decide what responsibility we have to protect or help one another, and I always come back to that line in the sand. It’s my responsibility to share the information I have with you (if I can legally), and I might tell you the risks if you weren’t aware, but afterwards, we’re each independent thinkers and have our own experiences and needs; we will follow through on what we feel is best for ourselves. We learn from our mistakes or errors. And that’s important to me, so I attribute it as being important to others.

I remember when I used to see friends trying to set each other up, or people calling to warn someone about the fight that two other people had… it’s just not something I want to be involved in or with. It leads to fights, misunderstandings, false starts, disappointment. So I stay out of other people’s business. I won’t let you get physically hurt. I won’t let you get blindsided in a disastrous way. I won’t let you make a decision without all the information when it’s something important. But then off you go… and I support you… and if/when something negative happens, as your friend, I’ll be there to help you deal with the aftermath. I won’t tell you afterwards “I didn’t think it was a good idea,” as that’s just rude and childish. Life’s got too many pits, turns, twists and fun to get caught up in all the “shoulda, would, coulda” aspects. Instead, I say, “have a rough plan, work the plan and enjoy every day.”

So I let them do what they want to do!

How about you? Do you think this is a callous or indifferent attitude? Do you find yourself wanting to get more involved than I do? Or are you the extreme and ultimate meddler? I’m cool if you are… it’s not for me… but I respect our differences.

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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