Well, what do you know? Another snowy pic for you all on the anniversary of when Iowa killed Buddy Holly.
I'll just warn you right now, I've had the night to myself and I spent it reading and listening to music, so I'm going to be annoyingly reflective and introspective. Sorry. I finally finished reading the book, Reading Lolita in Tehran. If you haven't read it, it's about a private class a woman teaches in the 80's and 90's in Iran. Each chapter is the study of a different author and how the women in the class use literature to cope with life under such a sexist and oppressive government.
I loved the book, but it was also hard for me to read sometimes. It took me straight back to high school. As I've said before, I'm a runner and hider. When I was in high school and my life was so horrible, I created an extensive inner-world, full of books and music. It was the only place I could go to escape all the oppression of my home life. I feel like books saved my life at that time, or at least my sanity...Well, what there was to save, anyway. The women in the novel needed that parallel universe of literature to give them hope of a world that wasn't so stifling. As the narrator says, "A novel is not an allegory....It is the sensual experience of another world."
When I was under 18 and had no control over my real life, my internal world helped me to cope with my situation. Of course, the same thing that helped me when I was younger, hurt me as an adult. When I was in an abusive marriage, I found myself reverting back to my old habits of running and hiding into my inner-life. It was a victim's response where I was sleepwalking through a bad situation, instead of fixing it. Because of my girls, I snapped out of that and fixed the situation by leaving. Now, I still go to that world, but it's not because I'm afraid to face my life anymore. It's more like a vacation, where I'm always glad I visited, but I'm even happier to get home. One of my favorite quotes from the book on the Gatsby chapter says: "His reveries for a while 'provided an outlet for his imagination; they were a satisfactory hint of the unreality of reality, a promise that the rock of the world was founded securely on fairy's wings'"
I'm starting to reread Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises next. It should be the perfect follow-up to this, since the last time I read it I was in high school. It will be interesting to see what different things I focus on when I read it this time.