Monday, August 13, 2012

the anger muscle

I've said this before: in high school, when I was upset, I would smoke, curse, and play the piano. I wrote that in my journal when I was seventeen. Imagine my stunned recognition years later, when I read about Lucy Honeychurch, the apparently prim heroine of A Room with a View, who also deals with her choleric tendencies by losing herself at the piano.

Over the course of the story, Lucy transforms from a docile, conventional girl into a woman capable of various kinds of passion. Her anger plays an important role in this shift. During one conversation with her mother and her priggish fiancé Cecil, she moves rapidly from voicing a casual dislike of Reverend Eager to declaring: "I hate him. I've heard him lecture on Giotto. I hate him. Nothing can hide a petty nature. I HATE him." Mrs. Honeychurch responds, "My goodness gracious me, child! You'll blow my head off! Whatever is there to shout over?" For his part, dismayed by the vulgarity of Lucy's outburst, Cecil yearns to tell her "that a woman's power and charm reside in mystery, not in muscular rant." (We understand implicitly that this comment points to his unsuitability as a match for her.) Later, Cecil is taken aback when she directs her ire at him. As a joke on the local snob, he deliberately engages unsuitable tenants for a neighborhood villa in Lucy's hometown of Summer Street.  She responds like "a peevish virago," snapping at him that his little dig at Sir Harry has made her look foolish instead, and that she considers him "most disloyal." Never mind that the tenants he has found include the same young man who impetuously kissed her on a violet-strewn hillside in Fiesole during her trip to Italy. 

Happily for us readers, she doesn't attempt to curb her turbulent impulses for very long.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

august photo-a-day challenge

A new month, a new set of challenges! Here is the photo-a-day list for August:

And here are my entries for the month: