Diva at sunset:

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Bluestocking at sunrise

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or rather, if the discussion during class becomes too heated,

BWBreaking-up-Bluestockings

For the past few days i have been living a double life. By day i am wrapping up my Bachelor’s degree, by night starring in a play. Between swearing at my computer screen and greeting my public there hardly seems to be enough time to breathe, never mind blog about the trials and tribulations of our favourite Orthodox Jew heroine, the lady Chatterley lovin’ luminous Batsheva. Though I’m sure you cannot wait to get to know this winning combination of Pollyana and the more lascivious type of Jackie Collins heroine, I’m afraid it will take me a few more days to post properly.

Bear with me, because in a few days my life will go back to normal. Not only will you get to know Batsheva and her literature tutor/Marilyn Monroe doppelganger. I’ve also got a Bollywood film lined up, that’s kinda feminist. Well, sorta. Bollywood heroine is apple of father’s eye until she falls in love with the town Lothario and becomes, OMG, pregnant! Is she  cast aside as the town ride and left to wander to the nearest cliff? Hell no! Well, sorta. In fact she… Oh, why spoil the fun?! Just stay tuned for the recap. Until then i will leave you with the truly craptascular movie poster

Kyakehna 

Which hints at the marvelous cheese and snark gold that the finest of Bollywood can offer.

While having lunch with a friend a few days ago, i confessed my plans for this blog. On hearing the news, she unexpectedly gave such a loud squeal that everyone around us, including some rather raucous Spanish backpackers, were momentarily silenced. I hadn’t expected quite such an enthusiastic reaction ( The waitress at the cafe looked at us nervously, as if we were about to erupt into song-and-dance and scare all the rest of the clients away.) Yet it was good to know that at least one of my friends was going to give me encouragement instead of a blank look. She did have just one slight doubt:

“Surely you’re not going to diss Georgette Heyer.”

“Um, NO!” ( Waitress shuffles yet further away from our table.) 

“Thank goodness, you can’t snark on the high priestess of Regency. Especially not These old shades.

“Of course not! Thanks to Heyer i know that a man does not bow properly until he has ‘displayed a magnificent leg.’  ”

“And that a masterful hero can be manly and mince on red high heel shoes.”

“That he can wave his lavender chicken-skin fan towards dastardly villains and look convincingly threatening. You know. Like THIS” ( Waitress sighs audibly.) 

“That the requisite silly-woman foil  to over-excited heroine can be called Lady Fanny and that you should control your giggles. Only you can’t. Ha!”

” That a girl can pass as a boy for seven years when she is living in the Parisian gutter but a fine nobleman will detect her true sex and lineage within minutes.”

“He can then confidently assail his nemesis with the daughter he exchanged for a boy and heir to the title and bring him to his knees. I know, Heyer’s the business.”

“And where would we be without Heyer enrichening our vocabulary?   ‘pon rep is cool.”

“Yes, people think you’re either drunk or Scandinavian. Pity Heyer thinks it vulgar to say lawks.” 

“Oh go on, lets indulge, I’m sure she’s not looking. LAWKS”

“Hee. LAWKS! Now why is that waitress hiding behind the counter?”

Georgette Heyer is not only fantastic and impossible to truly snark at.  You can actually be seen out in public with her! Here’s the cover for a recent edition:

 

 

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Suitable for your commute to work, no?

My obsession with jumble sale finds does mean that i have a soft spot for rather tacky editions from the 70’s and 80’s.

Like:

isbnB000FSB060

Or:

shades

Ah, Leonie may not be luminous, but she is at least a dazzling beauty.

Beyond dated and therefore beyond fabulous, even if the snobby part of you won’t be seen with it on your daily commute.

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The upcoming post will focus on Jephte’s daughter by Naomi Ragen. Wherein the fascinating communities of Orthodox Jews in America and Israel provide a backdrop for a cast of a ‘luminously beautiful’ yet misunderstood heroine, a bubbly comparative literature tutor, the requisite cruel husband, evil aristocrats and sympathetic priests. Furthermore, it contains the required trans-continental jet-setting and a plot that demands the up most of your ability to suspend disbelief.  What more could you possibly need?

Ever since i found this book at a carboot sale in ’04 it has become a yearly ritual. The first truly hot day of the year heralds the first trip to the park, a bottle of lemonade and yet another re-read of the extremely unlikely-and-therefore-awesome adventures of Batsheva Ha-Levi. Call me prejudiced, but the concept of a daughter of a prominent Haredi Jew being allowed to read novels by the author of Lady Chatterley’s lover has me floored, every single time. Still, it doesn’t stop this pulpy novel being an unintentional guilty pleasure and i hope you tune in next week for the first instalment of Jephte’s daughter: The recap!

In the past year my latest addiction became following blogs like Dairi Burger, that snark at the YA pulp that was foisted onto our impressionable teenage selves in the 80’s and 90’s. After looking at other people’s blogs for years i decided it was high time  to act on my wishes and start one myself.

Ever since i was a teenager i have been addicted to the kind of sappy romance novels that make Gone with the wind look like a Dostoyevski classic. See it as an antidote to studying and living in a city where a snobbier-and-more cultured-than-thou attitude is a civic duty. As long as it is the type of escapist women’s fluff that satisfied the inner iheartfluffypurpleunicorns@kisses.com in us, I’m game to blog about it. 

For now, i am going to focus on snarkworthy women’s lit. Once i have found my feet, i would also like to blog about vintage tv series and films. On the waiting list are titles like Jephte’s daughter by Naomi Ragen and Flowers in the blood by Gay Coulter. A subsection will be devoted to the 80’s and early 90’s  Bonkbuster phenomenon, otherwise known as ‘sex and shopping’ novels. Written by authors like Jilly Cooper, Judith Krantz and Jackie Collins, they often featured the glamorous lifestyle of poor misunderstood little rich girls. A typical excerpt would probably go along the lines of  ‘Wearing nothing but diamonds and being attented by her personal masseuse Guido, Crystal Chiffon dreamt about the time she was just plainMary Sue, awaiting eagerly her first date with the boy that would turn out to be her only true love, Rock Blane.’ It was impossible to ever be seen out in public with any of these books, but the furtive joy of sneaking off to a dark corner in the library and enjoying the ongoing adventures of Crystal Chiffon and her ilk was never the less because of this slight handicap. In fact, it probably added to it. Other teenagers stole car radios, composed molotov cocktails and/or snogged the gardener in front of their parents. I read mind-numbing trash, go figure. 

 If you have any other suggestions for future posts, feel free to leave it in the comments below. Does it have age-old castles that are suddenly destroyed by an earthquake the minute our heroine runs away from her lord of the manor/cruel husband ? Is the heroine in question described in fantastical terms like ‘chaste yet luminous’ ( Have we ever in our lives met anyone that could be described in this manner? It makes her sound like a Mormon that was exposed to 1986 Tsjernobyl) and ‘ridiculously beautiful’ ? I would love to hear about it.

 

PS: Expect the first real entry to be up within a week.