Posts Tagged ‘Great Expectations’

Dickens December: The conventional notion of a lover cannot be always true, or, Into the labyrinth, with bonus Pip bitchslap

December 17, 2010

According to my experience, the conventional notion of a lover cannot be always true. The unqualified truth is, that when I loved Estella with the love of a man, I loved her simply because I found her irresistible.

Though she had taken such strong possession of me, though my fancy and my hope were so set upon her, though her influence on my boyish life and character had been all-powerful, I did not, even that romantic morning, invest her with any attributes save those she possessed.

I mention this in this place, of a fixed purpose, because it is the clue by which I am to be followed into my poor labyrinth. I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be.

I loved her none the less because I knew it, and it had no more influence in restraining me, than if I had devoutly believed her to be human perfection.

(Charles Dickens, Great Expectations. Chapter 29.)

Like, I know the fact that Pip doesn’t try to tell himself Estella is other than she seems is supposed to make us appreciate his honesty, but all it makes me do is shake my head in disgust at his pathetic, self-centered shallowness. Typical Pip. What kind of dude is willing to get dogged? If you know what she is, then walk. How is it irresistible to get treated like shit by someone who makes it clear they are not interested? Don’t try to front like you’re doing it out of some big, giant love for her, when you are obviously in it to serve your own masochistic needs. You’re in a relationship with yourself and you clearly like it. It could be Estella or it could be any other random chick that doesn’t want you. How is that admirable?

Pip, I have no pity for you. You love a robot because you are a dumbass snob, and you try to make it sound glamorous and romantic and somber when really it’s just weird and sad. In Dickens’ original ending, Pip and Estella don’t get together (silent cheer). Tell a friend! Well, I suppose first, find a friend who cares. Then, tell that friend.

Top: Anja Rubik. Men aren’t attracted to a girl in glasses.
Second from top: Claudia Schiffer.
Second from bottom: Anna Torv with the weather report.
Bottom: “Aqua,” by Milo Manara.

Dickens December: The common case

December 14, 2010


via.

There was a gay fiction among us that we were constantly enjoying ourselves, and a skeleton truth that we never did. To the best of my belief, our case was in the last aspect a rather common one.

(Charles Dickens. Great Expectations.)

Dickens December and Movie Millisecond: Shutting out life

December 9, 2010

Sabrina (Billy Wilder, 1954.)


In shutting out the light of day, she had shut out infinitely more; that, in seclusion, she had secluded herself from a thousand natural healing influences; that, her mind, brooding solitary, had grown diseased, as all minds do and must and will that reverse the appointed order of their Maker.

(Charles Dickens. Great Expectations. Chapter 49.)

Oh, Miss Havisham. You are a thousand times more interesting and poignant than Pip. I’ve never liked Pip. What’s to like?


Photographed by Heather Lucille on the flickr.

When I read Great Expectations, the kind of picaresque adventures of Phillip Pirrip are all well and good, but, at the end of the day, it’s Miss Havisham that stands head and shoulders above the rest of the characters as a literary creation that surpasses the book that contains her, just as Heathcliff and the witches from Macbeth do in their respective stories. The image of her wrapped in her rotting bridal garments like a shroud, decaying in the gross crypt that Satis House has become — that’s what I look forward to seeing the handling of in screen and theatrical adaptations. I could give two craps about Pip. It’s all Miss Havisham, and her redemption. Yes?

Dickens December: The fierce and fine little world of children’s existence

December 8, 2010

I’ve used this picture by Sally Mann before but I will never tire of it. The li’lest unlikely g ever.


In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice.

(Charles Dickens. Great Expectations, Chapter 8.)

Daily Batman: Bent and broken into a better shape

August 11, 2010


Catwoman by phenomenal artist Shelton Bryant.

Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but — I hope — into a better shape.

(Charles Dickens, Great Expectations. 1861. The speaker is Estella, addressing Pip in Chapter 58.)