A Web-less life.

Due to my lack of urgency (and common sense of course) I did not renew my annual Internet subscription on time and due to other circumstances I was left web-less for nearly two weeks.

I survived, surprisingly, but being connected on my phone helped somewhat in this regard. Still it was debilitating, I won’t lie. Unable to read my emails, blog, read other blogs, do research, browse – it really made me wonder about the days before the existence of the Internet. Or most technology in fact.

A cellphone/mobile seems a mandatory accessory to have nowadays but I never had one in school (like most kids do now). We, back in the days, relied on landlines and payphones. We set specific times for our parents to pick us up at the cinema or friends’ house and stuck to those arrangements without hassle. There was no “I’ll call you when I’m done” sort of thing.
An avid young researcher I recall spending my afternoons in the library, lurking like a predatory beast amongst the archives and reference shelves for information on my assignments. Today, Cyberspace is home to Google, Wikipedia, JSTOR and other reference sites where a click of a button will give you all the info you need in the comfort of your own home.

It’s become easy. It’s become a normal part of life, so much so, we can’t do without it now. As a young girl I was considered cool (by some only! (coughs)) for having pen-pals ( I still have in my possession a box of old letters from former pen-friends). Now, it’s probably considered unusual if you DON’T have friends internationally whom you’ve never met.

Reminiscing can be fun, so how about you? Ever wonder about the days before the existence of Cyberspace or cellphones?(If you’re old enough to, that is 😉 )
And if you happen to be a young ‘un, can you imagine your life Internet and phone-free? Thoughts in general are always welcomed…

NM 🙂

Oh Dickens! Bleaky Bleak House and the opportunistic author

Please note that this is an old post(see date published). If you have come across this page without intending to, kindly click on HOME above. This will redirect you to my homepage and most recent post. I do apologise but I am having some glitches with WordPress and am aware of bloggers clicking on my link and ending up on various older posts on my site. Thanks, NM. 03/01/2012)

Dickens at work. Image taken from http://www.CharlesDickens.org

I was being mocked by my boyfriend recently for taking an exceedingly long time to read a novel. Embarrassingly more so, is the fact that this is a Charles Dickens book.
I consider myself a fan of Charlie not only because I loved A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist, but also because I admire him for the person that he was. He stood strongly for what he believed in. Charlie had a lot to say and too many authorities to lambaste in the span of his 58 years. He used his pen (or quill?) to expose the injustices of his time in a sentimental but thought-provoking way.
Usually if I am not enjoying a book, I toss it aside with no guilt whatsoever. I’ve done it many times. I’ve even tossed aside Booker Prize winners. Why waste your time if you are not enjoying it? You could be reading something you do enjoy.
Reading is a subjective pastime. The type of books you read is not, in my opinion, a reflection of how smart, stupid or emotional you are. They are merely reflections of your tastes and preferences. So why am I still holding on to my copy of Bleak House? I feel for some reason to see this one through.
In Dickens’ defense it is a great story. When I first started reading it, I enjoyed getting to know the main character Esther Summerson. But as more and more characters were thrown into the mix, the story became confusing and arduous. On top of that, Dickens has a propensity to over-elaborate and go off on a tangent, the result of which can only be described in two words: word vomit. It is obvious that the man has a lot to say. The novel is 850 pages long(not including the illustrations) but I am pretty sure that as thick and convoluted as the plot is, he could have told this story in 500.
There came a point were I became so confused about certain subplots and the roles of some of the characters that I was forced to resort to the one thing that all internet junkies resort to in a time of need: Google. It was while searching for plot summaries that I came across an interesting piece of information. Bleak House had initially been written as a serial and Dickens was being paid by the word. So that explains the word vomit. I’m not sure how true this information is however as a few bloggers were disputing this but it certainly makes sense.

Coavinses, Harold Skimpole, Richard Carstone and Esther

So it seems little Ol’ Charlie D was not only a social revolutionary but an opportunist as well. That’s just brilliant. So why am I still reading this? Because in all honesty, I really do want to know what happens in the end. The story is filled with melodrama, a bit like a Victorian soap opera. And even though it might seem like there’s way too many things going on, I am told that they all tie together quite nicely in the end. Unfortunately I have another 360 pages to go until I get to the end. It’s like, knowing you’re heading for DisneyWorld but have to take a side road to get there- a long, winding, gravel road filled with murderous hitchhikers, Redcaps and numerous detours. You wonder if the long, arduous journey is worth the destination at the end.
Since I have now dedicated a whole blog post to Bleak House, I guess I have no choice but to finish it now 🙂 I must admit that this has provided me with a little motivation. Maybe in a few weeks I’ll even provide you all with a book review. And what a glorious day that would be!