Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I'm So Typical

My grandmother, like every other woman on Earth, has seen Gone with the Wind in theaters. Now that she is homebound, I bought her the DVD. 

She was so transported she asked for the book. The large print was insanely expensive, so I bought a regular version that turned out to have miniature print which I ended up keeping.
One yontif afternoon, finding myself bereft of library books, I dubiously opened it. 

And proceeded to clutch it to myself like a hypothetical firstborn. 

Oh, what a book. What a book. 

As John Cloud wrote in Time Magazine, "The book is not really a tale of North vs. South but of old South vs. new." It is a saga of cultural demise, not epic romance.
It is blatantly racist, which is definitely a shock, but it can be excused as seeing through the eyes of old time Southerners.
Thank Heavens we don't have to go through that anymore.
When Margaret Mitchell died, the country was plunged into mourning. Think of her as the J.K. Rowling of her time.
For those unafraid of novels, this is a must. I mean it.


Mystery Woman said...

I haven't read it in years, but it's one of my absolute favorite novels.

JerusalemStoned said...

I read it straight over a weekend when I was 16. I threw it across the room, broke the binding, and sobbed at the ending.

Hated the movie; it did not do the book justice. But that could be because I read the book first and saw the movie later.

Princess Lea said...

My mother's neighbor Mindy did the same exact thing - she threw it across the room and sobbed. You are not alone.

I wasn't shocked by the ending since I had already seen the movie, but I didn't mind it since I can't STAND Scarlett. She is an absolutely unpleasant human being. The fact that she ends up without a man, I thought, was absolute justice.

Mitchell, even if she had lived, said she had no plans to write a sequel since she couldn't stand her characters anymore. I could understand that.

Elisheva said...

I can't believe this coincidence! I'm in middle of reading it right now for the first time and am so enraptured with it.

Princess Lea said...

Ha! ESP!

Anonymous said...

One of the few books I've literally stayed up all night to finish reading (others include the later Harry Potters and Daniel Deronda). I was only 14 or so, so I guess it was only natural that I proceeded to become absolutely GWTW obsessed for, like, the next two years (which included the year that the sequel by Alexandra Ripley came out--a total bust, btw). However, I haven't picked up a copy in at least 15 years and honestly I don't think I can stand to (not because I hate the ending, more because too much of a good thing makes you sick of it).

iTripped said...

I saw the movie many times before reading the book, and while I did enjoy it, the movie always took my breath away with the stunning colors and costumes. And who doesn't love Clark Gable?

Oftentimes the movie doesn't live up to the book, but in this case I think they are both wonderful for different reasons.

Jaynie said...

As a Southern girl, I grew up with this story in a big way. When I was younger I wanted to be Scarlett (don't judge me), head-strong, beautiful, and the desire of every man. Pretty much all Southern girls want to be her.
Later I finally realized what my mother had always told me, that Melanie was the one I should want to be like, not Scarlett.

Gone With the Wind is such a big deal to Southern women. I grew up playing in my mother's hoop-skirt and just recently inherited my Great-Grandmother's Rhett Butler doll. Last week my mother referenced making a dress out of the drapes and to this day if I act like a spoiled child she calls me Scarlett. ;-)

Princess Lea said...

Anon: I don't think I can trust any sequel not written by the original author. I read a few based on Austen's books, and boy were they bad. It has to be done by the proper author.

iTripped: Yes, Clark is adorable. But my true love is Cary Grant. Ah.

Jaynie: Melanie, bless her heart, was a flaming Confederate. While Ashley would rather be a conscientious objector, she is passionate for the "cause." She actually is a little scary at times.

Scarlett, while not likable, is admirable; she understands that the era of Southern hospitality is over, and grimly builds herself a fortune while everyone else is shocked by her lack of sensibility. She doesn't want to starve, people; if it is not "ladylike" for her to run a business, stuff it.

Jaynie said...

I was meaning politics aside. Scarlett drives me up the wall while Melanie was nice to Scarlett when she really didn't have to be.

Princess Lea said...

I think that was simply a tactic in Jewish guilt. :)