Sunday, February 27, 2011

Page 13...My husband the warrior...

So I've taken all of the friendly advice and started writing.  I'd hoped to be knocking out 5 pages a day, but it's turning out to be more like 2-3 as I'm being a bit of a perfectionist.  But hopefully this will save me from making generalizations or hasty analyses which would require heavy revision later on.

My only concern is how am I going to to fit everything I have to say about Thackeray and Ireland in 40-45 pages? I'm on 13 and have just covered my intro, his background with Ireland and am just now starting my breakdown of the Irish Sketchbook.  Still need to cover Barry Lyndon, The Great Hoggarty Diamond, his letters & illustrations and the various Irish characters who pop-up throughout the body of his work! I'm trying to have faith, I'm sure it will come together.  At least I'm quite satisfied with my approach and introduction...

"Thackeray’s writings on Ireland are less straightforward; unlike Edgeworth (whose work he greatly admired) his Irish fictions don’t definitively support English rule; unlike Anne Radcliffe, Charlotte Bronte or Elizabeth Gaskell, he doesn’t clearly denounce Catholicism in favor of Protestantism; unlike Trollope, he reaffirms many Irish stereotypes and where he offers sympathy to struggling Irish persons and characters he likewise attributes blame and criticism.  And just as Thackeray consistently rebukes anti-Catholic sentiment and inspires empathy for Ireland’s impoverished, he reasserts the gamut of derogatory Irish characterizations including drunkenness, laziness, and uncleanliness in both his letters and fictions.  In the realm of Irish literary studies, scholars repeatedly try, and fail, to classify William Thackeray as either Irish sympathizer or colonial supporter.  While his most prominent biographer, Gordon N. Ray, credits his stereotypical depictions of the Irish (and other non-white, non English groups) to Thackeray’s “unfortunate nineteenth century prejudices,” contemporary postcolonial scholars such as Neil McCaw and Laura Berol divide the author from his various narrators and assure us that Thackeray is using irony to cast the blame upon the English reader rather than the Irish target.  However, careful consideration of the bulk of Thackeray’s letters, fictions, articles and illustrations pertaining to Ireland reveals a complex web wrought with English guilt and judgment, criticism of the Irish and denouncement of his own English preconceptions and prejudices.  This rich and complicated “gray area” is consistently overlooked as scholars confine themselves to the realm of his fiction and limit their analysis to the scope of definitive answers.  When his letters and articles are read alongside his fictions, a more developed and conflicted perspective emerges of an Englishman torn between the nationalistic views of his native country and what he observes in Ireland that is incongruous with his established belief system. Thackeray offers conflicting views of both the English and the Irish, as he typically narrates Irish-English conflict as he sees it, with little effort to conform to either nation’s or religious group’s political ideologies."

On a separate note, my heart was in my throat last evening as we drove home from the christening of my cousin's adorable twins--Craig was taking the stage for Philly Fight Night to box it out with another amateur in his weight class, he representing the Law School, the other fighter representing Wharton.  I called my dad as he watched the live video, and learned the fight was called in 47 seconds... because Craig was slaughtering the poor guy!

My dad somehow taped and sent me the video--it was a massacre and I'm beyond proud... maybe I'm a bit twisted! Regardless, my husband's clearly a warrior and I hope this isn't his last time in a boxing ring... 


  1. I am a warrior! Can't wait to see you...

  2. Don't worry about your page limit now and try nto to worry about being a perfectionist. Just get the stuff down on paper and then edit it using the slash and burn approach.

  3. Thanks for the tip!! Who's this :-)?