Getting nowhere fast

Hello, all – remember me?

Probably not.

My apologies for the deathly silence, and particularly to those of you whose comments have gone unresponded to. I have been dealing with a mountain of frustrating crap lately and am only just now beginning to crawl out from underneath it. The challenge will be to stay out once I do.

I did briefly contemplate a long, whiny, self-pitying post about it all, but on reflection, I think this basically covers it:

    Alice never could quite make out, in thinking it over afterwards, how it was that they began: all she remembers is, that they were running hand in hand, and the Queen went so fast that it was all she could do to keep up with her: and still the Queen kept crying “Faster! Faster!” but Alice felt she COULD NOT go faster, though she had not breath left to say so.
    The most curious part of the thing was, that the trees and the other things round them never changed their places at all: however fast they went, they never seemed to pass anything. “I wonder if all the things move along with us?” thought poor puzzled Alice. And the Queen seemed to guess her thoughts, for she cried, “Faster! Don’t try to talk!”
    Not that Alice had any idea of doing THAT. She felt as if she would never be able to talk again, she was getting so much out of breath: and still the Queen cried “Faster! Faster!” and dragged her along. “Are we nearly there?” Alice managed to pant out at last.
    “Nearly there!” the Queen repeated. “Why, we passed it ten minutes ago! Faster!” And they ran on for a time in silence, with the wind whistling in Alice’s ears, and almost blowing her hair off her head, she fancied.
    “Now! Now!” cried the Queen. “Faster! Faster!” And they went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through the air, hardly touching the ground with their feet, till suddenly, just as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found herself sitting on the ground, breathless and giddy.
    The Queen propped her up against a tree, and said kindly, “You may rest a little now.”
    Alice looked round her in great surprise. “Why, I do believe we’ve been under this tree the whole time! Everything’s just as it was!”
    “Of course it is,” said the Queen, “what would you have it?”
    “Well, in OUR country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else—if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”
    “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, HERE, you see, it takes all the running YOU can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

14 Comments to “Getting nowhere fast”

  1. Welcome back, we missed you!

    I read “Lady Audley’s Secret”, and couldn’t help wondering, why did she have to be potentially crazy? The story would have worked fine without that extra piece of melodrama. But I suppose she had to have some basic major character flow to become (spoiler alert!) a bigamist. A nice girl would have just starved to death.

  2. Still here (thanks to the magic of RSS); glad you are too.

  3. Know this feeling exactly. Hope you do get to stop soon.

  4. It’s a relief to see you back. I hope that you are henceforth blessed with space and time and resources for every neglected leisure pursuit.

  5. Thank you all very much for your kindness and patience! Particularly your patience. 🙂

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who finds the ending of Lady Audley’s Secret unsatisfactory!…but I think we need to keep in mind that there was quite a ruckus over the book even as it stands, so obviously she’d gone as far as she dared. Clearly the novel is Braddon thumbing her nose at the whole concept of “the angel in the house”, which was apparently shocking enough in and of itself for people without (what I suspect might have been the ending Braddon really wanted) the added suggestion that a woman could do such things and yet be quite sane…

  6. Welcome back!

  7. Well, you don’t need to do any more work on the nineteenth century… it’s all been covered thoroughly by the Disalmanac Podcast.

  8. Hi there — I am waiting with bated breath for your response to my posts on Ines de Castro — hope you find the time 🙂

    • Hi, Aida.

      I am so sorry for taking this obscene amount of time to respond to your comments! I kept putting it off to make sure I had time to respond properly, so of course it never happened at all. Thank you so much for your patience – and of course for taking the time to comment in the first place.

  9. I just read “The Portrait of a Lady”, and was interested in one line – the young lady was sometimes “guilty of the sin of self-esteem”. That’s downright un-American. Although I know a lot of people who have self-esteem far above what they deserve.

    • Ah, but young people were supposed to be humble-minded and to concentrate on their weaknesses in order to fix them. Their virtues were for other people to admire. And young women, of course, weren’t supposed to have their own opinions on anything, including themselves. 🙂

  10. I’m rereading all of the Betsy-Tacy books, and 12-yr-old Tacy gets in trouble with her father for reading “Lady’s Audley’s Secret”. He throws the book into the fireplace!

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