Online - Anytime
Specific Courses With Timelines
Housekeeping was my first view of Marilynne Robinson's writing. My thoughts are still in processing, having just finished the book today. One reviewer called the protagonist's sister, Lucille a conformist, as though we are directed to view her negatively. However, I think she simply wasn't the protagonist, and that the frequent desire to label the protagonist as having a "right" way is a form of comfort and yearning for certainty that Robinson is challenging. We are often told the stories of laudable children with grit and how "successful" they are, a very Lucille perspective. Ruthie's story offers an alternate view and challenges the notion of success and the notion of suicide versus staying alive. It reminded me of Annie Dillard on writing, "Why not shoot yourself, actually, rather than finish one more excellent manuscript on which to gag the world?" (Dillard, The Writing Life, 1989). Our reasons for living and not living and our reasons for writing or staring out of a window or attempting to sew a dress and make friends are all really curious methods of coping with the same sets of problems of existence as a lone individual in a world we keep trying to ascribe meaning to.
The marvellously moving Auguste Rodin’s “Eve” in the Burrell Collection in Glasgow.
“Adam and Eve wept some human tears, but soon they dried them. Before them stretched the whole world, where they must choose a place of rest, with Providence as their guide. Hand in hand through the land of Eden, with slow and wandering steps, they began their lonely journey.” (Paradise Lost by John Milton, “translation” by Dennis Danielson)