Saturday, September 16, 2006

Labor Pains

After much deliberation I've come to a somewhat ragged conclusion about my blog birthin'. Having recently re-visited Gone With The Wind (the novel, not the Hollywood version) just let me say, "We need a doctor. I don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' blogs!"
No, my favorite author is not
Margaret Mitchell; it's Hawthorne, as in Nathaniel. Why? He gives me permission to write extremely long sentences and insert commas where I darn well please. But, as they say, 'opposites attract' and I'm counting on that chemistry to spark my format for Dating Profile (my alter-ego site) and this blog and a new idea I have for it's evolution. We shall see.

I'm not a
Civil War buff and not even a huge Mitchell fan, or classic movie fanatic, but Scarlett does fascinate me, much like Hawthorne's Hester.
One a saint, the other a wench.

If you haven't read these cheerful classics in a while - or simply forgot to put them in your beach bag - here's a review. You might want to take a quick refresher course 
here and here and here.

While most people only remember the "sinful woman" in The Scarlet Letter and the dark side of Hawthorne's prose, let's not forget that his masterpiece, was first and foremost, a romance.

Likewise, Rhett's famous "frankly" line in Gone With the Wind ("Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.") is what most people associate with this classic. That's a shame. There are endless correlations between Hawthorne's Hester and Mitchell's
Scarlett - at least I think so - not the least of which happens to be Miss O'Hara's first name and the title of Hawthorne's work - minus one T.

I never know, when I sit down to write, what will fall out of my pen. There may be philosophical days in which a bit of Hawthorne brood takes over into serious discussion in my posts - but I hope they will always be relevant - and entertaining. Maybe downright silly.
At least that's my plan.
In the event that I err in my assessments (and I most certainly will), I will rely on
Bazza - literary genius that he is - to correct me.

For instance, Hester wore the scarlet red letter A on her garment while Miss O'Hara wore her breasts on her garment (or outside her garment, I should say). Don't you remember that fabulous line from

"You can't show your bosoms before 3 o'clock."?
Hester sure could have used her advice.

Let's face it. Mammy was the only character in Gone With the Wind who had any sense. Everybody else wanted to chase corsets, wage war, pick cotton and play poker.

Had Scarlett O'Hara been given the tasks of sewing a degrading vowel to her chest, she, unlike Hester, who stitched it herself with gold trim, would have simply summoned one of her servants to do it for her. Moreover, had she been asked to stand for three hours on a scaffold holding a baby as Mistress Prynne did, she would have used the gallows as a makeshift swing for the baby and took bets in the crowd for one last dance on the platform.
What kind of person names a baby Bonnie Blue anyway?

Such a vixen, that

Furthermore, if her skimmy had been publicly eyed that fateful day, as Hester's was, and asked to reveal the name of the man she committed the awful sin with (as Hester did not) she most certainly would have rattled off the names quite readily, Confederate and Union, farmhand and Governor alike, and then would have saluted their wives with a toss of her ponytail. (Have you noticed how my sentence structure is becoming Hawthornish??! Spooky.) Anyway.....

And so, ladies and gentlemen, cyber-friends and flesh-and-bone-friends-who-will-not-reveal-my-identity, I shall call upon these two icons of femininity and scandal to help me de-bunk the mystery that is male.

Can you imagine a conversation between Rhett and Hester or Scarlett and Dimmesdale? Might be revealing. What if Hester had been banished to Tara and Mammy had to nurture the sin child? I dare say she'd have some tidbits to talk about in the hen house. Can you envision a more appropriate place for Scarlett than in a Puritan colony?

I think not.

Cancel your therapist appointments, throw away those worn out copies of Mars vs Venus! No need for such fuss. We all know that Hester's love for Dimmesdale was the much sought after real thing - as was Scarlett's love for herself. Miss O'Hara, I'd say, could have written any one of those
silly dating profiles or at the very least, understood them. And don't you think it's time I cut a little slack for those wayward dating guys I'm encountering?

Well......let's not get carried away.

Let's imagine a literary fiasco.
I think it's time.
The contractions have started.
I'll be back later.
Got some birthin' to do.


alphawoman said...

Wow. That was educational as well as entertaining! I recently found the copy of GWTW that my Mom gave me in the late 1960's..."Your favortie book"...I think I was 12 or 13 when I read it. I use to love to read big books, it made me feel smart!! As I held the book in my hand, (with the mylar cover my Mom lovingly put onit) I thought "I need to read this again". thanks for the nudge.

Lizza said...

If Scarlett knew about Hester, she would've wondered what the fuss about the letter A was all about. After all, she herself was having naughty thoughts about Ashley--when she wasn't thinking about herself.

You're so creative, it's amazing! Looking forward to more great postings from you, Mimi. Good luck with the literary Lamaze.

Bazza said...

Help, Mimi! As ever, you are very generous toward me and my blog, but that comment scares me! I am going to have to bone up on US literate a bit more.
By the way, as an interesting aside, did you know that the only way that the 1939 film censors would allow that famous line of Rhett Butler's was to change the emphasis from "...I don't give a damn." to "...I don't give a damn."?
Thus, one of the most famous lines in Hollywood history was born by default!

Anonymous said...

I happen to love the Scarlet Letter. One of my favorite books in the world. I am less crazy about Gone with the Wind, but I did like the movie a great deal. Cool post, mims. And bazza, how the heck did you know that about that line from Gone with the Wind?

Mimi Lenox said...

Hi Mary! Thanks for stopping in. Glad you enjoyed and especially that it brought back good memories for you.

Mimi Lenox said...

Lizza....."Literary lamaze" is a great way to put it. What a great phrase.

Gem....Oh good, another Hawthorne fan. Re-reading both those books recently has been a blast.

Bazza......How DID you know about that movie trivia? Fascinating. Thanks!

Nicole said...

I came across your blog by way of the Dating Profile blog you have, to which a friend sent me the link. It is hilarious, by the way.

Gone With the Wind is one of my favorite novels of all time. I have read the book more times than I have watched the movie. The book is so much better, don't you think?

I always wanted to read The Scarlet Letter, but never did. The short version of the story is that I tried to read it when I was a teenager, and my best friend's mother mocked me, saying that it was much too complicated for her, and therefore must be so much more complicated fora teenager such as myself. So, despite the fact that I started reading Shakespeare in the fifth grade, I let this terrible woman influence me and I put down the beloved Hawthorne and never picked it up again.

I now regret that I didn't read it just to prove that I not only could read it, but could understand it.

I have every intention of reading it someday, perhaps now sooner than later, if only to compare and contrast the two works.

Thank you for sharing that discovery!

Mimi Lenox said...

Hi Nicole....Thanks for stopping by to read Mimi Writes and Dating Profile. Sometimes I feel like two people! Trying to be funny with the dating spoof and serious with the writing blog (well...not TOO serious).
As for the woman who discouraged you, the late great Scarlett O'Hara would say ...."Fiddle-dee!"
Please come back anytime. I love comments.

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