Hello little blog, I haven’t forgotten about you.
I haven’t talked about my book club in awhile, so let’s talk about that. I last shared about our January book, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, so let’s back up to February. In February we read a sort of feminist manifesto called Enlightened Sexism: The Seductive Message That Feminism’s Work Is Done. It was basically about how the media and pop culture portray women, getting us to believe that it’s totally okay to be objectified since we’ve already achieved equality. My experience and value system and frame of reference is very different from that of the author, and I didn’t always agree with her, but there were many times when we still ended up reaching similar conclusions. The book was chock full of references to TV shows, movies, and magazines, and it was fun to remember specific shows from my youth and look at them from a gender studies perspective. I didn’t end up making any quote art from this book, but here was my favorite quote from it:
“…the wheedling, seductive message to young women is that being decorative is the highest form of power — when, of course, if it were, Dick Cheney would have gone to work every day in a sequined tutu.” – Susan J. Douglas
It kind of reminds me of another quote I love:
“If you feel your value lies in being merely decorative, I fear that someday you might find yourself believing that’s all that you really are. Time erodes all such beauty, but what it cannot diminish is the wonderful workings of your mind: Your humor, your kindness, and your moral courage. These are the things I cherish so in you. I so wish I could give my girls a more just world. But I know you’ll make it a better place. ” – Marmee, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Oh how I love Marmee.
Anyway, after the long, thought-provoking feminist book, we were all ready for a little breather so we picked The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry for March. We picked it because it’s so short and kind of geared toward youth so we thought it would be easy. It was not quite as easy to read as we had thought, but still, the length was a nice break. I had read the book before, but only in the original French when I was a student, and I had just kind of glossed over the words I didn’t know. There were quite a few of those words, so really this was the first time I really understood it.
We had a good discussion about what childhood means to our society and how understandings of childhood as a magical time of innocence have been vastly different throughout history. We even got to talking about how our different faith denominations treat children and understand them as “sinners” differently.
The quote I chose from this book was “What is essential is invisible to the eye.” For my artwork I decided to use the French version, “L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux,” but I shortened it to “l’essentiel est invisible.”
I embroidered it onto a scrap piece of my own handmade paper. I had been wondering how it might work to embroider patterns and designs onto my handmade paper notecards that I sell in my Etsy shop, so this was my experiment to see if it might work. It doesn’t. At least not if I’m embroidering in small cursive letters. I ripped the paper several times. Oh well, at least now I know.
For our next meeting, we are reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. I bought it one morning a week or so ago, and I finished that night at 3AM. Because it is so deliciously exciting and easy to read! I am now on the hunt for a paperback copy of the 2nd and 3rd books in the trilogy (paperback because the one I own is paperback and they have to match!) but they’ve sold out at half price books. It’s the kind of young adult series that I love to devour quickly like Twilight or The Hunger Games, except I like it much better than Twilight and not quite as well as The Hunger Games. After our book club discusses it in April I will work on sharing some quote art from Divergent.