Thursday, May 26, 2011

Dreary Last Chapters, A Free Book and Why (Apparently) Women Aren't Funny

Recently, I've been thinking about last chapters of novels and famous last lines as I've been writing an article on the subject for The View From Here. We've all heard, for example, of "Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day" from Gone with the Wind.

Frankly, the film was enough to put me off the book. Not that is was unwatchable but the thought of wading through over a thousand pages to hear that corny line is a just a no go for me. I'd probably find myself screaming"Oh just let him go, Love. Burn your corset, let it all hang out!"

Mind you, that's what Germaine Greer did. Probably would have been better if she hadn't.

Anyway, the last line of Gone with the Wind hardly lives up to the classic Dickens;

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.’

I'm not sure what Dickens was talking about - maybe death or something like that - but to me it sounds like he just got over a bout of constipation.

Anyway, the last ever printed edition of The View From Here is coming up soon- after three years in print it was time to return to our roots on the Internet. So, the bad news is there's no more printed edition after the next issue but the good news is you'll be able to read yet more of me on the web! Okay, that may not necessarily be a good thing - but think on the positive side - if I'm writing literary articles (okay, that is probably debatable), the chances are I'm not writing short stories about golden labradors, fluffy cats and women who knit tea cosies (and probably wear them). Hurrah, I hear you say!

You know, I'm suspect the world of women's magazine is not ready for me yet. In fact, I don't think I'm ready for it. Pass me The Beano...

Anyhow, in addition to our bumper last edition coming up soon you can read for FREE, a novel by our fiction writer, Kathleen Mahler, a writer from New York and whose fiction blog Diary of a Heretic was a finalist in the Weblog Awards for Best Literature Blog, which was won in 2007 by Neil Gaiman. Kathleen's novel is called Death Knell and the premise is as follows;

When Jeanne, a recently widowed young mother, moves halfway across the United States to Lawrence, Kansas, she hopes to escape a troubled past and start a new life with her two-year-old daughter. Instead she finds she has traded one set of troubles for another. Bereaved and lonely, she plunges headlong into an affair with a married man, Kevin, and tries to befriend Kevin's troubled friend Hal. But Kevin's passion for her and Hal's jealousy create a volatile mix....

You read Kathleen's book by following THIS LINK to The View From Here where links to download it are absolutely free of charge!

Anyhow, on another matter, over the last few days I've started to catch up on some of my blogging buddies' posts which, due to being somewhat busy of late, I had fallen behind in reading. Unfortunately, this always takes much longer than I expect as I usually get hooked on some Internet trail and end up reading a whole chain of stuff. True to form, this happened when I went over to Scott Pack's site and somehow ended up on this article at Vanity Fair by Christopher Hitchens called "Why Women Aren't Funny" which was...interesting. I was disappointed though that the article (written in 2007) didn't have a comment section. Maybe that's the Vanity Fair policy but not giving the right to reply is pretty archaic these days, especially on the net. Not that I would have written anything offensive in reply ... but I might have said something...


Anyway, I decided to read up about Mr Hitchens on Wikipedia and I discovered he is friends with Martin Amis and attended Balliol College, Oxford.

Interesting. In a sort of dull, academic way.

Enough said.

By the way, I still haven't finished The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis. Unfortunately, it "accidentally" encountered a small fire in the back garden...

Anyway, I leave you with a taster of my last printed article for The View. As you'll see I wasn't happy with some last lines of famous novels and decided to do a little revision...

Pride and Prejudice

          The newly married Elizabeth and Lydia strolled through the grounds of Pemberley idly watching Darcy and Mr Wickham fishing in the lake. Elizabeth turned to Lydia, stretching out her palm.
       “That’s six shillings you me owe me, my dear sister; I told you I could bag a husband without dropping my pantaloons.”

The Da Vinci Code;
          For a moment, he thought he heard a woman’s voice…the wisdom of the ages…whispering up from the chasms of the earth… 

            “It took you long enough, Robert. I had those clues worked out in a jiffy.”
The Return of the King.

And Rose drew him in, and set him in his chair, and put little Elanor upon his lap.
He drew a deep breath. “Well I’m back,” he said.

Rose rolled her eyes. “And about time too. That’s the last time I send you down the chippy.”

 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s stone

            “Oh, I will,” said Harry, and they were surprised at the grin that was spreading over his face. “They don’t know we’re not allowed to use magic at home. I’m going to have a lot of fun with Dudley this summer…”
            Harry woke up, clenching his wand. It had all been a dream.

The Witty Ways of A Wayward Wife

           " Where's that copy of Pregnant Widow?" said Mr T, running his finger along the bookshelf. 

           "Umm... I don't know, Darling,  replied Mrs T, filling out her application form to Balliol College, Oxford. "Have you tried the back garden?"


  1. This women aren't funny thing, rears its head every so often. It's usually said by men who aren't funny. If anyone ever says it to me, there's a two word reply - (no, not THAT two word reply), Victoria Wood.
    Being unfunny is not a problem you have......

  2. Thanks for the compliment, Martin:)

    I hadn't really come across that argument before (well at least not quite like that!) - but I suppose since most of our mainstream comics are male that's where the argument comes from.I think humour is equally shared amongst the sexes - some of the funniest people I know are women- but I do think women tend to be at that funniest when their with other women - not because we share a different humour (although obviously in some aspects we do) but because of our social roles. Interesting subject...:)

  3. Of course women are funny. Have you seen them driving? Hilarious! Take them away from the cooker and they are in the abyss and are to be watched round the clock for maximum entertainment!

  4. Why Sir, unmasked yourself! I have taken off my Marigolds, withdrawn my wooden spoon and I am ready to do battle - for you have insulted all of womankind with your spurious remarks! Everyone knows women are the safest drivers! (I hope no one saw that little incident I had in the multi-storey the other week....) Anyway, it spoons at dawn Sir, prepare yourself for battle!

  5. "but I do think women tend to be at that funniest when their with other women" I think I agree with you there Jane. Could it be cos the men around only appreciate each other's jokes?


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