I am in the middle of reading Charlotte Bronte’s Villete, which thus far centers on the first-person narrator Lucy Snowe and her travels in the fictional metropolis from which the novel gets its title. I just recently finished Shirley, which was very much a slow read for the first 200 pages but which soon picked up and became (in my eyes) a relatively good piece of work.
I am hoping that the same is the case for this novel, as it has yet to pick up and has a vexing amount of French passages that require me to give constant attention to the annotations at the back of the edition. Also mildly irritating is the fact that, thus far, I have seen little of the female dual self as transgression, although I have seen some character inconsistencies that could be considered transgressive, particularly Madame Beck’s androgyny and Lucy’s extreme coldness (which, according to a note in the back of the edition, counters what her first name is supposed to connote). The startling lack of post-its I have used in the first 100 pages leads me to believe that I will likely not use this novel in the great thesis of doom but will instead be nothing more than a pleasure read in the end of things. Nonetheless, I have resolved to enjoy it and all of its Victorian splendor to my utmost and will continue moving towards its conclusion with as much vigor as exam week can spare.