Sunday, February 26, 2012

Working Weekend: in which I sit at my desk

It might not seem like an earth-shattering idea, that I would sit at my desk. But to tell you the truth, I just don't sit there very often. I prefer to read in my squishy red armchair, and I've recently taken to typing on my yellow futon, lying oh-so-elegantly on my belly. But when I am dealing with a tome as heavy as Clarissa, it just seemed to be more physically feasible to use my desk space.

I really have nothing against my desk space. I like the objects I have surrounded the area with.

[Snoopy stuffed animal from my childhood; photo of my old dog Sadie Beagle and I circa 2004; Snoopy desk calendar from Hallmark]

[books for personal study; Diana special edition Colette from R for our anniversary; photo of R and I playing Scrabble this winter]

[vintage Snoopy lamp, anonymously delivered to my door after I accidentally shattered the old one]

[wooden yellow roses from Toad Suck Daze in Conway, AR 2008; vase handpainted lyrics to "Two of Us" by the Beatles from my mum]

[birthday card painted by my friend Mary for my 17th birthday]

My bulletin board:

[my friend Megz with her hard-earned Dramaturgy award; postcard of Edward Hopper painting "Automat"; photobooth strip of R and I from this winter]

[Peanuts comic from the paper, circa 2002]

There are only two real issues with the area. Firstly, the natural light from my two living room windows does not penetrate that corner very effectively. I prefer to sit in the sunlight, if possible. Secondly, my rolly-chair and the hardwood floor are constantly at odds with each other. If I move to cross, re-cross, or un-cross my legs, the chair goes sliding down the floor away from the desk. Obviously, such antics are not conducive to, say, highlighting in a large book, or typing on a laptop computer.

But, as previously mentioned, I decided to make use of my desk yesterday afternoon. I was in the process of completing a "too-close reading" of one aspect of Clarissa. A "too-close reading" is a notion invented by D.A. Miller in his analysis of Alfred Hitchcock's filma, in which he goes a little bit crazy in looking at the appearances of Hitchcock within his own Strangers on a Train and Rope. What is especially intriguing about Miller's analysis is that he is not that concerned with proving a larger point. He simply desires to investigate this little poignant detail, even at the risk of taking it too far. The journey for Miller is more valuable (in this case) than the end destination.

So, I chose to look closely at two instances in Clarissa where crying is either faked or hidden. Being a sentimental novel, there is an abundance of genuine tears--almost to the point of their being invisible. So, the moments of contrived tears, and of tears not on display, stood out to me.

I have drawn no conclusions.

I hope that's okay.

[shirt: Gap, old, jumper: thrifted, beret: Urban Outfitters, necklace: Ruche, gifted, tights: Sock Dreams]

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