A couple weeks ago, 1000 in a Decade, a blog intended to chronicle my efforts to read 1,000 works in a decade, was nominated for a Versatile Blog award. On the one hand, this award is fitting and deserved. Though I intended to write a lot about literature on this blog, it was always meant to encompass a hodgepodge of thoughts and ideas. And, inasmuch as I’ve posted on this blog – which, regrettably, is not much (I spend most of my time with Just Dread-Full, my horror blog), I have managed to accumulate a small amalgam of diverse posts. My posts discuss my favorite works of classic fiction, grapple with issues of body image in our culture, touch on current events, and, occasionally (well, so far only once) showcase a piece of clothing I’ve fallen in love with. To that end, yes, 1000 in a Decade is diverse.
Over ten years ago, when I was an unassuming college literature major in her junior year, I took a modernist literature course. It was a fantastic course in which we read a smattering of wonderful stories and poetry, including stuff by Jean Toomer, T.S. Eliot, Richard Wright, and William Faulkner. Modernist literature sits contentedly in a section of my heart, along with the beautiful local peninsula on a warm summer day and the people who mean the most to me in my life. But there was one work I read that semester that was particularly special to me, a work grappling with complex issues while remaining accessible, a work with a strong heroine who faces tremendous adversity and surmounts it, a work that celebrates the simultaneous wonder and pain, the joy and suffering, inherent in the human condition and living life – both on this earth, and as an African American woman in early 20th century America. It happens to do a fine job examining race relations and difficult issues related to race in America in the 1930’s, too. And, as my blog post title might suggest, that work is Their Eyes Were Watching God, written by writer and anthropologist Zora Neal Hurston. I have loved this book for a very, very long time now, and will continue to love it for a long time to come. In discussing the novel, I will detail the plot (starting in the next paragraph), and I’ll ultimately have to reveal the ending to make the points I want to make, (but I’ll indicate when I’m about to do that). Continue reading
The first journal entry I ever wrote – that wasn’t an assignment for school – was about Macaroni and Cheese and Hot Dogs. I haven’t dined on this meal in over a decade, but it must have been a staple for me as a kid, ranking up there with grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup. The entry, of course was none too scintillating. In my gangly five-year-old handwriting, I eked out a few awkward sentences about my lunch. I imagine I was very satisfied with this entry, though I’ll never know for sure. After all, I don’t remember writing any of it; I have, now, only the remaining artifact – a smaller-than average journal with a maroon faux-leather binding, lined with gold and complete with a lock and golden-trimmed pages (both of which, I think, are a nice touch). Continue reading