Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Interposed between her and the fading light of day in the quiet street, his shadow falls upon her, and he darks all before her.

I need to start this with a confession: I totally forgot to write this post. Or I mean, I didn't totally forget it cos if I did, you wouldn't be reading anything right now. But so far I've been doing my Bleak House reading and finishing it in time to write my post over the weekend and just have it ready. Except this time I'm writing it Monday night because I forgot to write it this weekend. This also means additional time has passed between my reading and writing this, so this might make even less sense than the other posts. Sorry about that.

ANYWAY, thank you Alice for hosting this because despite my inability to plan for things if my weekly schedule is disturbed in the slightest.

Bleak House chapters XL through XLVIII (we're now at the point with Roman numerals where I have no idea what the chapter numbers are).

Tulkinghorn is being an asshole. But at this point I can just say "Tulkinghorn is" because the rest is repetitive. He tells Sir Leister a TOTALLY HYPOTHETICAL story about some aristocratic lady who was once engaged to some captain guy and got pregnant but the guy died before they could rush a wedding and she had a child out of wedlock. The lady managed to keep shame a secret until she made a stupid mistake and then EVERYONE HATED HER. Then he looks knowingly at Lady D, cos again, asshole.

Lady D confronts him up in his turret lair, and says she's ready to leave so she doesn't bring shame on her husband. Tulkinghorn convinces her not to and says he'll give her some warning before he reveals her secret and ruins her life.
This probably happened too.
Hortense comes back and is really the crazy is going to bubble over soon. She wants to help Tulkinghorn destroy Lady D. Tulkinghorn doesn't want to work with her, I have to assume in part because of the crazy.

We get to see Chez Skimpole and he continues to be a terrible terrible person. I guess if we're looking for good things to say about him, his daughters like him. Of course he sort of treats them like dolls so bad in the negative column. His house is falling apart, probably because he's such a child and THIS SHIT ISN'T CUTE OR WHIMSICAL. Except no one seems to call him on it, except all of these poor shopkeepers he keeps ripping off.

Sir Leicester shows up to tell Mr. Jarndyce, Esther, and Ada that he's sorry he hates their friend Boythorn so much but that they are ABSOLUTELY welcome to come visit, and Lady D even likes Mr. Jarndyce. Of course he also tells Skimpole he can come visit and I feel like that is bringing and expensive curse over to Chesney Wold but since I don't care so much about Leicester, that's fine.

We get LOTS of revelations in this section. Esther tells Jarndyce her (and Lady D's) secret. And Jarndyce reveals that Lady D's sister (and Esther's fake Godmother) was Boythorn's old lov-ah and that after Lady D and Lady D-sis got in a fight she broke things of with Boythorn. THEN Jarndyce proposes to Esther (in a letter) and Esther says yes.
The proposal makes Esther cry and NOT happy tears, and she burns all of the flowers from Woodcourt because she won't need those anymore. Because love is dead. And she's also forgetting about Ada, her true love. I guess she figures she'll still get that. I mean, she's going in and stealing kisses from her while she sleeps.

Richard is in all kinds of trouble and is looking haggard and has lots of debt cos he's all obsessed with the J&J case. I dunno, I sort of don't care about Richard anymore. Sorry, Rick. BUT while Esther is visiting Richard she sees Woodcourt and she doesn't know what to do with herself cos she wants to see him but she's ugly now (and also engaged to an old guy [Jarndyce is old, right?]). BUT she does go see him and Woodcourt says he'll watch out for Richard.

Jo comes back! Granted  the poor guy shows up again after being tackled by Woodcourt. And he's all sick and he says he was taken from Bleak House. When he's hiding a George's, George assumes it's Bucket that did it to bring Jo to Tulkinghorn for EVIL REASONS. Then because things weren't depressing enough in Jo's life, we see a touching moment between him and Snagsby and then Jo dies. Because of course he does. Dammit, Dickens.

Lady D dismisses Rosa and sends her with Mr. Rouncewell so she can be with Rouncewell's son and that was nice. Tulkinghorn makes it all about him and is all annoyed that this is going to raise suspicions and now says he WON'T warn her before he's going to ruin her life.

BUT THEN the section ends with Tulkinghorn being shot.
So. Problem solved. BUT WHO IS THE SHOOTER? And does anyone have a death count for this book, cos I feel like it's pretty high.

Title quote from location 11,189

Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. Amazon Digital Services. Originally published 1853. Kindle edition.