14 August 2010

Day 140: Lavinia

Lavinia by Ursula K. LeGuin.  ISBN: 9780151014248.

There's a theme running through this book that I find somewhat hard to swallow.  Lavinia finds comfort in releasing her will to her destiny and feels that she has more control over her life by doing so.  I guess I might consider that an option too, if I had some old dead poet telling me what was supposed to happen next.  But I don't; and even if I did, I might question whether or not someone whose goal in life was to create something that people would be reading well into the future (in other words, it had to be "entertaining" enough to keep the bloodthirsty masses coming back for gore... get it?).

I mean, if she was honestly willing to fulfill her destiny, she should have just married whoever her parents picked for her.  But instead, she takes advice from "God," who in this case happens to be the poet who created, or at the very least, re-imagined her.  On the one hand, I kind of get that, but on the other I am very disappointed that this is what LeGuin is doing with whatever time she has left to write (she's 81, if you're curious).  I was just hoping for more willfulness on Lavinia's part.  There was a little bit, but it was all within the confines of the male structure and we very rarely see her even thinking outside of the box she doesn't even seem to know she's in.

Maybe that's really how women thought in those days, but it does not make for a particularly insightful or interesting re-imagining of the Aeneid.  I'm also retelling, etc., but there needs to be something that's added to the narrative, and Lavinia just fell flat on her 2-D face.  About the only thing she got were far more lines than Virgil ever gave her, but it wasn't necessarily anything I much cared to listen to.

*This was actually transcribed via phone by Dan Walker from Amy Campbell.  Shortly after finishing the transcription the internet was magically reconnected.  Ffffffff.

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