Sunday, October 10, 2010

Book Review - The Collector by John Fowles

Reading the novel The Collector by John Fowles was my first foray into his works and I could not have chosen a better beginning point. Although Fowles is known for his novel The French Lieutenant’s Woman, his first novel was The Collector. It’s a simple story, really: a young clerk wins some money and is soon financially independent of his family. He purchases a house and decides to kidnap the object of his hidden affections, a lovely art student named Miranda, in the hopes of her eventually returning his love. From this intent the book is divided between the voices and perspectives of narrator/kidnapper Frederick and the victim Miranda; each presents their own side to an intense situation that has no happy ending. Frederick seriously believes that, given time, Miranda will come around and love him just as much as he loves and worships her. Miranda’s side, however, reveals a woman that has no intention of doing just that and in fact is not the goddess Frederick claims her to be. She is a woman on the brink of discovering just who and what she is and the power she has once she figures it out. She loves and despises, hates and adores, and all of it is not completely for her captor. As Frederick claims he has found his ultimate addition to his “collection” of butterflies and other beautiful creatures, Miranda comes into her true self and it is ugly, selfish and crass with a dash of passion and of the erotic tendencies that drives to consume a young woman.
Frederick is a man who is not human. He exists from day to day, not truly living and not truly seeing the world in its correct light but in a skewed and narrow-minded way. His family is of the nagging and controlling sort, not realizing just how much of a part they had to play in his role as a young man. When he sees Miranda for the first time, he is struck by her beauty and grace while already placing her on a pedestal that, as we find out later, she does not truly deserve. Even when Miranda is in his house, his love for her is from a comfortable enough distance that he does not have to sully his hands with the flesh that is woman; when Miranda offers herself to him sexually, he is a complete loss in creating the “beast with two backs” with her. Although he committed a heinous act, I could not help but feel sorry for him for he showed a sense of childlike innocence that clouded his judgment. In his world, all beauty must be collected and preserved so that the collector can enjoy them forever. Only where does one draw the line? When does love become obsession? When does love become dangerous? From the two points of view in the novel, it is apparent that this situation is not a matter of love but a game of cat and mouse that, sadly to say, ends with death. A butterfly loses its life when the collector pins it to a board so that is beauty can be maintained forever. Therein lies the powerful delusion, especially when the butterfly is not beautiful nor wants to be captured and mounted for the collector’s pleasure. The butterfly has no say in its capture; all is can do it weakly flap its wings as Death takes over.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My Review of Snow Geisha® White Tea

Originally submitted at Teavana

Chinese white tea combines deliciously with sour cherries and candied cranberries to create an exotic, yet delicate blend.

Delightfully Fragrant

By Viridian Girl from Memphis, Tennessee on 10/9/2010


5out of 5

Tea Body: Medium

Tea Finish: Smooth

Tea Flavor: Fruity

Pros: Fresh, Soothing, Smooth Body, Unique Flavor Profile, Great Aroma, Rich In Antioxidants, High Quality

Cons: Prefer Tea Pouches

Best Uses: Afternoon, Evening, Dessert Tea

Describe Yourself: Tea Enthusiast, Occasional Tea Drinker, High-End Shopper, Health Conscious

This was my first Teavana purchase in several years and I am glad I chose this blend: the flavour is to die for. Although I drink my tea with raw sugar, I would gladly drink this tea without any sweetener. Most of the white teas by other companies are so "light" that one can hardly enjoy them but this tea has a good body to it and a flavour that lingers quite nicely. This is a tea that I will purchase again very soon. Cheers!

My Snow Geisha with cast iron cup and saucer


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