Sabtu, 07 Juni 2008

The Age of Innocence

Out of the blue, I want to write something about this novel--The Age of Innocence--it is caused by a student who chose this novel to be the subject matter of his research for his graduating paper. I examined him yesterday. Yesterday I did write something about this here, but then it was gone due to an error that happened during the publishing process.

Now, I want to rewrite it.

The Age of Innocence is written by a female American writer--Edith Wharton--living from 1862-1937. I have never made any research on her work yet so I don't really know her. The first time I ran across her name was when I was doing the research for my thesis. The subject matter for my thesis is the short story entitled "The Yellow Wallpaper" written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and the main theme is about a woman who is considered as to deviant the main norm of patriarchal society in the nineteenth century. It is understandable then if the reference books I read are related to that theme, such as Woman Madness written by Phyllis Chesler, The Invalid women written by Diane Prince, Women's Madness: Mysogynist or Mental Illness? by Jane M. Ussher, etc. In one of those books, I found Edith Wharton's name with one novel entitled The House of Mirth. It made me conclude that The House of Mirth tells a bit similar topic as "The Yellow Wallpaper". Therefore, I was interested in it so that I was looking for it in the American Studies Library. After finding it, I borrowed it and copied it to make the collection of my books in the bookshelves more complete with women's works. LOL. "Copy it, Nana? That's a big crime, don't you know that?" LOL. Sure. But who will guarantee that I will be able to find it in a bookstore in Indonesia??? LOL.

Some months later, when browsing books in a bookstore, I found another novel written by Edith Wharton--The Age of Innocence. I bought it, again to make the books in the bookshelves more crowded. LOL. If one student coming to me, asking for a suggestion what kind of work can be used for the subject matter of their graduating paper, I can lend it. And I will offer myself as the first advisor.

Until now, I haven't read those two novels written by Edith Wharton. " Books that are not read yet, only become decoration in the bookshelves, are not considered as literary works. They are just dead artifacts," one professor once said so, when I was in college. LOL.

Knowing that a graduating paper that I would examine used The Age of Innocence made me browse internet to look for data yesterday morning. And I become more interested in reading this novel soon now that I have a term break from my office. The story can be nostalgic to me since the time setting is the nineteenth century America, reminds me of the time when I was doing the research for my thesis, the time when I was accusing myself as suffering from a similar illness with the unnamed heroine of "The Yellow Wallpaper". So absorbed was I with my research that I almost couldn't differentiate which was my real life with the real me, and which was the imaginary life with my research for my thesis. "Have you already been mad too?" a classmate once asked me knowing that the main topic for my thesis is about Woman and Madness. LOL.

FBS UA 15.15 210906

Tidak ada komentar: