Give Her Madame Bovary

On May 1, 2007 by Eden M. Kennedy

The thing about getting a daily paper instead of just reading news online is that you stumble upon stuff like this:

(Last week I was offered the daily New York Times free for three months, so now I can pretend I’m back at Alice’s dining room table every morning, except with a different dog.)

(Which reminds me of a few years ago, when an Internet friend and her family came out to California, so I threw Jackson in the car and we drove down to L.A. to meet them for lunch. Suzyn started asking me about something controversial that was going on with a school board in Orange County, and I didn’t know a thing about it. Because I’d rejected both my crappy local paper and the notoriously unreliable L.A. Times and so was happily reading the New York Times every day, I knew all about the New Jersey girl who was forced to throw her incest babies down the air shaft but was utterly shocked the day a majority of my neighbors voted for a man whose name they could barely spell.)

What were we talking about? I tried to read Madame Bovary in my twenties, a time when I found it impossible to have patience for her despair. Now, of course, at a time of life when I would be able to sympathise with a crystalline portrait of tragic passions, I can’t bear to read anything but cartoons.

My point is, if someone can strike up a “mommy war” between readers of nineteenth-century fiction and devotees of “What Not To Wear,” I am SO IN.



20 Responses to “Give Her Madame Bovary”

  • Hmm…

    I’m not a mommy, but I read both the occasional well-written “mommy blog” and 19th century fiction, and I am here to tell you that (a) life as a mommy or anything else is only as fun as you make it, and (b) I hate Madame Bovary. Hate it. Stupid and patronizing. Loathsome. Obviously written by a man, and not a smart one.

    Carry on.

  • Right, then, I’ll put your name on the “What Not To Wear” side.

  • back in the day i had to edit “fencepost” items for the local paper. nothing says Good Morning like an ongoing catfight about people who leave their holiday lights up too long.

    and i’m with saraarts; madame bovary was lame.

  • Put me down for M. Bovary.

  • see – I knew you are way more cultured than I am. Put me down for Bloom County.

  • Damn, I was “would, could, should”ing long before I had kids. But I guess I have to be lame now because I had the audacity to breed.

    Can I watch WNTW while reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt, instead?

  • Gawker did an op-blog on the story. Me, I get all my books from our friendly public library, who kindly bring in any old thing my heart desires. I use the money I save on cable ;-)

    If I were to buy a book, you can bet it would not be one that tells me what I should be doing with my life.

    As for telling me what to wear, it depends. BBC or TLC?

  • Ah, the war develops on a new front. BBC vs. TLC.

    You’ll have to start mapping the battle sites.

  • I hate them both! MwaHA.

    That brown-haired extremely tiny critical woman makes me self-conscious, and MB is no fun whatsoever. Somebody once told me it’s about as feminine as RuPaul.

  • If Laurie Notaro (author of Idiot Girl series) ever procreates that will be the be-all end-all of mommy books.

  • I vote for crossword puzzles and Hardy, because a) that scene in Far from the Madding Crowd when the young dog herds the sheep off a cliff? Made me laugh. And b) Bathsheba Everdene is top five best names ever.

    Also, Miss Eden wears spectacular shoes and has a Zen sangfroid about her.


  • Actually, sorry, I deplore “What Not to Wear,” too.

    Boy, I’m just a killjoy all around. Put me down for George Eliot and Jane Austen.

  • Fragments of Greek papyri, all the way.

  • I’m too busy picking chocolate and valium out of my teeth to read or watch this what not to wear you speak of.

  • I’d prefer a war of What Not To Wear vs. Lady Godiva, but I’m so taking Stacy and Clinton’s side either way.

  • Pass the comics section, please.

  • Wow … this really makes me think about whether or not I should be writing a mom-edy book. My publisher is so NOT seeing that newspaper clip. Ugh. Serious.

  • Toss over all you bloggers to read a book? Not until your books come out. In the meantime, I’m going back to nursing madame ovary.

  • I’ve got the perfect book for you, then: a modern Emma Bovary comic book!;=books&qid;=1178594439&sr;=8-1

    (sorry, I don’t know how to make that link work! It’s worth cutting and pasting, though)

    It’s really very, very funny.

  • MUST the two be mutually exclusive? I enjoy both.