Installing Movable Type has to be the most labor-intensive thing I’ve ever tried to do on the computer. I keep getting an error when I try to load mt-load.cgi, so I posted my query to their forum, and maybe I can figure out what I am doing wrong. I am embarrassed by my clear lack of geekitude. I was sitting here, thinking I could install the thing all by myself with no help. After all, I know… stuff. You know. Quit laughing. Anyway, I did what the instructions said, but my head hurt. I don’t think I understand computerese as well as I thought I did. No wonder they offer paid installations. Hell, why not offer the software for free when it takes a computer geek of the first level to be able to install it? They can make all the money they need through installations.
I finished All He Ever Wanted yesterday. I enjoyed the book very much, and I was reminded of Doris Lessing’s short story “To Room Nineteen” and Michael Cunningham’s The Hours. I haven’t read A Room of One’s Own or Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (I guess I must do that soon!) or even A Doll’s House (actually, I may have read that one…), but I gather from research that all are similar in theme. I wonder that the issue of having a place, separate from home and family, is something that comes up so much in feminist literature, even today. But back to All He Ever Wanted. As a person with OCD, I empathize with the narrator, even when he does extraordinarily awful things. I know all too well how he feels. I see bits of my husband in both the narrator and Etna. I see bits of me in the narrator, too. I wonder… is this need to get away a common function of unhappy or loveless marriages? I was getting to the point of feeling this way in my first marriage, but I haven’t felt that way about my current marriage, not even with our recent problems. Sure, sometimes when we fight I have an urge to flee, but it isn’t this dull, persistent ache to be elsewhere, to escape. It’s a feeling of gradually suffocating or being strangled. “To Room Nineteen” resonated strongly with me, even though I read it in a sophomore-level British Lit. course when I was so young I couldn’t have possibly related to in on the level I might today. The book reminded me too of A.S. Byatt’s Possession in that they seemed to be written in a similar manner. I couldn’t really put my finger on exactly what it was.
So I’ve moved on to The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. Very good so far. The Boleyns are such a disgusting lot — all their scheming and social climbing phoniness. I think, though, the one thing that is bothering me about this book, despite the fact that it is otherwise very good, is that the characters speak in a rather modern manner. It doesn’t sound “period” to me. Here I’m talking like an SCAdian. It wouldn’t surprise me if that’s the main complaint reenactors and historians have with the novel.