The luxuriant laziness of the three-day-weekend.... Today was bliss, lolling around, reading, secure in the knowledge that I do not have to get up and put on real clothes and real shoes tomorrow. My seniors are reading Frankenstein now, and between reading for teaching and reading for reviews, I find myself reading three or more books at a time.
First, there is Frankenstein: I read this for a graduate class, and then reread it at least once. Now I am reading Shelley's highly original novel for the third or fourth time. I love this book for its complexity, for its originality, and also because it is just so thematically and structurally suggestive. I have the Signet Classics paperback, which my students are using, and the Norton Critical Edition, which has critical essays and historical and biographical materials.
Back when I was in graduate school, I read everything I could get my hands on about Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Mary Shelley. Wollstonecraft was a radical feminist in the 18th century, author of The Vindication of the Rights of Women, among other books. I'm pretty excited to read Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley. I just can't get enough of these two groundbreaking women.
When my students finish Frankenstein, they will be reading connected novels in book clubs. So I've started reading Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (It was a Hollywood film, Bladeruuner). I'd say I'm about one-third of the way through this science-fiction classic, and I think it will work as a connecting novel for Frankenstein. Some of the same questions raised in Frankenstein about morality, ethics, and what it means to be human, are present in Philip Dick's futuristic tale of a bounty hunter who is pursuing highly realistic androids.
And finally, on a completely different subject, I spent all of today reading Tessa Hadley's The Past, a gorgeously written novel about an English family. It's really lovely, and I just want to get lost in it.
What have you been reading this weekend?