Monday, August 27, 2012

Candy At The End Of The World

Like many of Jackson's writings, The Sundial ends with a number of unanswered questions and unsettling speculations: it is uncertain if the world will end after the storm has passed, but if it does, are these unpleasant people to inherit the earth? Jackson offers no certainties.

... Jackson herself was fond of joking of an "architectural gene" that cropped up in her family once every few generations, and the house presented in The Sundial might foreshadow the infamous Hill House in The Haunting of Hill House. In both Hill House and Sundial, there are many striking similarities between the two houses: both Hill House and Halloran House were built by husbands as gifts for wives who died shortly before or shortly after seeing the house for the first time, and both houses become the source of conflict between various family members who disputed the house's ownership. The "mathematically perfect" grounds and the jarring sundial might remind readers again of Hill House, where all the floors and walls are said to be slightly off-centre. Halloran House, while never openly "haunted" in the sense that Hill House claimed to be, is the site of at least two ghostly visitations.

The Sundial, like the earlier Jackson novel The Road Through the Wall, contains a great number of characters, none of whom are very sympathetic. An abundance of unpleasant characters — in addition to the eleven main characters, there are several other minor characters who appear throughout the novel as comic relief — populate the narrative.

John G. Park, in his article "Waiting For the End: Shirley Jackson's 'The Sundial'," points to several instances of "confining narcissism" on the part of the novel's primary characters. Stephen King, in his Danse Macabre, summarized this concept as "a growing obsession with one's own problems; a turning inward instead of a growing outward." Throughout the novel, most of the characters' conversations are really competing monologues, with no one listening; moreover, both Oriana and Aunt Fanny attempt to manipulate the other adults in the same way that Fancy controls her dolls.

Surrounded by gummy fish and tennis gumballs, Maria Sharapova isn't apologizing.

She likes candy, and that's the next category she'll add her name to.

It's actually more than putting her name and face on a product. While she has worked with the likes of Nike and Cole Haan to design shoes and clothes, she has never started from scratch like she has with this deal.

Sharapova said the development, from concept to launch, has taken 18 months.

"It's like I've been pregnant twice," Sharapova said jokingly.

Sharapova is ranked third heading into the U.S. Open, which starts next week.

On Monday, the tennis star stood in front of 12 varieties of Sugarpova candy at the new retail store of her partner It'Sugar, a candy company that has 40 locations around the world.

"I've seen enough of all these athletes endorsing the latest energy drink or organic health product," said CEO Jeff Rubin, who calls himself the Chief Gummy Officer of It'Sugar. "We all know that everyone, including athletes, love candy, so what's wrong with endorsing what we all eat?"

It’s happening right now east of here
Maria Sharapova’s posing
playing tennis and selling candy
and I admire people who get out
especially when they do posing.

In “The Sundial” by Shirley Jackson
people shut themselves up in a house
and wait for a big storm to blow through
because they think the world is ending
and there’s not much candy or posing.

Will God still judge me as a writer
if I think of Maria posing
and I want to get out and draw her
rather than lock myself in with her
and haunt the end of the world with her?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I mean does this count for anything?


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