Wednesday, December 2, 2009

How I Named My Blog






This is my favorite book, and I say that unequivocally (the only thing that runs a close second is Laura Ingalls Wilder's "These Happy Golden Years"). It's a sequel to the almost equally wonderful "Invitation to the Waltz".

An old boyfriend, who was himself a writer, read "Weather" on my recommendation and said, "well, I'm surprised. It really isn't very romantic now, is it?" Well, not in the strict sense of the literary term "romantic"; it's a thoroughly modernist work by a woman writer. It has a ragged ending; things don't tie up neatly. Nor even very satisfactorily. The hero is hopelessly weak with shaky morals. The heroine is utterly human. But the book had the greatest impact on my late girlhood, and now my older self; it's that kind of book.

I still wonder a little bit why this boyfriend was surprised at its lack of standard romance--surprised that I would like it so much? Did I come across as a romantic, and the hard edge was unexpected? I'll never really know...

Anyway, I named my blog for this book, and because I just like the expression so much. Last night, Sarge and I were discussing this and I discovered, to my great interest, that we had very different interpretations of the meaning of the phrase "the weather in the streets." I had always thought it suggested dreaminess, daydreaming, staring out the window at the rain, a little removed, looking at things through a pane of glass...Sarge said "the 'weather in the streets' is the real deal, it's what's really going on." I hadn't thought of it that way. Two very different perspectives!

I suppose both interpretations work...

31 comments:

nick said...

Yes, I realised where the title came from, though I've never read the book. I really must do so. To me the phrase suggests a sort of double meaning - weather in the literal sense but also weather in the metaphorical sense of what's going on, the street atmosphere.

Random Chick said...

Ooo! I must read that book now! Isn't it interesting that even after years of marriage you can still learn new perspectives when you discuss things? Perhaps the secret to a happy marriage? Who knows. A least it never gets boring.

Donn said...

Really?


I always envisioned more of a wordplayish
interpretaion on "whether"..

as in what might happen, like you were imagining an outlet to
be a bellwether thingamabob.

The "weather" was sort of the real pulse of society...as in you were going to strip it down to the bare bones and ignore the bullsh*t.



I love your inner sojourning..

it's always rewarding.

Now if I could just C-4 my ass off of Facebook and get my rhythm
back I'd be around more often but

Ooh look shiny!!!!

Leah said...

nick: you should give it a whirl. I think Lehmann is a genius, but she's not at all well-known or widely read, at least over here. The book is very description heavy, with a large cast of characters, and very very moody, an intense read.



RC: I love discussing books with Sarge, for that reason. It invariably makes me look at him with fresh insight!



Donn: I know, facebook is soooo instantaneous and annoyingly compelling. My problem with it is not the endless trolling, which I don't really do, but rather the endless popping in for a few seconds at a time, almost like a compulsion. I deactivated my account for awhile, and it was nice--you can do that temporarily, and then reactivate whenever you like, and your account is still there exactly as you left it...

and I like your interpretation.

Rima said...

So weird that I was trying to access your blog to leave a comment, and my internet gave up..and you commented on mine.

I love your blog naming story. Actually, I like stories of naming in general. Tell Sarge I like your perspective better.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

I'm with Sarge. I thought it was an apt metaphor for the real day-to-day fight. Had no idea it was a book title.

Hunter said...

I'll have to add that to the ever expanding reading list.

Interestingly, "The Time Crook" is also a somewhat obscure novel set in 1930's London. Okay, I totally made that up. ;)

Pearl said...

Ha! Another book I need to add to the list of books I need to read!

Pearl

Poetikat said...

Excellent, Leah! I definitely think two (or possibly more) interpretations are perfectly plausible.
Myself, I lean towards the "real deal" attitude—the hard core, if you will. Is it a motif in the book at all?

Kat

Pat said...

It is a great title and Sarge's take is how I see it too.

Brian Miller said...

how very cool...perhaps i will pick it up and give it a read. smiles.

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Hi Leah,

A forbidden love affair, clandestine meetings in hotel rooms all make this the kind of book that grabs a reader.

Those are both interesting interpretations by you and Sarge.

My first visit to your blog led me to think it had to do with your life in NY.

I hope that a Kindle version becomes available.

U

otin said...

I had it the same as Sarge! I always thought that it was just about the realities of the world and about the real world around us.

Leah said...

Rima: these little interwebs mindmelds are always funny! I love naming stories too. I like that you have the explanation of your blog name right there in your sidebar.

I think my understanding of the blog title is probably a little bit more like me than Sarge's, but I'll have to ponder it for a bit.

UB: actually, when you put it like that, "the real day-to-day fight," I understand it a little better. I think perhaps Sarge's (and your) interpretation is the correct one. Mine is a superimposition of my own stuff on the author's intent. How's that for a mouthful.

Hunter: I love your blog name, and I had been wondering about it. Do you explain it anywhere? It does sound like a '30s novel title...

Pearl: uh oh, my list is so long I gave up and don't read anymore. Just kidding! sort of. I do recommend this one.

Kat: now that I think about it, both explanations are motifs in the book--but possibly more Sarge's than mine. It is a pretty rough book, in a way.

Pat: it is a good title, isn't it? You know, I recently found out that book and movie titles are not under copyright, so they can be used with impunity any way one wishes!

Brian: and I'd wondered about your blog title as well!

U: I guess it does have to do with my NY experience, in part--which must have been what I was thinking when I put the photo of the Brooklyn street behind it (incidentally, taken by my great-uncle Harold), so that does make sense.

The book is quite a read. It does have all the juicy elements, but then also a certain seriousness and sadness to it as well.

Otin: Aha! That's interesting. There seems to be a certain consensus (with the exception of me and Rima) for the other explanation. Maybe I also subconsciously intended it that way!

MJ said...

Another mystery cracked!

Leah said...

And now I must crack the mystery of yours. Mustn't I?

MJ said...

As a matter of fact, I did a draft post about it but have never posted it.

e said...

I knew of the book and the author but have never read her. Thanks for the post and I'll check this out!

The Girl from Lokhandwala said...

Hi! The meaning of Weather in the Streets seems to take on a personal significance - means different things to different people. But I really love your interpretation of it...could imagine the numerous times I've day-dreamed looking out of my window back at my parents' home across the rain pattering down the grey-green streets.

Megan said...

I have been meaning to read it for ages. Must do. I like both interpretations. Always thought-provoking, this blog!

Ronda Laveen said...

Love the 'He said/She said' versions of Weather in the Streets. Really shows off the feminine and the masculine views.

kylie said...

i thought you took it from either a book or a song.
sarge's interpretation is what i always thought you were referring to with the blog title but i might see it differently if i read the book

Harnett-Hargrove said...

Any book that is a favorite to someone is worth reading... thank for the heads-up. -Jayne I'll be back for TT!

Candie Bracci said...

That was really interesting Leah!Yes I have the same perception than your husband but then when I got to read you,we can say that's it's not really what it is about.Happy Thursday!;)

Cinnamon said...

I have wondered about your blog title, so it is interesting to hear your reason for choosing it. I had thought that it meant 'turbulence in life'- so maybe more in line with Sarge's take on it :)

VE said...

Interesting perspectives. I too thought it was the equivalent of "where the rubber meets the road"

Pat said...

That is very true but I was not best pleased when Julian Fellowes named his book 'Past Imperfect' which was to have been the title of my book. I have no wish to be confused with his novel so have to find a new one. My working title was 'Tears before Bedtime'.

Leah said...

e: do! it's worthwhile for sure. Even if you don't like it... : )

Girl from L: and now I know who you are, lol! It does take on different meanings, sort of like a literary Rorschach! We are the same in the way we like to daydream that way...

Megan: after much consideration, I like both interpretations too. It's two different sides of me, I guess.

Ronda: that had occurred to me, that it's Sarge's view was sort of more masculine. So maybe it's my masculine and feminine sides!

Kylie: the book does support both of our interps actually.

Jayne: I'm spreading the Gospel of Rosamond Lehmann!

Candie: I suppose the book is both dreamy and hard-edged, so both work in the end...

Cinnamon: oh, that's a good one! Yes, it does, you're right. In line with the book and my blog--at times--

VE: I like "where the rubber meets the road." Good one.

Pat: on no, how dare he! Even not knowing about yours, it does seem unfair. But I actually like "Tears before Bedtime."

Baino said...

I've never heard of the book (surprise surprise) but I have heard of the term and agree with Sarge. Nice to know where your blog name came from. I wish I'd been a little more thoughtful with mind but never really thought anyone would read it!

Jen Chandler said...

I have read several posts lately by people telling how they got their blog's name. I may have to post on this topic :)

I love the name of your blog and, while I've never heard of the book until now, I have always thought of it as you have: daydreamy, looking out the window to see snowfall or fog, rain or a gentle breeze.

Happy Weekend,
Jen

Karen ^..^ said...

My interpretation was much like yours... Dreamy, staring out at a rainy street, not looking for anything, but glad not to be out in bad weather...

But then again, I do like Sarge's interpretation. Solid, compelling, real.

And I love "These happy Golden years". I've read it so many times. Such a romantic book. So matter of factly written. I love it. Now I must read "The weather in the streets". I hope it's every bit as good as the blog. Because the blog I can't seem to put down...Ever. And I'm glad of that.