Hello dear followers,
Well, I haven’t reached the end of “Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography,” quite yet, but I’m almost there! I got to the chapter where Susan Cheever begins to talk about Louisa’s journey in writing “Little Women.”
I honestly couldn’t wait to get to this part of the book, I am always fascinated by excellent writers and how their words are crafted into what many believe as works of art.
I was probably around eight or 10-years-old when I first read “Little Women” I was looking for my next “heroine” so to speak, I had just finished the Laura Ingalls Wilder’s series and that was when I found Louisa.
I have to admit I never read any of Louisa’s other books, so I am not sure whether I’ve had the opportunity to fully capture the full essence of who she was as an author.
While reading the chapter on “Little Women” I felt I could relate to Louisa’s struggles in a very minor way when it comes to writing something we don’t necessarily want to write, but we simply have to. I’ve had those days, while I would never compare myself to Louisa in terms of a writer, I am a news reporter and there are days where there are stories I don’t want to write, but I have to, and some of those stories (not all, but some) have come to be some of my best and cherished work. It’s those stories that have had the most profound impact on the readers.
I wonder if Louisa had any grain of thought that “Little Women” would be something like that. Did she know generations upon generations would still be reading her work, did she know the words she crafted in her bedroom in Orchard House would still be remembered nearly 200 years later? I doubt it. Writers are never fully aware their greatness, at least I don’t think so.
Ms. Cheever says it best here in the chapter, “Great writing will always be a mystery. Why now, after everything she had been through, reluctantly tackling a novel for young girls, did Louisa May Alcott get suddenly catapulted into greatness? There are two kinds of artists – those who seek and those who find”
I believe Louisa found a true jewel when she wrote that book, a jewel that was right in front of her eyes her entire life, although she probably never knew it. It was when I saw the movie “Little Women” with Wynona Rider, was when I learned to be inspired as a writer that I could one day inspire others with my words. (It’s still a work in progress.)
At the risk of being repetitive in my dis-taste in Bronson Alcott, but did he really have to take credit for Louisa’s genius? Really? I have to say I got mad when I read this – “His journals reflect his conviction that her success is due to his wisdom in the way he conducted family life. She had the advantage, he congratulated himself not quite truthfully, of being raised by a man who knew enough not to send her to school. Thus she was able to write from experience.”
As a child and now as an adult I have such respect for her as a writer and storyteller and I know for years to come she will continue to inspire young girls and women with her work.
Look for my final post on this book later this week! Thanks dear followers!