I’ve Never Read Gone With the Wind

On our drive home from work the other night, I was talking with CC about a book I’m reading, Cinders by Michelle Davidson Argyle (which is great).

Me: It starts in the Happily Ever After part of Cinderella, only it isn’t.

CC: Isn’t Cinderella?

Me: Isn’t happy. Anyway-

CC: What, like she turns into a man instead of a pumpkin?

Me: {sigh} That was the coach.

CC: She played softball?

Me: You’re not funny. Cinderella never turned into a pumpkin. The coach turned into a pumpkin.

CC: She played softball with pumpkins?

Me: Are you finished?

CC: {smirks in silence}

Me: Anyway there are these peasant uprisings and there’s this whole thing about how love is a choice, and a bunch of stuff happens. . .

CC: That’s pretty profound.

Me: How love is a choice?

He ignores my implications.

CC: No, “a bunch of stuff happens”.

Me: {sigh}

CC: You know what’s an excellent book? Gone With the Wind. You should really read that.

He reminds me, every time we talk about books, which is often, that I’ve never read Gone With The Wind. I’ve also never read Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice, or War and Peace (or any Tolstoi to completion, for that matter) but he never mentions those.

Me: Yeah, yeah. Gone With the Wind. It’s on my list.

CC: You know her daughter dies.

Me: That’s sad. Wait, she was married?

CC: If you read the book, you’d know.

Me: It’s on my list, I swear.

CC: She’s married three times in the course of the book.

Me: Three times! I didn’t know you were allowed to get divorced even once back then. Did she marry the I-don’t-give-a-damn-guy?

CC: You know it won the Pulitzer prize.

Me: Wait is that where that, “I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies!” comes from, one of her marriages?

CC: No.

Me: I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies either.

CC: That line is regarding Melanie.

Me: Seems like after three times she’d know though.

CC: {sigh}

Me: Wait, who the hell is Melanie? I thought her name was Scarlett. As in Letter.

CC: You should read it. We have it downstairs.

Me: C’mon, that was funny. Scarlett. As in Letter. It’s like, literary, even.

CC: Did I mention it won the Pulitzer?

Me: Did she have to get married three times, if you know what I mean?

CC: If you just read the damn book, you’d know.

Me: That sounds like something the I-don’t-give-a-damn-guy would say.

CC: I can’t believe with all your women’s lit that you’re always going on about you’ve never read Gone With The Wind.

I’m plowing my way through the Norton Anthology of Literature By Women. I often make him listen to my thoughts on this, too, when we drive home.

Me: I didn’t know a woman wrote it!

CC: You didn’t know that Margaret Mitchell is a woman?

Me: Margaret Mitchell?

CC: Yeah, the most popular female author of the twentieth century until J.K. Rowling came along?

Me: I love J.K. Rowling. She’s like, magic.

CC: Don’t you have something to do now?

Me: No, we’re still driving home. You’re trapped with me.

CC: {mumbles something incoherent but I’m pretty sure I pick out the words “window” and “pavement”}

Me: Hey, I think I’ve heard of Margaret Mitchell. Didn’t she write Gone With The Wind?

CC: I am going to bang my head on something pointy now.

Me: I heard that was a good book. Have you ever read it?

Have you? What haven’t you read?

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48 thoughts on “I’ve Never Read Gone With the Wind

  1. I haven’t read all the same books as you, plus Wuthering Heights, One flew over the cookoo’s nest, Madame Bovary, pretty much, no classics. Well except for Plato and Aristotle (the true “classics”). Love the conversation, kids are so thick-stone literal which is what makes them cute. Right?

    1. The part I love best about this comment is that CC is actually my husband. This totally made my day! I haven’t read Wuthering Heights or One Flew, either. I read Madame Bovary in high school and really detested Emma. I didn’t get why she couldn’t have been killed off in like the third chapter or something.

  2. I have never read Gone with the Wind, I am ashamed to say. But I am catching up with Jane Austen. I am now reading Sense and Sensibility, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Next, on to Pride and Prejudice.

  3. I’ve never read Gone with the Wind or War and Peace, but I did muster some efforts to read the classics and read Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility over the summer (loved them– why had I never read them before???) and am reading Moby Dick now (which isn’t too bad, but there are definitely some skimmable parts).

  4. I’ve never read Gone With The Wind….but I’m tempted to watch the movie! I just recently – finally – read To Kill a Mockingbird. I have so much GUILT – honest, to goodness guilt, over not having read Great Expectations, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men….so many classics, so little time….especially when one is constantly reading what are bound to be the classics from the blogosphere!

  5. Never read it. I love books but I always went to Yankee schools so I guess we were biased against Dixie, just like they all secretly or not so secretly suspect. My southern friend made me watch the movie with her late one night and then got all offended when I fell asleep, like that meant “I hate the South” instead of “it’s 2am and I’ve been up since 7.” I’ve seen it through since. It’s three hours long so it’s kind of a commitment. Like love. Anyway, yes, Scarlet was a bit of a hussy.

  6. I, too, have never read Gone with the Wind. But I have seen the movie, and its awesome. Primarily for the costumes and Vivien Leigh’s ability to arch her eyebrows like no one else on earth.

    On a related note, I read Jane Eyre for the first time this year and LOVED it. So I’m starting to be more open to reading the classics that I’ve previously never made time for.

    1. I read Jane Eyre for the first time this year too! They included the novel in its entirety in the Norton Anthology. Completely blew me away. I couldn’t put it down. So much so that when the movie came on TV (not the newest one, but the one before that) at 1am one night, I watched it all. Then the next night, I rented the new one on PPV, at 1am, and watched it all. Sucked getting up w/the kids after that. Can’t say I ever expected I’d lose sleep over Jane Eyre.

  7. Not to agree with CC too much, but YOU HAVE TO READ THE BOOK! It really is an awesome book. I couldn’t put it down at night. And the movie – forget it. It’s horrible! I watched after reading the book & was sorely disappointed.

  8. Oh…One of my favorites! My mother introduced the movie to me when I was 16. A very, long movie. We rented it one day and I saw it three times… in one day! After that, I bought the book and read it twice. After reading your post….I want to read it again. It really is a great story. Do it, Do it, Do it!!

  9. Oh my gosh….all your comments and I am the only one that has read it!!!! Its a classic! Everyone…go get the at least the movie!

  10. I am shocked. Appalled. Not that you’ve never read Gone With the Wind. I didn’t read that until I was 30 and I can understand. BTW, do not expect the movie. It’s much more twisted and sexual. Seriously. Who can read Moby Dick? I thought it was about obsession and revenge and all that. What is was about was whales and boats. Boring as hell and totally not worth its moments of genius. Get the cliff’s notes. War and Peace–wicked awesome, but looong.

    But Pride and Prejudice? How is that even possible?! I might have to stop talking to you. Do yourself a favor. Read it. It’s sweet, funny, and has a happy ending. I’ve read it maybe 10 times. Then when you’re done see the movie (Keira Knightley version). It’s rated PG but sexy as hell. That is not easy to do.

    Sorry for the long comment but you got my back up. I said “hell” TWICE. 🙂

    1. I’ve never seen you “swear”! I actually hesitated to reveal that truth because I knew you would be offended. It’s on my list too. In no small part because, as I’m hammering away at this Norton Anthology, I was shocked at how funny Jane Austen is. She’s like, awesome! It’s on my list. Promise.

      1. Now I feel like a strict, mean old high school English teacher hassling her students about their summer reading lists. I know you’ll read it. She is a great wit.

  11. I read Gone With The Wind when I was in high school and I remember finishing it at breakfast while I was eating oatmeal and sobbing so hard, my tears were dripping into my bowl. My mother was completely unphased by this, as were my 7 brothers and sisters (all huge readers — how did my parents manage to engender that?? my own daughter loathes reading!) and totally ignored me. I remember being totally poleaxed by the ending — it was Soooooo tragic! But to be honest, it may work better as a high schooler’s romantic, swept away, melodramatic sob-fest … when you’ve got 5 stepchildren (i have 3), it’s hard to even imagine those “I’ll die if I don’t have you this instant” moments…. although my husband is constantly hoping I’ll manifest precisely that! I am an English major but have steadfastly avoided reading an embarrassing number of classics — although in my dotage, I’ve been taking English classes and read all kinds of things I’ve dreaded for years (like Middlemarch by George Eliot, for instance) and have LOVED them. So .. timing is everything, and ripeness is all. You’ll get there! LOVED your post!

    1. Hey, maybe I should read more “I’ll die if I don’t have you this instant!” books anyway. Couldn’t hurt, right? I did read some George Eliot in the Norton book and liked her. I have such a great image of you sobbing into your oatmeal now, being ignored by your huge family. I really should read it.

  12. Hee hee.
    All I have to say is, I love the relationship you have with CC. Howling with laughter.
    Oh, and I haven’t read it either. 🙂

  13. I’ve never read it either. Don’t think I have any burning desire to either. I guess all the crap, I mean classics they made us read in school has made me have no desire to read anything like that. I did see part of the movie once though.
    And I love CC’s responses to you. At least he can keep up with your random thoughts!

  14. Oh, the dialogue you post always kills me! I’m actually really glad you brought this up, because I still haven’t gotten over some of the books I HAVE read, and by that I mean reading every book that inspired T.S. Eliot to write The Waste Land. (Um, no, I don’t know what I was thinking when I enrolled in that class. But 4 credits is 4 credits.) Talk about a waste. I could have been reading Gone With the Wind (don’t worry, I still haven’t read it either!).

  15. I am old because I can’t remember if I read it!! I definitely saw the movie (duh) but did I read the book, too? This is like that thing where you’re not sure if you REALLY remember something or you just feel like you do bc you’ve seen the pics and heard the story so many times.

    1. I saw that for the first time on a stay-in “date” night two years ago. It’s good! I hope you won’t stop reading when I tell you that I saw Star Wars for the first time on the re-release.

  16. You really should read Gone With the Wind, CC is right! GREAT book. Much better than Tolstoy, I am sure. I wouldn’t know, I’ve not read anything of his either.

    Don’t try The French Luitenant’s Woman – boring – SO boring I can’t even spell it properly.

    I have not read that book that they made a movie about that supposedly EVERYONE on the planet (except me) had read: The Da Vinci Code. Also I never saw CLockwork Orange and the whole read of the world has. Never read JK Rowling either.

    Having announced to the world via your page that I’m completely illiterate, I’ll fade away now!

    1. I’m pretty sure that not having read JK Rowling or the Da Vinci Code doesn’t make you illiterate. Harry Potter is worth it way more than the other one, if you were going to pick one.

  17. I had to read it my freshman year in high school. I won’t say how long ago that was. As a teen who absolutely despised classic literature, I fell in love with Gone with the Wind. All 947 pages of it. The movie ended about 1/2 way into the novel. I highly recommend it. Especially if you can live through, and enjoy, Bronte. 😉

  18. Love this post! It had me laughing out loud and thinking of the countless conversations I’ve had that sounded very similar to the one you posted! Never read Gone with the Wind, but saw the movie and read Margaret Mitchell’s bio (a looong time ago); read Pride and Prejudice and loved that one (the book is much better than the movie, in my opinion). Glad I stumbled across your blog, I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve read so far!

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