Monday, July 09, 2007

Completely a fool

Reading a classic every month takes up so much reading time and reading effort, but oh the payoff. I adored The Portrait of a Lady, which I hardly remembered from my first reading seven years ago. Oh, the mastery. And that Henrietta Stackpole was redeemed in the end; it pleased me that my younger self was not completely a fool. It was interesting, by the way, to see how self-reflexively I used to read my books-- the lines underlined. It was as though I used to read seeking myself ("Yes yes yes! That's meeee!" my notes appear to shriek. "That's just how it is!!"). Any line that summed up my experience, my struggles, my pain. I once read a book where a character had the same name as a boy I loved, and I underlined every single instance of that name. How ridiculous. And so we've come full circle, I suppose. It seems that my younger self was indeed completely a fool.

Now reading a new novel--Salt Rain (from Australia!) by Sarah Armstrong. And so the alternating rereading begins, and next I will get to We Need to Talk About Kevin.