Sunday, October 28, 2007

First day in the dark.

I know that we're not actually more in the dark today than we were yesterday, but when the clocks have rolled back an hour and the sun has gone down by 4:36 p.m., it feels as though the day has shortened measurably. (Which, in fact, it has: we lose nearly four minutes of daylight each day here, and our length of visible light is down to just under 11 hours.)

So: thank goodness for George Eliot, whose Romola (1862-3) is blowing my mind. I couldn't have known that I was giving myself a great gift for late October 2007 when I continued not-reading Romola for all those years. But I was. I was just saving my last Eliot novel for exactly the right time--which is now. I don't think it's where I'd tell you to start, if you were to decide you wanted to get to know her work. But it's damned fine.


Blogger Gryphon said...

Really? Romola? I think that's the only one of Eliot's I haven't yet read. Perhaps I shall. (Eiliot group revisited, anyone?) Yesterday I was thinking of reading the "Heart of Midlothian," and then I lifted it. Eliot deserves to write massive tomes, whereas Scott. . . despite the size of his monument, I'm just not sure.

1:57 PM, October 29, 2007  
Blogger Dr. S said...

The trick is that you must endure the first three chapters. They have their own majesty, &c. But as far as narrative excitement goes...they're not her finest. Once you're past them, though, things get really, really interesting, and now that I look back (past the 200 pp. I've read in the past two days!), I suspect that I would find the opening chapters substantially more engrossing.

I remember feeling that the beginning of Heart of Midlothian dragged, and I've heard that it, too, gets terrific once you're into it. Maybe I will give it another shot; I've always felt bad about having bailed on it as early and as fully as I did.

2:19 PM, October 29, 2007  
Blogger four inches of ego said...

Alas, yet another book to read! Though I must say I have been craving a bit of Eliot recently. Perhaps it is indeed that lenghtening dark that calls for committed reading.

7:25 AM, October 30, 2007  
Blogger Dr. S said...

Get ready though, man: it might sweep you away. I'm tempted to spend the rest of the day finishing the book, having just blown through another 70 pages.

8:51 AM, October 30, 2007  

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