Sunday, February 22, 2009

Catching Up

I finished my week with pair of forays, one marginally disappointing and the other a delightful surprise. The Tale of Despereaux attempts to extend the empathy of a polyphonic novel to young people, all the while alerting them that they will be regarded as freaks for reading and pursuing a path of independent thought, and also your family and friends may betray you in the course of propriety: this isn't an unfortunate event, only the grimy rules of the day. I found such riveting until the raging chaosmos is calmed and the narrative can be allowed to conclude in a neutered sense of contentment.

My plan was then to continue with The Kindly ones until I noted a reference to A Month In the Country here I was unaware of the novel and thrilled to discover that our library had a copy. my wife found it potty that I would dash out on a snowy afternoon and drive downtown, making it to the biblioteca ten minutes before they locked the door. I was reminded of Wolf Solent during Carr's marvelous descriptions of the languid throes of a rural summer. That said, I don't recall anyone noshing on bread and butter, though beef sandwiches appear plentiful: odd given that it is 1920. The serene stare of man peeping into the distant past to quiet his own discord is an achievement. I think Nicola Baker aspired to such in her Darkmans, but fell short of this jewel.


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