Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Legs Are Queer

The rolling tide of Our Mutual Friend carried me along a few times yesterday. There is a great deal to be said for such. The pacing is remarkable and I've managed, I think, to keep tabs on the legion of characters.

It was a book sale Saturday and I travelled down early with a certain reluctance. This appears to be an arid stretch for such and I braved the claustrophobia and the dozens of souls evidently raised in barns. I was nearly through my circuit when I saw a pristine copy of Stoner by John Williams, a book I have been interested in for a few years now. This was certainly a moment requiring me to catch my breath. Now, for the third time in the last twelve months, I have managed upon an elusive text, as Stoner joins Quest For Corvo and The Wandering Scholars.

Given that antibiotics tend to squeeze any initial drowsiness, I managed 175 pages before I retired. The title character is an academic in the English Department at the University of Missouri in the first half of the 20th Century. The narrative arc is rather linear accounting for his agrarian upbringing, the ecstasy that literature delivers, his plagued marriage and his encounters with university politics. There is an austere peace to this sibilant journey. I will likely adhere to the Dickens today.


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