Saturday, September 06, 2008

No title tonight

Oh... was I supposed to write some more about the Vermont trip? As in Days 2 and 3? Let me make a mental note of that (Check - bing).

Actually I wanted to finish something mentioned earlier. Some friends and I read through The Hunchback of Notre Dame (or Notre Dame de Paris, as it should really be called). Being such a seasoned book critic, what should I say? It was certainly intense, laugh-provoking, and interesting - even the huge chapter detailing Paris architecture of the 1400's. Which chapter, by the way, has one of the finest passages of the book. You really should read the whole section on the Exchange building, but here is the end:

Moreover, a building should be appropriate to the climate. This [the Exchange] is evidently built for our cold and rainy sky. It has a roof almost as flat as if it were in the Orient, so that in winter, when it snows, the roof can be swept; and it is evident that roofs were made to be swept.

What exquisite sarcasm! What kind of a mind comes up with that?

Well... but after finishing the book, I really think I dislike it tremendously, especially the ending. Why do we have to write and read sad stories filled with suffering and people's wickedness? So earthly life is like that - but it's not all like that, and even if the bad were 1%, does that still justify whole novels full of it? Why can't we have entirely happy stories, ever? Why is conflict inherent to a "good" plot?

Leaving that book behind... I am barely through the first chapter of La Chute, by Camus, and there is already a pageful of splendid things to share! So that will be coming.

Now I know it is only September 6, but it is really Autumn now. No achy joints exactly, but the change in the weather is making my throat overpoweringly sore, as it did sometime back when our late spring finally arrived. So start enjoying Autumn now!

1 comment:

Ma Hoyt said...

Not having read Hunchback I won't comment on that directly, but you gotta admit, a book would eventually get boring without some conflict.

Besides, we all need to feel superior to others :-p

But I would agree that if an entire book depicts nothing but the failures of a person, it could be depressing.

On the other hand, do you remember how the kids reacted when I read them Little Lord Fauntleroy ? He was too much to take....

Then it became entertaining, but in another kind of way :-)