Thanks for the follow-backs, journalfolk. I have no plan for how to make it worth your while.
I am finished Barchester Towers
, and glad to be quit of it.
I liked The Warden
very much, and there are many things to like about Barchester Towers
, but, having read this novel of his, I cannot say with conviction that I like Anthony Trollope. I wonder if the reason I gave up on the Chronicles of Barsetshire all those years ago was my annoyance with this book and specifically its constant lumbering jocularity about the Nature of Woman.
Some of the good qualities of The Warden
are still in evidence; Trollope is very good on the pettier, more self-concerned, but not actually evil side of human behavior -- the way that resentment and pride override charity and compassion, for example. Mr. Arabin, ruefully trying to remake his life at 40, moves me, and the signora, though not precisely adequate as a portrait of a woman with a disability, comes close to being a fascinating character study. I wouldn’t say she tips over, quite, into actually being
fascinating, though the ambiguity around her injury and its cause, and the constant speculation about What's Under the Blanket, would provide excellent material for, say, Lacan.
The major characters of The Warden
seem to have foregone any further personal growth in the sequel and are content to run the little grooves of their personae over and over, like table hockey characters. That was my feeling; the book group liked them better, and thought that the relentless babbling about the hilarious weakness of women was meant more ironically than I did.
(Some poking at the mass conversation (Look! The Victorian Web
is still there!) produces various interesting possible positions on this question.) (When I was a youth nothing pleased me more than nested parentheses, especially if I could wrap them all up together at the end: ((())).)
In The Warden
there are really no villains – just short-sighted selfish people, and I like that about it. Barchester Towers
is painted in broader, almost Dickensian strokes. Mr Slope is stuck in the begged question of bad guys: why is he the villain? Because he's bad. How do you know he's bad? Because he's the villain. Also, red hair. Watch out.
Next up: Howard's End
, last read about the same time as BT, which is to say, a very long time ago indeed.
I got violently winded walking to book group yesterday, though the sticky toffee pudding was worth it. Today a little errand walking similarly exhausted me. It was ten days ago the walk-in clinic doctor gave me the puffer and said this thing would play itself out.
So tired. I think tomorrow will be an ugly shirt day (a day when you're too tired to iron the good shirts).
An invitation, of course, to think about illness and wellness, access and ability. Something to discuss with the senora.
Crossposted from Dreamwidth (http://radiantfracture.dreamwidth.org/1082.html
), where there are
comments. Comments either place are great.