This little pocket book was a gift several months back. I went on a quick weekend trip with a friend and she wrapped it with an orange bow to complimeThis little pocket book was a gift several months back. I went on a quick weekend trip with a friend and she wrapped it with an orange bow to compliment the little orange fish in the bottom corner. I glanced through and thought it was cute, etc. etc.
But, despite its size, it's not a cute little book. It's a condensed soup version of all DFW's realism disseminated by the spoonful to a group of freshly optimistic, hungry college graduates. I wonder how dampening this delivery was to their spirits. (And to the post-commencement reader, it's even more depressing, knowing that DFW eventually took his own life.*)
But really, this is medicine we all should take. "Wake up!" he's saying. "Get outside of yourself." "Be mindful of others." He's not moralizing simply to Be Kind. He's encouraging us to understand the idea that life "isn't all about you."
"The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day."
The publisher has broken his speech into small portions for each page, filling the space to create a cute little book, turning the prose into a form of poetry, allowing those who might not read a paragraphed speech approach it in short, digestive portions... so that it makes a 'cute' little gift book. But it's not really that kind of book.
*His words are prescient to his own self-realization in death. It's as if he gave us all he felt he had to give and then said "I'm done" and left. I don't know much about him, but the more I learn, the more I wish he were still here to banter and throw common-sense philosophy in our faces.
So I just found THIS edition of Les Miserable with a NEW translation by Julie Rose at The King's English bookstore(and I had to have it - look at theSo I just found THIS edition of Les Miserable with a NEW translation by Julie Rose at The King's English bookstore(and I had to have it - look at the cover!). I'm very eager to see if I can tell a difference, but it may interfere with my other books....more
(5/7/09: THIRD time reading this book... this time around is the unabridged version for book club. I'm so excited to re-enter the woMay 1992 April 2006
(5/7/09: THIRD time reading this book... this time around is the unabridged version for book club. I'm so excited to re-enter the world of Edmund Dantes. [Don't bother me right now... I'm reading!:]) (5/31/09: FINISHED.)
I love to dissect books and trace every subtlety, every symbol, every motif. But for me to do so now seems an overwhelming task. It seems the more I love a book, the less I am able to rise to this occasion - but not without desire.
Death, darkness and revenge balanced with life, light and forgiveness; it circulates in this book with every character and every relationship. The writing is impeccable and addictive and with an amount double in size from the abridged, the full account was an extended gift.
It is simultaneously adventurous, pastoral; blasphemous and scriptural. Every character is real to me. Each is loved and abhorred. In each of them I find myself.