Tuesday, March 02, 2010

When Dawn is done with her book about re-reading books I hope she writes one about that time that happens between when you finish the reading of one and commit to the next. Something needs to be said about that. When you're in the middle of some weighty project like The Mill on the Floss, even if you're loving it, every other spine on your shelf catches your eye and sparkles with the glow of what might have been, but as soon as you're done with the Eliot, all of those other books disappear on you, or their shine does. There's this listlessness.

I almost fell back into re-reading The Savage Detectives, just hit the first few pages and I almost got sucked in, but somehow this George Eliot momentum sent me to the used bookstore to get a nice $7 copy of Middlemarch and now I'm fifty pages in and mainly concerned how much Dorothea pales in comparison to Maggie. It's not fair to Dodo, and I'll get over it, but Middlemarch will have to make its own way out of The Mill on the Floss's shadow, if it can.

The marriage proposal letter that Dorothea receives from Casaubon cracks me up, though:

"Such, my dear Miss Brooke, is the accurate statement of my feelings for you; and I rely on your kind indulgence in venturing now to ask you how far your own are of a nature to confirm my happy presentiment."

No, Dorothea's not making a mistake at all here. They'll be great together.

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