Saturday, December 5, 2015

December Update

A List: Galsworthy, Forsyte Saga.......522/878 (In Chancery)
B List: MacKinlay Kantor, Andersonville.......179/760
C List: Sun-Mi Hwang, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly.......115/134

I'm still enjoying the Forsytes, even though it could be protested that not much really happens given the number of pages, characters and passing years that make up the story. There is enough good period detail and amusing dialogue, especially now that the version of England that is depicted in these novels, parts of which I feel like still lingered at least psychologically into the time of my youth, is really fading into history, to keep up interest. There was a fourteen year gap between the publication of the first volume of the trilogy (The Man of Property) and the second, In Chancery. The tone and outlook of the two volumes are quite consistent, which is surprising to me given the passage of that much time, not only with regard to the change in age of the writer, but of society as a whole, movements in literature, etc. Perhaps the later volumes were written closer upon the first than the publication dates would indicate, and were held back for some reason, though that does not seem characteristic of this writer. I suppose I must look that up. There is no longer any excuse not to.

Andersonville I am finding to be highly readable and impressive in some ways, in others showing the characteristics of its generation that are not held in high esteem today, though these dated parts for me tend to be almost interludes of comic relief along the way than anything that impedes my ability to get into the book. Of course I will do a long report on this when I have finished it.

For the C-list I am supposed to be reading Being Mortal by Dr Arul Gawande, however this book is so popular that all three of my public library's copies are currently checked out, and two of them have already been placed on reserve when they do come in. Since I like to have an easier and somewhat contemporary third book around, especially when I am beginning a book that is going to take me a couple of months to read on my serious list, and the dreaming hen book, which had been in the competition for this spot, was extremely short and available, I decided to break from my protocol and take it up, and do the Gawande afterward if it becomes available, as I will be on Andersonville until probably late January. It's a little too...twee? feminine? the words don't come, they never come, at least not at my taste, though I suppose there is nothing objectionable about it. And look at all of the multicultural writers I am getting in this way. I am on a veritable roll.

Picture Gallery

This is from a movie about Anne Boleyn. It came up in the magic word search for the Forsyte Saga


Irene and Soames from the 1967 Forsyte adaptation. Pictures from the more recent one seem to indicate a lot more sexy stuff going on than I am getting from the book, unless things really begin to pick up.

Andersonville today. 

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