Currently reading Balzac’s The Girl with the Golden Eyes. Oh ho ho, such an innocuous, picturesque title for a malicious and snarky little novella. Really, it’s very slim. I’m not even actually ‘currently reading’ it; two evenings ago when I began typing up this post I was, but then I finished it by tonight – and it only took little snippets of time here and there to read the whole thing. I reckon if I had a full hour or two to do nothing but read, I could certainly finish it in that time.
Haven’t read any Balzac before this so don’t know what he’s normally like, but he rather reminds me of Monsieur Victorrr Hugo. No, not really. It’s more that his writing is infused with that style of prose typical to 19th century writers, i.e. they insert slabs of philosophy, religious discourse and politics wherever they see fit. It’s seems to be a habit – almost tradition – of all the ‘greats’: Tolstoy, Hugo, even to a lesser extent Dickens, and Rushdie today (see Comments of previous post for extensive discussion on pompous, head-swollen writers).
Speaking of Dickens, I don’t know what induced me to do it, but I went to the bookstore and bought a fat Wordsworth volume of his shorter novels. I think it was Rebecca’s post on Oliver Twist that sparked my hatred for him into an obssession to conquer! I must and will read a Dickens, and not think it abominable, etc etc., and while I’m in that sort of mind frame I might as well read four. Also, from the library this week:
- Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami: the title of this book sounds so, so lovely and prompted by uncertainprinciple‘s equally lovely post (you’ll have to dig through the archives to find it) I finally convinced myself to read it! Interestingly enough, I’ve actually been reading a lot of books from the Someday List this year! Now I’m roughly halfway through the list; it’s very encouraging to see myself seeing things through :)
- The Catcher in the Rye, J. D. Salinger: really, I’ve been meaning to read this book since I was ten. Better read it before I turn 20 (apparently, the older you get, the less loveable the book is likely to be?)
- The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath: I’ve always liked Plath as a poet, not sure how much I’ll appreciate her as a novelist, but how can I ignore this book? It’s one of those books I feel I need to read, regardless of whether I’ll like it or not.
- Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton: I have The Age of Innocence on my shelf, but haven’t had much luck with it. Maybe I’ll enjoy this one?
Unfortunately, most of my time is spent away from home (i.e. on campus, at the library drowning in assignments, etc), so I’m finding it harder to fit in War and Peace and Kristin Lavransdatter. They’re too heavy to carry around!