Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"...he turned the pages with the sensuous joy of the book-lover"

It has been quite a long time since I have read a book (minus Shopaholic-esque-more-mindless-than-anything-actually-thought-provoking-novel-of-the-month type) in which during the course of reading it I have thirstily turned page after page until finally arriving at the end and wishing I could take back my hasty conclusion and begin the book all over again. There is something more fulfilling about finding such joy in reading classic books in this manner. I finish thinking, "I have just read - no, read - a great American classic. Rather than thinking, "Oh, it only took me an hour and a half this time to read this one. Right, who wants to go shopping?" as most of the Shopaholic series cause me to think.

I just finished Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I liked it almost as much as, if not more than, Portrait of a Lady by Henry James. Wharton's critique on New York's high society is subtle yet so on-the-mark (that is, if I knew exactly what 1870s New York society would have been like, I would have considered it quite truthful). I can especially relate to Archer's desire to avoid being suffocated in the monotony of living a life where we must remain true to form. Not that my life has as much required of me as 19th century society of course... but you know what I mean.

"The taste of the usual was like cinders in his mouth, and there were moments when he felt as if he were being buried alive under his future."

Wouldn't it be great to just say screw the need for a job to earn "good money" and to "provided for" and just go gallavanting off to travel the world for a year or two, going to all the ends of the earth INCLUDING Antarctica? Eat all kinds of delicious food, meet all sorts of interesting people, see all the wonders of the world and all kinds of things that are not wonders and are in fact completely ordinary to people of foreign countries but foreign to me because to them I am, in fact, a foreigner?

Of course, to do all of these things (at least in the lavish way in which I wish to do them), requires money, which requires finding job, which in my case probably requires graduate school...

But all in all this is why I LOVE reading because it prevents us from being a)too caught up in our own reality that we forget we can have imagination to imagine a better life for ourselves and b)we don't get caught up in other peoples' "reality" that is evident EVERYWHERE these days in magazines and reality tvshows and not-reality tvshows (wait, they make those?).

Otherwise life is pretty good, I am pretty tired these days and really need to get more sleep. Nannying is pretty tiring I must say.

I miss everyone at school immensely, though. 

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