Sunday, July 01, 2007

A reading weekend . . .

Not much stitching this weekend but a lot of reading. I finally finished Memoirs of Hadrian this weekend. Yourcenar writes beautifully in French and the book was beautifully translated into English but this is not a quick read. I read through most of the discussion from the Book Group List. Unlike most of the readers on that list, I found Yourcenar grounded in the tradition of old French heroic literature with Racine rather than writing a novel about ideas and philosophy or starting the modern historical novel/non-fiction biography. The difference could be that I studied French Literature in college rather than philosophy.

I went on to read Elizabeth Bowen's book The House in Paris and Ayn Rand's Anthem. The House in Paris does a good job of portraying the events through a child's eyes as Henrietta observes the adults and Leopold in the beginning and end of the book. I am not sure that it does as well with the adult characters in the middle. I need to think about it some more. Anthem seemed to me to fit in with 1984 and Animal Farm or even with C.S. Lewis's science fiction as a modern day retelling of the story of Adam and Eve. Maybe now I will be motivated enough to finish Team of Rivals.

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