Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Reading Without a Highlighter

I thought I'd expose myself (not that way, Zak) as a bibliophile by passing along an on-line book club. The Valve is hosting an on-line discussion of George Elliot's Adam Bede.

To tempt you, here's an excerpt from the review in the Atlantic Monthly, October 1859:

"We do not know where to look, in the whole range of contemporary fictitious literature, for pictures in which the sober and the brilliant tones of Nature blend with more exquisite harmony than in those which are set in every chapter of "Adam Bede." Still life -- the harvest-field, the polished kitchens, the dairies with a concentrated cool smell of all that is nourishing and sweet, the green, the porches that have vines about them and are pleasant late in the afternoon, and deep woods thrilling with birds -- all these were never more vividly, and yet tenderly depicted. The characters are drawn with a free and impartial hand, and one of them is a creation for immortality. Mrs. Poyser is a woman with an incorrigible tongue, set firmly in opposition to the mandates of a heart the overflows of whose sympathy and love keep the circle of her influence in a state of continual irrigation. Her epigrams are aromatic, and she is strong in simile, but never ventures beyond her own depth into that of her author."

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