I’ve moved on to my next 1001 book, which is one that I’ve been wanting to read for a while now: Wittgenstein’s Mistress. It’s a little different than I expected. In fact, it’s experimental and unlike any book I’ve ever read before, but I kind of like it so far. It’s basically constant narration, although I think the best way for you to get a feel for what it’s like is to read it yourself. So here’s how the book starts:
“In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street.
Somebody is living in the Louvre, certain of the messages would say. Or in the National Gallery.
Naturally they could only say that when I was in Paris or in London. Somebody is living in the Metropolitan Museum, being what they would say when I was still in New York.
Nobody came, of course. Eventually I stopped leaving the messages.
To tell the truth, perhaps I left only three or four messages altogether.
I have no idea how long ago it was when I was doing that. If I were forced to guess, I believe I would guess ten years.
Possibly it was several years longer ago than that, however.
And of course I was quite out of my mind for a certain period, too, back then.”
It’s difficult to find a place to stop with this book because it just goes on and on and on, building off of what was said before or changing topic so quickly that you can’t tell when this is about to happen. I just started this afternoon, and I’m about 50 pages in. We’ll see if my interest in it will be able to keep up for an entire book like this or whether I’ll get tired of it once the novelty wears off. It certainly is interesting, though.
After this, I think that I might have to switch to something happier. Not that Villette was a particularly depressing book, but in American Lit we’re back on slavery, which recalls Olaudah Equiano. Not to mention that the play our theater department is putting on right now is about a woman who hid Jews during the Halocaust, and I went to see that this weekend. It’s important to read/watch plays about these things, but there’s only so much a person can take in a given amount of time. I’m open to suggestions if you have them.
- Sometimes, You Have to Read Something Depressing (dste9.wordpress.com)