Mea Culpa

It’s been a slow week on this blog for many reasons. Probably most importantly, the weather has been terrible for photography. Not only has there been near constant rain, the clouds have been so low and so thick for the most part that any pictures I might have taken would have been underexposed.

I’ve also had to attend to some personal matters, like getting a driver’s license and attending a memorial for a friend from the YMCA.

I’ve been rereading Jude the Obscure and am only about three fourths of the way through the book. And although I regularly comment on poetry books or non-fiction as I read, I find it nearly impossible to do the same for novels. Perhaps that’s merely the result of habit, but it seems nearly impossible to discuss themes without considering the whole book.

I’m also discovering that I no longer have the ability to sit down and read a book straight through like I used to do in college. It wasn’t uncommon to read a novel in a single day, usually a Saturday or Sunday, or two days at the most. I’ve never been particularly fond of dragging a book out over a week or two, no matter how the work was assigned by an instructor.

Perhaps it’s just harder to maintain interest when it’s a second or third reading, as this is for Jude The Obscure. Of course, there’s very little suspense to drive me as there is in a first reading.

At times I worry that I may be losing some of my ability to really concentrate for long periods of time. It may not be a good sign that I’d rather check Facebook to see if someone has made a move in Scrabble or Lexulous than read 120 pages of Hardy straight through.

It may just be that as I’ve aged I have less tolerance for metaphors like this one

He retired to rest early, but his sleep was fitful from the sense that Sue was so near at hand. At some time near two o’clock, when he was beginning to sleep more soundly, he was aroused by a shrill squeak that had been familiar enough to him when he lived regularly at Marygreen. It was the cry of a rabbit caught in a gin. As was the little creature’s habit, it did not soon repeat its cry; and probably would not do so more than once or twice, but would remain bearing its torture till the morrow, when the trapper would come and knock it on the head.

now than I did when I first read the book while in high school. I suspect this all seemed new and exciting when I was eternally optimistic, but in retrospect it seems more depressing than I would have thought.

This may be the very same book I read as a high school senior, but I’m finding it difficult to remember what I thought about the book then. I am sure I’m seeing it quite differently this time around.

Still, I’m pretty sure I’ll have the book finished by this weekend and will be posting more regularly next week. I’d like to promise some new photos, but when I look at the seven day forecast there’s nothing but rain showing up, not even cloudy days. Of course, the weathermen have been known to be wrong, but around here they’re most apt to be wrong when they’re predicting sunshine, not rain.

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