Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Middlemarch Revisited

I'm currently rereading George Eliot's Middlemarch (1871), which is perhaps the culminating masterpiece in the great tradition of the nineteenth-century English novel. I wish I had kept a journal the first time I read Middlemarch. My mother-in-law says that Middlemarch was a different book when she read it at forty from the book she read at twenty. It was still different when she read it again at eighty. I can’t remember exactly how old I was when I first read Middlemarch, but I must have been in my early twenties. My copy of the novel is a 1986 Penguin edition. I graduated from college in 1986. I was close, at least, to the age of Dorothea Brooke, who was “not yet twenty” at the start of the novel. Now I’m closer to the age of Mr. Casaubon, who is “over five-and-forty.” This time around, I'm keeping a journal, which can be found on my WordPress blog (which better accommodates long posts). The first entry, "Middlemarch Revisited, Part I: Reading Miss Brooke," can be found here.

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