Archive for the ‘Middlemarch’ Category



November 19, 2008

Dear Twin,

Sorry to piggyback right on your last blog post, but after you disparaged my ability to finish the book I wanted to let you know when I finished as soon as it happened.  And I just read the last word.  (It’s “tombs” if you need evidence).

Anyway…I loved the American Graffiti style flash forward that we got at the end of the book.  I’ll rest easier at night knowing about the book Fred Vincy wrote and the fact that Lydgate gets diptheria.

So I guess you’ll have to move a little quicker on your book selection.  While we wait here are some things we can possibly discuss:

1.  When Dodo appears in the book do you imagine her surrounded by a heavenly glow a la Jennifer Jones in The Song of Bernadette?

2.  In your mental picturing of Uncle Brooke do imagine him to be stern and craggly a la Charles Bickford in The Sond of Bernadette?

3.  Do you have a copy of the The Song of Bernadette?

I can’t believe you made no mention of the following quotation (from page 814)

You have a soft place in your heart yourself, you know–you’re not a Draco, a Jeffreys, that sort of thing.

Looks like George Eliot was throwing down the gauntlet with our family 150 years ago (even going so far as mispellling our name!).  Game on George…if I saw her walking down the street today I’d be hard pressed not to Adam Bede her face (what happens in Adam Bede…I don’t know).

Off to have a celebratory I finished Middlemarch beer,



I Am…The Wind Beneath Your Wings

November 17, 2008

I’m sure you’re sitting there in your home patting yourself on the back, feeling pretty good about beating me to the end of Middlemarch.  You’re probably thinking thoughts along the lines of “Make him eat crow,” “I’ll tell him where to stick his timeline,” and “I own Middlemarch.”

I’m sure you’re thinking this is some sort of victory for you.  Well let me be the first to say…it is and congratulations.

But if you really think about it (and I have) it’s a larger victory for me.  I think a quick review of the past couple weeks’ posts will show me cheerleading you along, motivating you to keep on reading and stick with it to the end.  And you made it!  Good work me!

In many ways I am the Hilary to your CC in this the Beaches that is our life.  Don’t worry…it is a little cold here in your shadow…but I brought a sweater.  And I’ll settle to be a face without a name (because I mean, really, what a face!).  I’ll always walk a step behind (who couldn’t…you walk with the unnaturally fast gait of a pony on methanphetamines).

But remember…take good care of Victoria.  She’s a good girl, and she’s going to be scared and she’s really going to need a mother.

So as you congratulate yourself.  Also congratulate me.  And if I may adapt the lyrics of the timeless song I referenced in this post’s title.

“Thank me.  Thank me

Thank God for me

The wind beneath your wings”

Fly high against the sky my twin, you deserve it.


P.S.  I just downloaded “Wind Beneath My Wings” from the iTunes store…can you tell?



November 16, 2008

And done!

That’s right after marching along at about half-pace for the first few hundred pages of Middlemarch, I picked up the pace this weekend.

Now that I’ve turned the last page, I would like to discuss how things all turned out in the end, but knowing that I am ahead of you (far, far ahead of you.) I’d hate to compromise your enjoyment of the last 150 pages.

Happy reading, Twinner, you’re in for a treat.

Now, I have to give some thought to what we read next…

Marching along to to a new book,


In Case There Was Any Doubt…

November 15, 2008

…that I have, what some might call, an “immature” sense of humor here is the latest line in Middlemarch made me laugh out loud:

“After three months Freshitt had become rather oppressive…”

I bet it did.

Okay, Twin Brother, back to the argument at hand. I think you were a bit hasty in dismissing my Pretty in Pink theory. First of all, I think your claim that Duckie is gay is questionable, I’ll give you sexual confusion, but I am not convinced that he was gay. (Come to think of it gender confusion seems to be running amuck in PIP, Andie’s the female lead, Stef is the male best friend, the sort of gender neutral Blaine is the center of high school universe–no wonder Duckie is confused.)

But think about, there are other parallels besides the Duckie/Farebrother tie. There are the class issues that separate Fred Vincy and Mary Garth same with Blaine and Andie. Mary Garth sews and makes her own clothes, Andie does the same. (At least I think, it’s been like 10 years since I’ve actually seen the movie.) They all fear the coming of the railroad…

The similarities are astounding. 

Well, I am nearing the end of Book 7. I just might finish this book this weekend.

I’ll keep you posted,



Polite Disagreement

November 13, 2008

Farebrother as Ducky, hmm?  Pretty in Pink as inspired by Middlemarch, huh?  Well I’m just not sure.  First of all in your analogy you’ve forgotten the central antagonist in PiP, Steff–played with such devil-may-care charm by a young James Spader.  Where’s he in Middlemarch?  That and Duckie was gay. (And if anyone is gay in Middlemarch its Fred Vincy…convenient that this pretty boy loves the plainest girl in town who has made it quite clear that she will not marry him–if you listen quietly I think you can hear all of the eyebrows in Middlemarch raising).  And I’m pretty sure Mary Garth isn’t as funky as Andie.  To many holes!

I’ll admit that I’ve been resting on my laurels a bit being so far ahead (and my laurels being so darn comfortable–great for resting!) and I’ve been reading other things.  But you’ve now lit the proverbial fire under proverbial me and I’m back in the game…finishing up book six tonight and moving on to book seven!

Well I can sit here typing or I can get further ahead in my Middlemarching…I believe I’ll choose the latter (or the former…damn that construction always confuses me!–anyway I’m going to stop writing and start reading).

Adieu Mon Frere,



Whale Skeletons

November 9, 2008

Okay, that may appear to be a desperate ploy to catch attention. How, you might ask, do whale skeletons have anything even remotely do with Middlemarch?

Well admittedly not much. But I did see a whale skeleton this last week during my travels to North Carolina, and I was just itching to work it into a post somewhere.

Done and done.

This is just a quick post to let you know that I am reading (and reading, and reading), but as you accurately foresaw, I am indeed quite far behind you. Why at this point Dodo is still sane, parlimentary elections haven’t taken place (but they have been spoken of) and Mr. Farebrother is still waxing poetic about his “animalcules.”

Oh, before I go, I was waiting for it, and quite frankly I was a little surprised it took this long, but you did successfully (and seamlessly, might I add) drop a reference to everyone’s high school-themed musical, the appropriately (if uninspiredly) titled, High School Musical 3. 

As for your you comprehension of the Julliard application process, I think your lacking of understanding was all too evident when you tried to gain acceptance via your “moving paintings” concept years ago.

Well, off to read more. Once the reading’s been read, I will retread, and redeem with a reply.



Dodo Casaubon, Free Radical

November 8, 2008

Dear Twin,

I realize that I’m far ahead of you in reading (far, far ahead–thank you timeline!) and I assume, by your silence, that I’m getting farther ahead as each day passes.  So I’ll be circumspect in my post today because things in Middlemarch are getting a little crazy and I want you to be as surprised as I was (I mean if I remember correctly…it’s been a while).

So I’ll keep a narrow focus and look again to Mrs. Casaubon…because at the beginning of Book 6 it appears as if Dodo and her rocker have parted ways (because she’s off her rocker…I wrote that and now I fear it was too high concept, like Southland Tales.)

I’ll allow Dodo to speak for herself and allow you to draw your own conclusions:

I have delightful plans.  I should like to take a great deal of land, and drain it, and make a little colony, where everybody should work, and all the work should be done well.  I should know every one of the people and be their friend.

Oh Dodo.  Will there be unicorns in this mythical communist utopia you plan to build?  And will it rain gumdrops on Wednesdays?

What will she think of next?

But part of me also wants to root her on…if I learned nothing from High School Musical 3 (and, I should note, I learned nothing from High School Musical 3–except that I know absolutely nothing about how the Julliard admissions process works) then it’s that you have to follow your dreams–no matter how seemingly misguided.  So if Sharpay wants to be a star, and Dodo wants to be the leader of a small separatist cult, so be it.

Dreaming big,