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Showing posts from May, 2008

"The Green Knight" by Iris Murdoch

Though I have recently taken to buying and reading books that I feel ought to be read for a firm foundation (Woolf, Joyce, Coetzee), I arbitrarily found The Green Knight in a well-ordered used bookstore in downtown Seattle. Something about the cover, the way the book felt, and the kinship to the Byatt I had just re-shelved, caused me to buy it. Reading the Green Knight has been like being immersed in a well of exhaustive emotions, ideas and characters. Focusing on issues like sex, religion (both Western and Eastern), morals and ethics, and deception, it gradually draws the reader in to a web.

Murdoch’s dense plot and characterization pays tribute to the great novels of the past – Dickens, James, the Russian authors. There are at least eleven or twelve significant characters, including a dog. The novel, published in 1993, is set in London and introduces Louise, a widow, and her three remarkable children: Aleph (Alethia), Sefton (Sophia), and Moy (Moira). Aleph is the beauty and a schola…
I am a person who needs two things in order to deal with the world and its inhabitants well. First, a certain amount of time and space to myself; and second, fresh reading material. Because I read too quickly, I often miss the richer elements of the books I'm reading and have found it to be a valuable practice to reflect on the books and my response to them in writing.

Well, that sounds pompous. Let me rephrase: hello, this is my reading journal.