Friday, June 22, 2007

Suffering

" . . .suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape."

-Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

8 comments:

Richard said...

If only lessons in humility didn't have to be so painful. (I have not read this book - A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol are the only two works of Dicken's I read - along with a comic book version of David Copperfield).

b said...

richard...very true. but without that pain, i don't know that i'd fully come to those deeper realizations of self. so, i inevitably see the beauty in the pain.

great expecations is wonderful. i have yet to read a tale of two cities, although it is sitting on my shelf and i think i'll read it after i tackle balzac's lost illusions (which is a huge book!) this month.

Richard said...

One book (among others) I still have to finish is Don Quixote. I started it about 15 years ago and let it wane. Granted, I am reading a translation and not the original, however, I noticed that the writing was uneven - almost as though it had been written by two different authors.

I remember enjoying A Tale of Two Cities. It is nice and short - I tend to be pretty averse to huge books (200-250 pages seems just about right to me).

Cool word verification this time: th. I wonder what it means?

Richard said...

Urgh, that should have been

pixth

b said...

richard...that is something i've only recently started thinking about more criticially- how books suffer from translation. when you can detect an inauthenticity, it becomes difficult to overlook.

i don't mind longer books but they have to be compelling enough and i can't lose motivation. right now i'm reading the mill on the floss and i'm about in the middle. but because of moving chaos, i haven't been reading each night like usual and so it becomes this looming obligation instead of what reading naturally is for me...enjoyable. after reading crime and punishment and once i finish the mill on the floss, maybe i should read a tale of two cities before tackling lost illusions, to break up this long novel streak i'm on!

pixth is an interesting word. i don't see it in my dictionary/thesaurus. but if it isn't a word, it begs to be one. hmmm...what kind of definition would you give it?

Richard said...

Depends if the origin is the Latin pyxis meaning small box or pixie meaning a dimutive fairy or it is some ordinal.

Betty C. said...

What a beautiful quotation, from my favorite Dickens book. This inspired me to read some of the classics again...somehow with age I am less attracted to them, not more. Isn't that strange -- one would think the opposite.

b said...

richard...yes, the origin makes a considerable difference, doesn't it?

betty...thanks for visiting my blog. great expectations is easily one of my favorite books. you know, i am actually drawn predominantly to classics. i don't know how to account for that, other than the obvious...that they are such works of art. it is interesting how we are drawn to certain things at certain times in our life. and it is not always as we might have predicted!