Those of you who are re-reading Possession and working through British copies of The Children’s Book preparatory to next month’s chowdown w/ A.S. Byatt may be interested to know that we have finally finished The Virgin in the Garden. It suffered from being fitted in between other snappier reads, but halfway through we found ourselves sucked in in a way that we had not previously been, and from then on it was a freight train. Even though it is an intensely detailed take on academics and artists in the summer of the coronation of the present queen, it still works wonderfully well. We figure we will be one of maybe five people at dinner who have read it, and there will probably be no time to discuss it with the Dame, but it’s done. Good for us.
As to The Sound and the Fury, the other major literary task we had set ourselves to, after making it through the hallucinatory chapter about suicide in exurban Boston, we gave in and reached for the internet equivalent of Cliff’s Notes to see just what the hell we were doing. We still don’t get it, but we’ll keep reading.
No way you could get the dialect past the censors these days, by the way.