“It is life that shakes and rock us; it is literature which stabilizes and confirms.”
-Heathcote William Garrod, The Profession of Poetry and Other Lectures (1929)
Good morning! Right now it’s so early that the sun has not came up yet and most of my family is still asleep. I have a pot of coffee brewing and one of my current reads in front of me. For the past several days I’ve been taking advantage of early mornings and late nights to get some of my personal reading done. It’s been such a great experience to get lost again in a book without the interruptions of life.
I’m currently reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. The New York Times calls it “eloquent little essays in time, beauty, and the meaning of life” and I have to agree.
The narration of the novel goes back and forth between Paloma Josse, a 12 year-old genius and the concierge of the building she lives in, Rene Michel. Rene is a great character. Smart, charming, funny with a love for The Hunt for Red October, tea, movies, and books, Rene’s voice is full of life as she observes what goes on in the building and gives the reader her own philosophical commentary. I’m not as crazy about Paloma as I am about Rene but she too has a great voice.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog was a bestseller in France before being released in the States last year. I picked it up out of curiousity and the great reviews. It was also one of the last books that Dewey was reading when she passed. Dewey was ahead of the crowd. I wonder what she thought of it. I have many passages marked with post-its.
This Week’s Reading
I plan on finishing The Elegance in the next couple of days. The Scarlet Letter is required reading this week for my American Lit. class. My classmates and I are required to read it twice this week and then write an essay on it by this Saturday. This week will be busy. I hope you have a great Sunday!
What are you plans for this week?