I never thought this would happen to me, but while I was reading this book, I actually had a sense of nostalgia for Harold Bloom.
A woman I work with forced this book on me with the guarantee that I would adore it. I later found out that she "hates music like the Velvet Underground." It's always people like that who are forcing book recommendations. Not that there are "people like that" who hate the Velvet Underground. I have a lot of faith that she is an isolated case.
This book pretty much hit on every single thing I ever hate about books. I know other people have said the writing was engaging, but I have to disagree. One sentence was just a list of the types of businesses that existed in London in the late 16th century. The businesses were grouped together in a way that let the author use some semi-colons, and it seemed pretty clear to me that the whole purpose of the sentence was so that he could show he knew how to use semi-colons. If that is not the case, and the editors had to put those semi-colons in, well . . . god help us all.
I think this book should be classified as historical fiction because every sentence is about how "maybe this happened" or "if . . . then Shakespeare could have thought." There is a whole chapter devoted to speculating about whether Shakespeare had a happy marriage based on the marriages in his plays. !!!! That makes me so mad!!
Here's what I would read: a book that compiles the documentary history related to Shakespeare and has a short explanation of what the document is. I would be fine with that. Speculation is so infuriating.
I was dating this guy recently, and he only used the word "film" for "movie," which drives me crazy. And then one day, he asked me if I wanted to go have a "romp in the sack," so I decided we should not go out anymore. This is the book version of the phrase "romp in the sack."
I am judging the soul of both this book and anyone who is passionate about it. As to people who feel pretty neutral about it, you are okay, I will just assume the History of Elizabethan England class you took in college was only a survey.
The big boss passed this one on, and, you know, Holmes is cool. I definitely was not feeling this author, though. The documentary history was great, and I loved the stories about his wife and his mistress. The language of the commentary made my skin crawl, though. Just, the adjectives. THE ADJECTIVES!!!
Then, I give this book to this guy I like, and, of all the books I give him to read, he reads this one and likes it. Doh.
This is no insult because I am only three starring this compared to all my other newfound buddhism, and Pema Chodron specifically. Whew, what a lifesaver!!
If I don't finish Guermantes Way soon, I'm going to have to take a rock and kill myself.
DO I HATE READING NOW????
As ill luck would have it, Saint-Loup remaining outside for a minute to explain to the driver that he was to call for us again after dinner, I had to make my way in by myself. In the first place, once I had involved myself in the spinning door, to which I was not accustomed, I began to fear that I should never succeed in escaping from it. (Let me note here for the benefit of lovers of verbal accuracy that the contrivance in question, despite its peaceful appearance, is known as a "revolver", from the English "revolving door".) This evening the proprietor, not venturing either to brave the elements outside or to desert his customers, remained standing near the entrance so as to have the pleasure of listening to the joyful complaints of the new arrivals, all aglow with the satisfaction of people who have had difficulty in reaching a place and have been afraid of losing their way. The smiling cordiality of his welcome was, however, dissipated by the sight of a stranger incapable of disengaging himself from the rotating sheets of glass. This flagrant sign of social ignorance made him knit his brows like an examiner who has a good mind not to utter the formula: Dignus est intrare. As a crowning error I went to look for a seat in the room set apart for the nobility, from which he at once expelled me, indicating to me, with a rudeness to which all the waiters at once conformed, a place in the other room.
Marcel Proust, C.K. Scott Moncrieff, Trans., The Guermantes Way, p. 556.
And then, the last carriage having rolled by, when one feels with a throb of pain that she will not come now, one goes to dine on the island; above the shivering poplars which suggest endless mysteries of evening though without response, a pink cloud paints a last touch of life in the tranquil sky. A few drops of rain fall without noise on the water, ancient but still in its divine infancy coloured always by the weather and continually forgetting the reflexions of clouds and flowers. And after the geraniums have vainly striven, by intensifying the brilliance of their scarlet, to resist the gathering darkness, a mist rises to envelop the now slumbering island; one walks in the moist dimness along the water's edge, where at the most silent passage of a swan startles one like, in a bed, at night, the eyes, for a moment wide open, and the swift smile of a child whom one did not suppose to be awake. Then one would like to have with one a loving companion, all the more as one feels oneself to be alone and can imagine oneself to be far away from the world.
Marcel Proust, C.K. Scott Moncrieff, Trans., The Guermantes Way, p. 533-34.
It is the terrible deception of love that it begins by engaging us in play not with a woman of the external world but with a puppet fashioned and kept in our brain, the only form of her moreover that we have always at our disposal, the only one that we shall ever possess, one which the arbitrary power of memory, almost as absolute as that of imagination, may have made as different from the real woman as had been from the real Balbec the Balbec of my dreams; an artificial creation to which by degrees, and to our own hurt, we shall force the real woman into resemblance.
Marcel Proust, C.K. Scott Moncrieff, Trans., The Guermantes Way, p. 512.