Sunday, June 8, 2008

Silas Marner: the Jacqui's Room Notes

Silas Marner, in ten words:

Betrayed weaver counts gold.
Treasure stolen.
Child appears.
Love wins.


Two thoughts on Silas Marner:

1. Strong story, deep emotion, complex characters and relationships, and tons of tension. I actually very much enjoyed it. So much so that I pulled Middlemarch off the shelf and read the introduction. Phrases included: "completely different from Silas Marner," "difficult in many ways," and "despite the monotony of the beginning." I put it back.

2. Eliot was writing Romola, a sweeping history of the Italian Renaissance, when the story of Silas Marner, "thrust itself between me and the other book I was meditating." She stopped writing to whip off Silas Marner. I often say my best writing comes when I take a break to write a story that's "not the book I'm writing." I think a sense of freedom and relaxation of pressure come when we tell ourselves, "Oh, this is nothing." And that freedom can spark our best work. I wrote The New Girl...And Me (back then in was called Shakeeta's Iguana) on the train in Chicago, on my way downtown. I started my first chapter book on a whim waiting for my brake pads to be replaced. If you really want to have fun with your writing, tell yourself, "Nobody is ever going to read this," and see where your imagination brings you.

4 comments:

WordWrangler said...

Speaking of summer reading...I took Robin Hood and two of my other books to read. Did I?

NOPE.
NADA.
DIDN'T HAPPEN.

If I can't read on Vacation (we were busy, but also had plenty of downtime), how can I commit to that amount of reading now that I'm back in the every day rigor of life? (it's a wonderful rigor, too, by the way!)

Thus, I must bravely admit that I'm putting my summer reading on hold until another season. Fall, perhaps? Maybe winter, even.

I must admit the thoughts of the whole thing sounds wonderful. And I'll do it - one season soon (I hope!).

And who knows? I might even read that blasted Whale story. :)

AbbaFet said...

I may have to switch to Silas Marner from The Mill on the Floss since you gave it such a glowing review and, oh, because it is shorter. I have already switched Portrait of a Lady to the slimmer tome Daisy Miller.

I'm still on Anna Karenina which is long, but I should be able to post something about it by the end of the week.

Jacqui said...

wordwrangler, we understand. Not everybody likes to have unfed children, a pigsty house, and a fluorescent light tan all July...

Hope you'll still come make us smile, though.

Jacqui said...

abbafet, I completely support choosing your classics, particularly Eliot, based on page count.

Will be interested to hear what you think when AK finally shows up in her own book.