Friday, November 27, 2009

Get Told

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Had to happen

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Understand now?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Too true

Sunday, November 08, 2009

An Equal Music

I just finished reading this novel by Vikram Seth. I can't even remember what prompted me to buy it. The novel's central character is a musician, Michael Holme, who plays second violin in a classical quartet. He has loved and lost and attempts to retrieve the lost love of another musician, Julia McNicholl.

First, I must admit that the main character was totally unlikable to me. Selfish, obsessed, inconsiderate and absurd, he makes a mountain of his love affair and fails to understand or even remotely understand the person who is Julia. He's like a stalker, forever obsessed with the way she affects him, rather than the person she is. I found him contemptible. I found her weak and barely forgivable.

And yet, there is an understanding of musicians and their obsession with their instrument that makes this novel worth reading. The real love story is between Michael and the violin he plays, a gift from a patroness who has known him since childhood.

Also, this book deals with class. Michael is the son of a butcher, a man unlikely to become a world-class musician. It is only through the patronage of a local aristocrat, that Michael is able to access this world of musicianship.

And this is where the book goes wrong. You cannot transform a working class child into a self-absorded bourgeois twit without some explanation. There is none. What is it that gives this manchild his massive ego? What makes him so completely insensitive to Julia's reality. How is he able to elevate his lover for her to a mythic Utopia without the least consideration or her reality or his?

I can see writing a novel like this that makes clear the extreme selfishness of Michael and his blindness to reality. But this is not the book Seth has written.

How unfair this book is to the reality of love and living with another human being. How dismissive of Julia's husband and child.

Monday, November 02, 2009

So True!

Cartoon by Caldwell Tanner

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Cleaning Up

The girls and the grandchildren came by today to help us clean up the household. Found lots of fun items we'd lost in the process. Pretty pictures of daughters on Halloween. This is good.