Thursday, May 22, 2014

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)

I remember well finding the premise of this book absolutely terrifying when one or the other of my parents described it to me when I was small.  I was certainly not disposed to read it, although even if I had tried such a thing back in the day, I would quite definitely have gotten bored and quit before the picture itself becomes a thing.  Probably before Dorian himself even appears, actually.  Now, however, I'm less likely to be bored and/or scared by books (except RA Salvatore books--there, it's kinda the opposite), and I had two additional reasons to check it off the list: a friend recommended it, and there was a brief excerpt from it in a lesson I recently taught which made me think, huh.  That looks kinda cool.  SO THERE YOU GO.
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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Exemplary Novels (1613)

The biggest and most blatant digression in Don Quixote is a story called "The Ill-Advised Curiosity."  In it, there are two friends, one of whom gets married to a beautiful, virtuous, &c woman.  However, he starts worrying that under duress, she might not be as virtuous as he wants her to be, so he asks his friend to try to seduce him.  Friend sez dude, forget it, that's a terrible idea, but he's persistent, and eventually, the friend reluctantly agrees, with predictable results.  I liked it; though predictable, it was a fun story, and I think the moral was a good one.  So, I decided to read Cervantes' Exemplary Tales, which are meant to be basically the same sort of stories as that one.  The results?  Mixed, let's generously say.
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