Sunday, June 22, 2014

Deep reading

Rebecca Mead inspired me during her visit to really focus on Middlemarch and to read deeply.  I will admit to rushing through books and am certainly guilty over our last 3 summers of not keeping up with the reading and then finding myself under the gun to read many pages.  NOT THIS TIME! I promised myself.  I will take my time and look things up that I don't understand.  I want to really get to know this book, not just read it but really consume it in the best way possible.  To that end, I was intrigued early on by this passage:

"However," said Mrs. Cadwallader, first to herself and afterwards to her husband, "I throw her over: there was a chance, if she had married Sir James, of her becoming a sane, sensible woman.  He would never have contradicted her, and when a woman is not contradicted, she has no motive for obstinacy in her absurdities.  But now I wish her job of her hair shirt."

Seriously...what is a hair shirt? Google provides a truly frightening array of images including this:
and this: 

But I think I'll go with the idiomatic definition: if someone wears a hair shirt, they choose to make their life unpleasant by not having or experiencing anything that gives them pleasure.

All of this deep reading had me feeling really good until I realized our first discussion is Wednesday and I'm 200 pages behind.  For now I'm back to trying to catch up and be able to appreciate all of your great comments and observations this week.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for gruesome pics. Hairshirts or similar are still worn by members of Agnus Dei, a conservative Catholic group. The goal is to suffer physically in order to become more spiritual. Was this Dorothea's goal in marrying Casaubon? We'll discuss tonight.