Pages

Monday, 14 January 2019

The narrator of North and South

“But he resented those words bitterly. They rung in his ears; and he was proud of the sense of justice which made him go on in every kindness he could offer to her parents. He exulted in the power he showed in compelling himself to face her, whenever he could think of any action which might give her father or mother pleasure. He thought that he disliked seeing one who had mortified him so keenly; but he was mistaken. It was a stinging pleasure to be in the room with her, and feel her presence. But he was no great analyser of his own motives, and was mistaken as I have said.” (Ch.29) 
Aha! The narrator now shows her face. 
North and South isn’t The Turn of the Screw, however, so there isn’t much to say about the narrator. There’s nothing to suggest I should doubt her reliability. 
Let’s change subject. 
“Margaret thought about him more than she had ever done before; not with any tinge of what is called love, but with regret that she had wounded him so deeply,—and with a gentle, patient striving to return to their former position of antagonistic friendship…” (ibid.) 
I like that phrase: “antagonistic friendship”. 
In the future, I suppose I’m not going to write much about North and South. Margaret Hale is all right. Other people have written about her, and the social issues in the book, I myself haven’t picked up on anything worth discussing. 
The other day I realised that I had completely forgotten Effi Briest. My blog posts about it sparked a few things, but overall I had forgotten the story and everyone involved. Worse, with The Awakening, I can’t remember a thing. Absolutely nothing. I wonder why. Anna Karenina, I of course remember (after all I’ve seen 5 film adaptations, in addition to reading the novel). Madame Bovary I remember. War and Peace, I remember the main characters and main events, though not the plot (but who cares about the plot?). Jane Austen’s novels and George Eliot’s novels, I of course remember. With the Brontes, Agnes Grey and Shirley have faded. 
But Effi Briest and The Awakening? Not a thing. Absolutely gone. 
I wonder why. 
But I suspect that North and South will suffer the same fate.

15 comments:

  1. it is odd how some books stick in memory and others don't... and it doesn't seem to have much to do with their inherent qualities... brains are weird and original and confusing....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which of the ones I mentioned above do you remember?

      Delete
    2. AK somewhat and W@P, the Waterloo segment in particular....

      Delete
    3. I don't know if this proves the point or disproves it.

      There are Waterloo scenes in Les Misérables, The Red and the Black, and Vanity Fair, but not in War and Peace.

      Delete
  2. In this novel, I mostly remember the shawls and the corrupt manslaughter cover-up. And the roasted cat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read about the manslaughter cover-up yet.
      And why is there a roasted cat? I like cats.

      Delete
    2. Sorry, it did not occur to me that you have not finished the book. I guess I thought this sounded like a wrap-up for some reason.

      That cat's in the best chapter.

      Delete
    3. Haha I guess it does sound like a wrap-up.
      I just thought there probably wouldn't be much to write about.

      Delete
  3. i giver up. i'm too old and my memory is not good enough to contribute much in this blog...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I hope you don't feel offended and leave my blog.

      Delete
    2. not offended, just... useless...

      Delete
    3. I apologize for causing feelings of uselessness.

      I assume that errors are an ordinary part of life and study. One of the great benefits of the internet, of doing my writing in public, is that people help me with my errors. If anything, I wish they would help more.

      Delete
    4. it's not you in particular, Tom... i've been feeling my age lately... (75)

      Delete
    5. I don't know what to say. But I do enjoy your comments on my blog.
      That's what blogging is for, I suppose. The conversations.

      Delete
    6. nothing to say, Di... i like your blog and will summon up the blood, here... well, above, anyway...

      Delete