Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Of course, Dear Bess, you'll get this post after you've lead the book group...but I was thinking your blog commentary would make for great discussion!

-- Marg

P.S. I too, long ago, met such a young man in Italy...tall, swarthy, he'd biked down from Holland...we met in the Vatican Museum, the only 2 there at the time that could speak English...

By Blogger Margaret, at 12:53 PM  

Ah, yes, Bess, it was all too simple. The violets, the betrayals, the tidy ending. I had fun, though.
I've moved on to Louise Erdrich...

By Blogger Jane, at 8:08 PM  

Cool blog you have going here, I will check in often! I have a similar site about restaurant kansas city. It pretty much covers restaurant kansas city related stuff.

By Blogger tom naka, at 5:14 AM  

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Monday, October 10, 2005  

All of a sudden I realized I never finished A Room with a View and I have to lead a discussion group through it today! Yikes! And why do I always get these gigs on Monday holidays? I haven’t finished it because I don’t really care for it. I got the main message (because I read the ending) and find it a worthy enough one - but all the trappings - the dialogue, the values, and the very sloppy and unbelievable plot - are most dissatisfying. Of course, the minute distinctions between one level of Fin de Ciecle British middle class and another are beyond my comprehension. Why the Emersons are considered below the salt when someone as crass and idiotic as Rev. Eager is acceptable, even though boring, narrow and mean, escapes me. And alas, I fear I am both too old, and yet not old enough, to find pleasure in a young man’s passion being stirred by a young woman’s beauty - and almost nothing else, mind, for their conversations are practically non existent - he can’t have much more than a clue who she really is - yes - I find I am too old to be either delighted or interested in witnessing that.

Perhaps if it were my own child, or a niece or oh, pretty much anybody I was at all aquatinted with, I could be moved to at least a little sigh of sweetness. I’m trying to think back to my own tender youth - when I could be swept by the passion of a youth’s beauty. Yes - long, long ago, in the very, very dim past, I made my own sojourn to Italy, even to a room with a view, out across the clay topped houses of Siena, with the clear blue of a Mediterranean sky nudging its way into stone floored chambers. And I remember a stunningly beautiful boy. A Botticelli Angel of a boy. I remember looking at him and past his shoulders out through that window with a view of a Sienese landscape and freezing with dumb, ox-like immobility. I remember that my eyes watered and my mouth went dry. And I can recall the flutter of my heart, the sweet longing to touch something that pretty - to hold it close, to kiss cheeks that were still a little round, to tousle curls that circled tightly enough to wrap around my fingers.

It was a sweet passion. It was a heart quaking time. My body crackled with energy that coursed through my veins and made it hard to sleep at night, made me toss and sigh and squirm in bed as I tried to come to terms with a longing whose fulfillment I not only doubted, but in fact, wouldn’t have wanted had it been granted.

Perhaps that’s what leaves me cold with this story. Perhaps it’s the fact that Lucy’s first stirrings of passion for anything at all, instead of helping her slough off both childishness and stuffy Victorian mores, leads straight to the altar. Not that giving a character such a wish is unrealistic. It’s that - it’s a wish of a child. It’s puppy love; a necessary ingredient for growth, but not the fulfillment of a life. It’s not the destination, only the bridge. It’s a passage. It’s .. A Passage to Adultia. As such, its fulfillment is a lie. The journey may be as much fun than the destination, but it is not the destination.

And always always always I keep seeing the film version, with all those gay fellows who will never convince me they want to make love to a woman, playing the role of suitors. With that famous double positive, my brain keeps condemning with the words "Yeah. Right."

Ahh well. I have a few hours before I do my thing. I suspect the ladies and gentleman I will be speaking with all will have enjoyed the book. I suspect they are all now, at last, way ahead of me, old enough to grow tender over any young love again, and will sigh with nostalgia and sweet memories. There you have it. I too, will one day be 80.

In the mean time, I had best scrabble through the naked swimming scene and the tennis court scene and brush up on the details.

There is about 1/3 a bobbin of very carefully plied boucle on the wheel - I’m taking my time with this yarn - not necessarily essential to a good boucle, but desirable, at my level of experience.

What was that boy’s name? It will niggle at me all day. And to think I had such a crush on him.

posted by Bess | 7:35 AM