Friday, February 5, 2010

Rain, Rain, Rain

After a seemingly interminable week made even longer by the buckets of rain falling from the sky, Friday evening has finally come. I ate a yummy dinner, I'm snugly parked on the couch, the rain is falling is very soothing (and I don't have to go out in it!), and I have nothing that HAS to be done tonight. This, my friends, is bliss!

I am hoping that East of Eden will occupy a good chunk of my night, but I have to be honest and admit that I am REALLY tired and will probably succumb to sleep long before I read my projected fifty pages. Oh well. In the spirit of Scarlet O'Hara, there's always tomorrow!

I do want to say one thing about East of Eden: I don't think I have ever read another novel that has made me change my sympathy for so many characters so many times. I think Steinbeck intentionally keeps his reader off-kilter, and I think he uses his wide cast of characters to help achieve this affect. It reminds me some of how Dickens builds his stories, but Steinbeck doesn't give the reader nearly as many clues about his characters as Dickens does. Dickens gives the reader glimpses of who the characters will become by the end; Steinbeck keeps the reader in the dark until he decides it is time for the reader to be in the know, and a few times Steinbeck's character revelations have been a bit like being broadsided by a truck. My newest unexpected character sympathy is for Cal. We'll see how long it lasts...

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