Craving a Classic

I’ve had a longing for months now, to reread a classic novel. I stand in front of my bookshelves, looking at the spines of paperbacks from the 1970s, asking myself, Tess of the D’ Urbervilles? Sense and Sensibility? As I Lay Dying?

I think I’m craving a classic because real life has been a lot about minutiae lately. My husband’s play and doctor appointments and food shopping–life’s been about how to fit them all in and cook dinner, too. There hasn’t been much stirring language.

But wait–there is always stirring language. Just yesterday, I told my husband I couldn’t live without him. And my daughter and I rhapsodize about the beauty of our cat and the antics of the birds and squirrels every single day.

Until I can make a decision about what to pull off that shelf–Tender is the Night? The Grapes of Wrath? A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?–I must remember to notice the classic things happening right here: the enduring theme of life and death, the riddle of identity, the struggle to be pure in a corrupt society, the mysteries of love, and the ever-shifting boundaries of past and present.

Our lives are books, too, you know.

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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Shirley said,

    Love this!

  2. 3

    Rana said,

    So true! (Although I do have one to add to your list my all time favorite – Rebeca by Daphne DuMaurier)

  3. 5

    Colleen said,

    I just read As I Lay Dying for the first time! It was a bit of a challenge for me, but I’m glad I read it.


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