Thursday, July 03, 2003

I don't know -- maybe it's just me: with every new book, I feel I'm getting dumber than I was even a few years ago. Around 1999 or so I read Elective Affinities, and as is so often the case didn't really feel I'd understood it, so I read it again. Recently the Berger book made me think of it so I started it again, mostly to see if my memory was true or false. I've been mostly just stumbling through it; it seems like it should be easier by now, but it's such a strange book -- it's a craggy kind of book. Goethe chews on ideas so much they seem to get stuck in his teeth; either that or I'm just missing the depth of what he's saying half the time, and what's scary is that he might not be saying anything all that terribly complex. That dread "second reading" feeling (actually that would be a fourth reading) is nigh upon me; like I should now attack it yet again, spear in hand, driving my poky white steed through its slim pages. Nah -- I'll resist the urge. I'm all outfitted with the Norman Rush books. I'll move on to them.

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