Monday, January 17, 2005

Quick thought: Julien Sorel of The Red and the Black = Philip Carey of Of Human Bondage. This can't possibly be an original thought; I probably read it somewhere and it just occurred to me while reading Stendhal. Both are youthful narrators under the sway of swoony Romantic emotions, although Julien is more sadist and Philip is more (much more) masochist. Eugene Gant in Look Homeward, Angel is another young Romantic. Diane Johnson in her intro to R&B says that it's the kind of book that experience quite differently as an adult than you do as a youth, when all these emotions reflect your own. The same can be said of all of the above, as well as The Catcher in the Rye, although I've never forsaken my love of Salinger, and I think that's a great American novel that is about adolescent sensibility -- among other things -- rather than a work nurtured by it.

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