Thursday, September 09, 2004

Birthday, Birthday, Birthday

Today is Cathy's (Dennis's mom) birthday. I don't know what we've got planned, but I hope the boy is going to get her a gift and go see her tonight. Otherwise I'll have to spank him ;)

I finished reading Ethan Frome yesterday. Dennis tells me I read too fast. Bah, even if I do, I'll never read everything. The New England winter was the most interesting "character" in the story for me. I've never been to that part of the country, and while I have seen bad snow storms from time to time, that kind of weather never takes over in St. Louis. I know what a moonlight snowscape looks like, but I don't know what it feels like to be socked in for the whole winter. I suppose that is a commentary on how things read to individual readers. I'm always excited by meteorological descriptions in print. I like the way talented writers can pratically make us feel the rain drops falling on us, or the cold winter wind whip through us.

Edith Wharton dealt with time in Frome in an interesting manner, with an outside narrator telling a story that happened a while ago. This device is very common in modern movies, so it isn't a shock to the modern reader. It is even less suprizing to find it in a short story. It is a very good way to establish a 3rd person narrator and cut through chrolonogical details, which is sometimes necessary in order to fit a full narrative into such a small space. It is certainly not as interesting as Arthur Miller's use of time in Salesman. Still, Frome is an excellently put-together piece that absolutely deserves a look.

No comments: