It's 1.50 a.m. Instead of sleeping or reading CLT, I'm reading the first part of England, England, possibly for the nth time. I've read this book so many times already that I know the entire story by heart; but it's not about plot as it is about style, about character, about the writer's empathy towards the character.
I'm blown away by this novel every single time I read it. There's just something so erudite and special about the novel that makes me want to visit it again and again and again, relive the magic of reading it for the first time. What gets me everytime is how Julian Barnes is so in tune with his character's emotions, feelings, psyche, it's as if he is the character. He blends subversive humour so well into poetic prose, and it's such deft subtlety that I really, really admire.
The first part is so terribly sad. The next time someone asks me to explain the thin difference between a cynic and a disappointed idealist, I'd ask him to read the novel.
God, I just love this book to bits and pieces.
I made a note to myself to re-read the first part after coming across something in Glenn that reminded me of England, England - something about how we remember the past, what we remember of the past, and how the past is brought to the present.
Addressing the last part of the above in particular, this really made me laugh: "It was like a country remembering its history: the past was never just the past, it was what made the present able to live with itself."
Probably not the answer Glenn was looking for, but it suffices for me all the same.
I'm gonna finish up with the first part of the novel, then I'm gonna go to bed. Good luck to me for the paper I'll be taking in...seven hours' time. Wow, that's really fast. Hopefully he set a broad question that allows ample room for bullshitting. Otherwise, if it's something specific like one of the past year papers, I will just die.