Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Legends of the Fall

Currently reading: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
The Sandman Companion by Hy Bender
Next Up: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

Last night, Adam read me the third and final chapter of Legends of the Fall. A beautiful, beautiful story...and again, I will attest to how wonderful it is to have a story read to you by someone who loves it. There's really something magical about that. However, Harrison's prose really calls to be read aloud - he's one of those writers who really can paint pictures with words. Normally, I hate description - it bores me, and I usually skip it over - but Harrison does it not using many words, just the right ones. The characters pulled at me, too. I really felt Susannah's pain over Tristan (though I have to admit, I brought my own baggage into that....but who doesn't?)...I was close to tears when Two was killed...and poor, poor Tristan.

Adam and I discussed the ending, and I brought up a quote from Everything is Illuminated: "It wasn't wrong, but worse. Close." That's what the ending of Legends of the Fall felt like to me. Sure, it was a "happy" ending - Tristan lived a long life, Ludlow killed the Irish guy, the children would grow up wasn't wrong, but worse, close. Adam liked the line - and he PROMISED that he would FINALLY read "Everything Is Illuminated" today. We'll see....

Going back to the idea of the "baggage" we bring to books - that's the wonderful thing about art in general to me. That millions of people can regard the same work of art in ENTIRELY different ways, becuase of their own personal experiences, which are as different as snowflakes. Legends of the Fall (as well as anything by Simon & Garfunkel or Richard Linklater) will now always remind me of Adam. For better or worse.


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