Unfortunately I have read both the plays in this section of the class many times (A Doll House and Raisin in the Sun). But actually, I don’t mind too much. I wish I had time to re-read more. It’s just there are so many books to read…will I ever get to re-read Middlemarch? I think I’ll have to read Anna Karenina again because, even though I’ve already read it more than once, I love it.
I wonder how prevalent re-reading is? In my book group we’ve read a few of the books twice (Heart of Darkness because it’s obtuse, Crime and Punishment because we wanted to see how different translations affected the read- I loved it both times, but the second Norton press translation was superior, maybe that was all: I can’t quite recall). But normally I don’t read a book and then immediately re-read it again (maybe just sections or paragraphs that moved me strongly). There are some I read every few years (Jane Eyre, one of the first books I fell in love with), and of course I love to strum through others periodically, but as I have all but stopped buying books I do this less often. Some books I have that are essays like Meditations or epistolary like Rilke and Andreas Salomé: A Love Story in Letters, or the wild Gertrude Stein my Step father gave me for Christmas are good to keep on the night stand when you just want a little taste. I like to illuminate all of life’s important questions in the spirit of a character in Wilkie Collin’s Moonstone: whenever he had a question of import he would randomly open and point to a section of Robinson Crusoe to guide him…I’ve always loved that detail, I mean, why not?
I saw The Doll House performed many years ago, I don’t remember loving it, I think the lead actress was whiney and it bothered me, but of course my perspective is different now. The nuance and depth of disharmony in Nora and Torvald’s marriage is, read at my age (with my experience) seen in a totally different light. Life is complicated. The layers reveal themselves with age whether you want them to or not. I wish I had understood Ibsen better when I was 16, I really do.
My professor wrote a recommendation for me (as well as my math professor) that contributed to me being awarded a nice little scholarship for next year, so I wanted to make them both cookies. I guess that’s pretty lame on my part. Coincidentally, (or maybe not: maybe I could actually name the cookie of choice of all my female acquaintances, it seems a popular subject) they have both mentioned their favorite cookies (my Stats professor loves chocolate chip- I can do that). But if I can satiate a jones for macaroons or chocolate chip I will. The questions is, what did she mean by macaroon? Nora must have meant almond, but what if my professor meant coconut? What to do? I’m, again, with Nora here: I love almond macaroons, but I just have this feeling that when most Americans say macaroon they mean coconut. Anyway I found an interesting recipe (involving pineapple) that I will test on my children, if they pass the test (and if you knew my children you would respect the formidable challenge therein) that is what she will get.