Thursday, November 11, 2010

What a Sad End!

The last few chapters of The Idiot were very sad indeed.  Prince Myshkin was forced to choose between Princess Myshkin’s youngest daughter Aglaya and the fallen woman Nastassya.  Bizarrely he chooses Nastassya even after all the trouble she has caused, and they plan their wedding. All seems to go to plan until the morning of the wedding when Nastassya falls back into the arms of Rogozhin.

Myshkin goes in search of them the next morning, and after several false leads he finds Rogozhin who takes him to  his home to show him Nastassya.  She is tucked up in bed as if asleep but Rogozhin confesses that he had stabbed her in the heart that night. The next morning the authorities find the two men, one in a fever and the other out of his mind.  Rogozhin is sentenced to 15 years in Siberia and Myshkin ends up in the Sanitorium he originally came from in Switzerland.

I listened to the last half an hour three times.  It was so sad and as I had got to know the characters so well I just didn’t want it to finish.

It was hard to find a new audio after that, nothing can really follow it – certainly not those that I have waiting to load up.  After much deliberation I have decided to stick with another classic and do ‘Emma’ by Jane Austen (my very first Austen!).

My physical read One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is very good and there are some very unusual illustrations throughout it by Ken Kesey.  McMurphy has spent his first day on the ward and has already worked out that Bromden is not a deaf mute.  It’s a shame that I have seen the movie a few times, as I would have liked to imagine the characters without the influence of the movie.  The characterisations however are pretty good.

I also read a very good short horror story by Robert Bloch in my lunch break called Return to the Sabbath.  It reminded me a little bit of Shadow of the Vampire whereby the actor chosen to play a movie part is practically the real deal.  But, what really got me was Bloch’s description of the character rising from the dead in the movie Return to the Sabbath where the actor was first discovered.  It really chilled me:

“The shadows fell back.  A figure rose out of the grave, and the face turned towards me………….It was the face of a child, I thought at first; no, not a child, but a man with a child’s soul.  The face of a poet, perhaps, unwrinkled and calm.  Long hair framed a high forehead; crescent eyebrows tilted over closed lids.  The nose and mouth were thin and finely chiseled.  Over the entire countenance was written an unearthly peace.  It was as though the man were in a sleep of somnambulism or catalepsy.  And then the face grew larger, the  moonlight brighter, and I saw – more.

The sharper light disclosed tiny touches of evil.  The thin lips were fretted, maggot-kissed.  The nose had crumbled at the nostrils.  The forehead was flaked with putrefaction, and the dark hair was dead, encrusted with slime.  There were shadows in the bony ridges beneath the closed eyes.  Even now, the skeletal arms were up, and bony fingers brushed at those dead pits as the rotted lids fluttered apart.  The eyes opened”....................

So descriptive, it gave me goosebumps! 

I finished The Half Blood Prince and it was really sad when Dumbledore was murdered.  I was going to leave The Deathly Hallows until next year but I couldn’t resist and have listened to about six chapters.  Poor Mad Eye and Hedwig have been killed already. That's a bit merciless J.K!

Anyway, I'd better get back to some more reading………. 

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