September 12, 2006

The Genuine Wells

I, too, dislike it.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it,
one discovers, after all, a place for the genuine.
-Marianne Moore in Poetry-

This is exactly how I felt after reading 1984. This book gives me the creeps far worse than Dracula did. I told my brother after reading Dracula that I was glad to know that reading scary books didn't give me nightmares like watching scary movies did. He told me I had no imagination. HA!

But when I read 1984 I was paranoid for a month. It literally made the hair on my arms stand on end. I was demoralized. It definitely was one of those books that changed me.

I reread 1984 recently. Yup. It's still creepy. Poor Winston just can't win, no matter how determined he is to hold on to the truth. But what's frightening is that I can't hold out a hope like I can with other novels I've read with depressing outlooks(Heart of Darkness). There is no hope in the political climate of 1984 as laid out by Wells. I can see it could happen and I can see how there would be no way to fight it. It makes me want to cry.

After the first pass through I considered this a horrible read. I was determined never to read it again. And when it came back around on a reading list I was planning to skip it. But then I thought perhaps I would get something a little different this time, like watching a complicated movie. You pick more up once you know where it's headed. But the second reading did something else to me. Yes, the story and my reaction were both the same but I realized that I love this book. There is a good reason it is always included on every Great Books list. The writing is superb. The reader is brought along without the text getting in the way of the images portrayed. It moves me.

I am preparing to read Wells The Island of Dr. Moreau. I am all pins and needles about it. I expect it to be horrific to my senses while I so thoroughly enjoy the prose. This is what I call titilation.

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