Saturday, May 26, 2012

42. The Sorrows of Young Werther

The Sorrows of Young Werther
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Around 140 pages

Today I finished two magnificent works.  One was Main Street and the other was this little treasure.  This one took me approximately an hour and I was sad that it was so short.  Of course, I have to read hundreds of pages about some idiot named Tristram Shandy but this poetic novella is only around 140 pages.  How is that fair?

This book is about a character named Werther who falls deeply in love with a girl named Charlotte.  Alas, she is engaged to another.  I do not think there are enough stories about unrequited love.  Movies and books always want to throw you a bone by having some happy ending for the crusher.  However, that is not how real life is (at least for me).  The whole experience of rejection is hugely emotionally and makes for a really interesting subject matter.

In any case, this novel is incredibly well written.  I had to keep making my sister listen to certain passages.  This book is definitely worth an hour.  Worth quite a lot more actually.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Goethe became one of the first internationally known literary celebrities for this book.

One of Napoleon's favorite books.

Goethe resented the success that this book had as opposed to his others.  He denounced the Romantic movement that was influenced by this novel.

Started Werther-fever which led to a lot of freaky paraphernalia, I would imagine.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

41. The Expedition of Humphry Clinker

The Expedition of Humphry Clinker
Tobias George Smollett
Around 400 pages

I delayed reading this novel because a large portion of it deals with London and I was still dealing with post-London blues.  In between I read Franny and Zooey, Sister Carrie, and The Interview With a Vampire.  All pretty good and all better than Humphry Clinker.

All right, so it is no secret that I am not a Tobias fan.  At the risk of being repetitive, he is simply not a funny writer and he tries desperately to be like his contemporaries and just fails.  This is supposedly considered his funniest work but I really did not get that.  This book is centered around Humphry who is not really liked by anyone (particularly me).  It is an epistolary novel written from the point of view of six other flat characters.

At least we are finally done with Smollett.  May he rest in peace with his weirdly named characters.

RATING: *----

Interesting Facts:

Last picaresque novel of Tobias George Smollett.

His travels served as his inspiration.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!

Hello readers!

All right, so I could have sworn that this blog's first birthday was on May 17 but I just checked and it was May 4!  So happy belated birthday, blog!

I cannot believe it has been a year since I started this (actually a little more than a year because I started the list beforehand).  I felt like I should celebrate.  Then I realized, that is exactly what this blog is.  A celebration. It is a celebration of art, history, literature, people, and adventure.  I hope you guys have enjoyed this journey as much as I have.