Friday, March 6, 2009

Dance Update

I know I’ve been fairly quiet on here lately…pretty much this year so far. Sometimes I feel bad about that – like it’s my duty as a blogger to finish books quicker, or to post more often. But everything seems to get in the way. Work is terribly busy, and probably will be all year. Additionally, my personal life is keeping me equally distracted from reading. But I’m REALLY trying.

So, to tide everyone over until I finish a book, I’ll give my Dance to the Music of Time update.

I don’t think I’ve given an update since I finished the 3rd movement back in August. The third movement focused on World War II. The characters being all proper, upper class Brits, they didn’t really do much. Nick enlisted but ended up working with the foreign officials in London, and Widmerpool ended a Colonel (if I remember correctly). There wasn’t any real “going to war” as in nobody was marching across Europe as a foot soldier. Many people died: Nick’s sister-in-law and her estranged husband in a bombing; Stringham in Asia; Templer was murdered in Egypt. All of that takes place outside of the narrative…Nick is just relaying what’s going on, what people have told him, what people are talking about. Such as: Widmerpool's new wife insinuates that he had Templer murdered...and Templer just happened to be her most recent ex-boyfriend. All the British military jargon bogged the whole thing down for me, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it. It was probably my least favorite of the movements. I know I went on and on about how I hated the first movement, but I think it just took the first 750+ pages to get used to what was going on…to get used to the narrative style, and to accept that Nick’s not going to tell us anything about himself. I think if I went back and reread the first part now, I would enjoy it more.

I’m nearing the end now of it…I’m still more than 500 pages away, but that’s more than 80% of the way. The fourth movement is focusing on those Nick runs into in his career mostly, with the usual characters still hanging around…Quiggin, Members, Widmerpool as always. It’s ok…but I really miss the party-going of the 2nd movement. Nick’s older now, everybody is more settled in.

This book – which I’ve been reading now for almost a year and a half – has become integrated into my life. I read my 10 pages every night, and Shawn will ask, “How is Winterpool doing?” and I say, “Well, his wife just left him.” One night I dreamed that Pamela didn’t really throw all of Trapnel’s manuscript in the canal…just a few pages. She hid the rest in my back yard. I guess these things really do begin to sink in after a while. I don’t know what I’ll do without them…I don’t know what I’ll do when in two months we finally say goodbye – maybe for good, maybe not. I don’t know that I’ll miss Widmerpool though.

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