Bits again…

Oh yes! That’s what I must do! Thanks, Grammarly.

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And then… I find I had read 3 of the top 10 most difficult books in English by the time I was 18! Or parts thereof at least. Which three? Not saying… But this is one – age 18:

Clarissa, Or the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson – Richardson’s Clarissa is a heavyweight in more ways than one. The novel’s physical heft is part of its difficulty (she weighs in at just under three pounds in Penguin’s oversized edition), especially as her 1500 pages are light on plot (Samuel Johnson said you’d hang yourself if you read Clarissa for the plot). But what the novel lacks in plot it makes up for in psychological depth. Richardson was the first master of the psychological novel and he hasn’t been bested since. These depths are also dark and psychically wrenching: Clarissa’s rejection and dehumanization by her monstrous family and the sadistic torments she undergoes at the hands of her rescuer turned torturer, the "charming sociopath" Robert Lovelace, offer some of the most emotionally harrowing reading experiences available in English.

Sydney Uni made me do it, Mum! I just remember it was SO LOOOOONG! And then we had to read Pamela as well…

A silly list, actually…

And on the universality of nostalgia and the Proust moment, among other things, let me finish by sharing the current Saturday poem from Jim Culleny’s excellent daily poem series on 3 Quarks Daily.

At Midnight in the Bakery at the Corner

At midnight in the bakery at the corner
While bread and butter-biscuits are being baked
I remember the Rahman of my childhood
And Asmat’s sparkling eyes
Playing carom with me

At midnight in the bakery at the corner
While bread and butter-biscuits are being baked
I am boozing alone in my room
In front of me fried liver pieces gone cold in a plate
All my friends migrated to the Gulf

At midnight in the bakery at the corner
While bread and butter-biscuits are being baked
The wife of the Pathan next door enters my room
Closes the door and turns her back to me
I tell her, sister, go find someone else

When the bread develops its sponge, the smell
Of the entire building fills my nostrils.
.
by Dilip Chitre
from Ekoon Kavita -1
publisher: Popular Prakashan, Mumbai, 1992

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