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Thursday, June 15, 2006

We are the music-makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams
From Arthur O'Shaughnessy's "Ode", but also something Willy Wonka whispers to Veruka Salt.

I'm currently reading Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. I went into it half thinking it'd be a sort of girl book, like a Russian Jane Austen. The other half of me had been listening to Radio National and hearing talk of it having a heavy political bent. And sure as shooting, it's half and half. Half social satire, half political polemic.

But even more agreeable has been finding Tolstoy such an adroit reader and writer of people and minutia. Here's a snippet specifically resonant to me and people like me (newly found in a family way):
He was happy; but on entering upon family life he saw
at every step that it was utterly different from what he had
imagined. At every step he experienced what a man would
experience who, after admiring the smooth, happy course of a
little boat on a lake, should get himself into that little boat.
He saw that it was not all sitting still, floating smoothly; that
one had to think too, not for an instant to forget where one was
floating; and that there was water under one, and that one must
row; and that his unaccustomed hands would be sore; and that it
was only to look at it that was easy; but that doing it, though
very delightful, was very difficult.

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