Tag Archives: gothic classic

New Year’s Resolution or Delusion?

I started reading the classic gothic tale “The Woman in White” by Wilkie Collins.  The story is always referenced as one of first of its genre and certainly enjoys a special place in literature.  I was dismayed, however, to find that I could not drag myself through the long and excruciatingly detailed descriptions, the painfully stiff dialog, and the dragging pace.  I am ashamed of and disappointed in myself.  Have I become that type of reader?  Someone who has to have snappy dialogue or an act of sex or violence on every page, and who cannot read a description which exceeds two lines?  Have I indulged in too regular a diet of commercial fiction that I can no longer enjoy the slower pace of a 19th century work?  I was a Russian literature major, for goodness sake!  I was weened on long, long novels wherein absolutely nothing happened and that was sort of the point.  Ultimately, I have not given up entirely on the Woman in White, despite its massive bulk…(I put it aside at about page 50 of its more than 500+ pages.)  I haven’t quite given up on myself, either, and promise to get back to some more challenging reading this year (alert: sounds like a new year resolution).  In the meantime, I’m indulging in the guilty pleasure of reading Robert Parker’s “Melancholy Baby.”  Don’t judge me!

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