Thursday, May 19, 2011

Discernment

I'm reading Middlemarch right now. I mean right now, as I type this post. So don't expect much. (PS--did you know that book titles are now italicized, rather than underlined, according to MLA guidelines?) I don't remember what led me to Middlemarch...I think it was referenced in an essay or mentioned in another book? Anyway, I saw a gap in my reading, having never read George Eliot (I'm sure I was supposed to read Silas Marner at some point, but either I don't remember it or I just flat out didn't read it) and decided to fix it posthaste. I'm 120 or so pages in and I'm all agog.

If you've been all agog at each of my infrequent blog posts, then you'll remember that I spent a good deal of the spring with Mr. Evelyn Waugh. According to George Weigel, Helena, published in 1950, was Waugh’s own favorite among all of his books. Helena is a novel based on the life of St. Helena, mother of the emperor Constantine. Weigel explains that Waugh found Helena particularly interesting because he considered her a person who “discovered what it was God has chosen for her to do and did it”. As Waugh himself said, “God wants a different thing for each of us, laborious or easy, conspicuous or quite private, but something which only we can do and for which we were each created".

What has this to do with that, you might ask, assuming you're still reading this bilge. Middlemarch heroine Dorothea Brooke is looking for the one thing which only she can do and for which she was created. And so, as it turns out, am I. What I'm doing now, while pleasant, isn't it. And I haven't read ahead, but Dorothea is about to enter into what is sure to be a boneheaded marriage, so her prospects don't look so good either. How did Helena figure it out?

Meanwhile, filed directly under the heading of "doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different outcome each time", I have chosen a class based on my nearly certain to be mistaken impression that it will be the easiest of the particular options available. That approach has worked out very well for me, very well indeed. Stay tuned for the inevitable "what have I done?!?!?!" post 3 or 4 weeks hence.

2 comments:

  1. Can't wait to hear all about it! I'm on this "what am I good at?" search. So far, no discernable results have . . . resulted.

    It's so nice to read some high-quality bilge. Please bilge more often.

    Yours in bilge-ness,
    e

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  2. So you don't regard my bilge with utter disdain?

    ReplyDelete