Friday, May 18, 2007

Somewhere over the Rainbow

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
There's a land that I heard of
Once in a lullaby

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

Some day I'll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where troubles melt like lemondrops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
Birds fly over the rainbow
Why then, oh why can't I?

I watched You've Got Mail today, for something like the fifteenth time. Its definitely one of my favourite romances, I love the witty dialogue, the acting, the setting, the bookstore... Even now, I get a delightful little shiver down my spine when Tom Hanks hands Meg Ryan a handkerchief and says, "Don't cry, Shopgirl" with Somewhere over the rainbow playing in the background.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Golden Bowl

I've been reading Henry James' The Golden Bowl for the past couple of days and still haven't made it past the first hundred pages or so. I'm a pretty fast reader as a rule, its just that James is a lot to digest. I read The Portrait Of a Lady about six years ago and it was only my stolid determination never to leave a book unfinished that made me complete it. Standing in the bookstore last week, I thought perhaps he deserved another chance, I was after all too young then to truly appreciate what I was reading.
But as I read it now, I can fully sympathize with myself at thirteen. He has this extremely wordy, highly descriptive style that for my practical mind is somewhat hard to stomach. He uses what seem to me highly incongruous metaphors, all the time. For almost any other writer, it would seem like affectation, but somehow with James, it only seems like eccentricity.
In the past hundred pages, the story has progressed, but only marginally so. The characters have been described in tremendous detail, but in such a strange way that they don't seem familiar at all. I cannot really judge their actions yet, or decide whether what they say is true to their character. The dialogue too is extremely clever, but ordinary people simply don't talk that way. It is a pleasure to read but only, at least for me, in small doses. Perhaps as I slowly plough my way through this book, I will find some underlying allegory, some thread at which if I pull, the whole maze will unravel.