On getting lost, and getting Lost.

2 12 2008

Logging in to the old blog dashboard just this side of slacking, I find myself in my usual Monday night position. Sitting stock still in my big armchair (my only remaining piece of real furniture), sometimes remembering to flip over to Monday Night Football. But mostly not. Mostly, my face is linked via direct neural connection to the TV screen as I try to keep up with the ever-changing plot line of Lost. I think we’re somewhere in the neighborhood of Season 3.

At any rate, this is in strong contrast to Sunday, which was devoted almost entirely to devouring The Commodore. Funny that I bring this up now, because the episode of Lost I’m wallowing in has just had a moment in which the character Desmond explains that he’s read every published word Charles Dickens has every written except for Out Mutual Friend (which is the first Charles Dickens I ever picked up, and is the last and only 13 pages of Dickens I’ve ever read as an adult). He’s saving it so that it’s the last thing he reads before he dies.

My reasoning is not so morbid as that, but I tried a few days ago to remember when it was that I first picked up Master and Commander, the first of Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey/Maturin series. I can’t quite remember, but I’m pretty sure I was not more than 12, maybe 14 at the most. And in the last few years, I’ve been rationing them. One a year, at most.

Recently I decided that there was too much detail of the preceding 17 volumes that I don’t remember. So it’s time to read through the rest of the series, the last few books, and then ….

start again. 🙂

I’ve had plenty of people tell me that there is NO reason to rearead books when there are plenty of books out there you’ve not yet read even once. Our Mutual Friend notwithstanding – I’m pretty sure that somewhere on page 12, the main character was revealed to be a large piece of heavy Victorian furniture – said friend is right. Just in my bedside cabinet alone I’ve got Calvino, Helprin, two very promising biographies and a small stack of non-fiction. Not to mention the fact that my Lovecraft could use some touching up.

But at the same time, who doesn’t want to relive every detail of their favorite stories? These are stories so engaging that they cause me to alter my dietary practices. Seriously – have you ever read a story in which you relish the the descriptions of dinners more than the actual food you intend to eat? In which the idea of those meals is actually more satisfying than your own?

Well at any rate, I have been drinking port after dinner for the last two days, and it is precisely because of The Commodore. So then, a glass with you and your favorite author. I’ll be getting back to mine presently. Tomorrow, to be exact. There’s another half hour of Lost still to go tonight.

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