Thursday, December 16, 2010

On Achievement

     I love British Lit.  I realized it too late in life to have been an English major in college, but I've been enjoying all sorts of British authors all on my own.  Several years ago I read a magazine article lamenting the state of higher education and citing, by way of example, English majors who don't read George Eliot.  Well, I loved Silas Marner.  I checked first, to be sure Eliot hadn't written too many novels and there seemed to be only seven.  Then I made myself a goal: I would read all of George Eliot's novels.  Are you already smiling to yourself, a knowing smile?  Silas Marner is a succinct, short, little book.  I hit Middlemarch and wondered what I had done, but slogged through those eight hundred pages.
     My mom likes to point out to me that I have a stubborn streak.  Show me something not being done and I'd love to prove I can do it.  She also likes to mention I deserve a little guy like Arden who is so ardent he suits his name just perfectly.
     Today, preparing for our trip, I had Bryan bring Adam Bede home from the library.  I'll see how far through it I can get over Christmas vacation.  At this point I know I have nothing to brag about.  My goal has been downgraded to a lifetime goal.  I can't count watching BBC's Daniel Deronda as part of that achievement.  At seventy perhaps I'll finish my last Eliot novel.  Bryan and I will be the only people who ever know, nevertheless, I'll have finished and spent 40 years proving I could do it.

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