classics club readathon (unfog my glasses!)

What a perfect procrastination plan!  The new term starts this week and I have no idea what my students will be reading for the next three months, so what better way to spend the day than joining this Classics Club Readathon?  Go me!

Here are my answers to their kick off blog prompt.  If you are another Classics Club reader visiting my blog for the first time (that is, after you have finished all that reading, of course), consider following on twitter or bloglovin.  My Classics Club reading list can be found here.

  1. Name and Blog: Rebecca blogs at TWO OR THREE LITTLE BIRDS
  2. Snacks and Beverages of Choice: I just ate my usual brunch (quinoa cooked in coconut milk with sliced dried mission figs and apricots, flaked coconut and chopped pecans drizzled with maple syrup) and finished a pot of coffee.  All good to go for now.
  3. Where are you reading from today?: At home in a comfy chair, feet up
  4. What are your goals for the Readathon?: Avoid thinking about students and work Monday
  5. What book(s) are you planning on reading?: I will finish James Salter’s A SPORT AND A PASTIME and peek into a vintage collection of Maugham’s short stories I recently acquired.
  6. Are you excited?: Always.

END OF DAY UPDATE: I finished the classic Salter.  Next to the cellar-aged Bordeaux in his most recent All That Is, Salter’s 1967 novella A Sport and a Pastime read like a Beaujolais Nouveau.  I am at a loss for words actually and don’t know quite how to describe this book.  It was short and I finished it.  With such a sparse narrative in only about 180 pages, Salter’s infamous literary sex scenes take over any plot or character development, and it becomes one huge fantasy I feel a little strange for having been let in on, especially considering the narrator is the creepy voyeur friend gathering the couple’s steamy love affair through hotel windows.  As a writer I do get excited over some of his sentences.  But just as some critics condemn feminine romance writers for their bodice ripping plot lines, let’s just say this book had a little too much bulge in the pants for me.  Sometimes, yes, there can be too much!  If it were set a year or two later and somewhere outside of France, there’d have been tight polyester and Led Zeppelin on in the background.  Not my favorite book but as a Salter fan, I am glad I read it.  With that said, I did pick up Homer again and pulled myself together for some reading more appropriate for children’s bedtime.  Littlest love and I are just getting to the good part where Odysseus begins to unravel his story, and we read tonight about his arrival at the Island of the Cyclops’ and the encounter with the Lotus-Eaters.  My favorite part is coming up — when he escapes the Cyclops’ cave!

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A PG-13 excerpt from A Sport and a Pastime, the book’s most romantic tragic bit the lady in me appreciates, when the cad is just about to pull anchor (could be a racy pun there?) and head back to the states.  He has promised his lover he will return to her but of course has no intention of doing so.  Oh and remember, this is told from the point of view of the creepy Humbert Humbert character who is jealous of the young man’s effortless swagger.  A pitiful tragic character who tells us, There are long silences filled with things I ache to know. . .

He tries to memorize her.  His hands touch her carefully.  His lips form reverent phrases.

Afterwards they lie for a long time in silence.  There is nothing.  Their poem is scattered about them.  The days have fallen everywhere, they have collapsed like cards.  The air has a chill in it.  He pulls the covers up.  She is so perfectly still she seems asleep.  He touches her face.  It is wet with tears.

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