Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Reading the Count of Monte Cristo, Day Fifteen

Progress: Chapter 65. Page 715/1243 (57% complete)

The note-taking has continued to dry up, partly because I'm doing most of my reading in my lunch break or on the bus these days, but largely because there ain't much worth noting.

Somewhere between my last post (up to Chap 40) and my first new note (Chap 44) the perspective shifted back to Edmund Dantes, now known as the Count of Monte Cristo. 200 hundred pages earlier I'd been asking for this to happen, but since the narrator doesn't freely acknowledge the Dantes = the Count equation, the reader is kept at a great distance from the main character.

The disconnect between plot of the Count of Monte Cristo everyone knows and the middle wedge of the story was reinforced on Friday while watching the Simpsons (Season 18, Episode 11 : Revenge is a Dish Best Served Three Times). Homer is wrongly imprisoned, escapes and takes his revenge on Meaux (a.k.a. Moe) by making him into a crepe suzette. Bing-bang-bong in all of six minutes.


Latest Reading Notes

Chapter 44 "The Vendetta": a lot of coincidence in Bertuccio's story but it's a good wee story (or is it just good compared to the previous 250pgs?)

p.498 Bertuccio's thoughts before murdering Villefort reminded me of Hamlet. Now there's a revenge story with depth.

p.502 Bertuccio: "Our excessive concern with the welfare of our bodies is almost the only obstacle to the success of any of our plans." True that.

Chapter 52: "Carried forward by the rapidity [ha!] of the narrative, we have merely introduced Valentine to the reader without making her better known." Hmm. The dexterous narrator is no longer there to move the plot along but to signpost sloppy writing.

Chapter 61: Best Chapter Title Ever: 'How to rescue a gardener from dormice who are eating his peaches.'

Chapter 62: Translator's note on the reference like Vatel at Chantilly: "Vatel was the chef to the Prince de Conde, and committed suicide in 1671 because, one fast day when the prince was playing host to the king, the fish for dinner failed to arrive." That's one way to earn your infamy.

Yeah, told you my note-taking had dried up.

No comments: