I’ve put off this review for a variety of reasons. 2016 has been bumpy, but it has provided time for reading if not for reviewing.
From the back cover:
The Blind Assassin opens with these simple, resonant words: “Ten days after the war ended, my sister Laura drove a car off a bridge.” They are spoken by Iris Chase Griffen, sole surviving descendent of a once rich and influential Ontario family, whose terse account of her sister’s death in 1945 is followed by an inquest report proclaiming the death accidental. But just as the reader expects to settle into Laura’s story, Atwood introduces a novel-within-a-novel. Entitled The Blind Assassin, it is a science fiction story improvised by two unnamed lovers who meet in dingy backstreet rooms. When we return to Iris, it is through a 1947 newspaper article announcing the discovery of a sailboat carrying the dead body of her husband, a distinguished industrialist.
“Ulysses,” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
I’m happy to report that Tennyson’s “Ulysses” is mostly in my head. More or less. Let’s not discuss my proficiency here. On the upside, “As I Walked Out One Evening” has held up for the duration. To balance my previous overreach with an underreach, I’ve chosen a short poem by Lord Byron which I was able to [mostly] memorize the first time I wrote it out longhand. read more
“As I Walked Out One Evening,” by W. H. Auden
I chose Lord Tennyson’s “Ulysses” to memorize because I think the end is THE GREATEST bit of poetry in the English language. I also thought the calm tone, the wondrous there-may-not-be-much-time-to-us-but-we-can-still-do-stuff tone would be a nice counter to my carpe diem overload. read more