Wednesday, May 15, 2013

6: The Book I've Already Forgotten

Well, choosing this one was quite a conundrum. By rights, this post should be impossible. How am I to tell you a book I've already forgotten if I have, actually, forgotten it?

Since, obviously, I couldn't think of one that fits and none were coming to mind, I went over to my bookshelf and stared. Was there a book here I had read and immediately dismissed? Was there a book here I had forgotten I owned? Was there a book here, amongst the hundreds, that I never once thought of when it was finished?

Indeed, there was.

The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

I am generally a fan of the classics, and have read through several famous ones, not for school, but for the sake of pleasure and curiosity. If a book is that old but still relevant and spoken about today, I figure it's worth my time to read it, and figure out what the fuss is all about.

Unfortunately, reading them on my own means I get the plot, but perhaps not much else. I lack the aid of a teacher or professor, or even a classmate, to guide me through the thick underlying meanings hidden in such classical literary works. Some I enjoy anyway despite the lack of discussion; others, not so much.

Now that I remember I've read it, I can remember reading this one: I forced myself, chapter by painful chapter, one at a time, day by day, to finish this (actually quite short) novel. When it was over, I seem to recall googling the meaning of the last line (which I've quite forgotten by now, of course), then discarding the book into one of my piles, and picking up another, more enjoyable read within the hour. I had moved on by the end of the day, and since then The Scarlet Letter has vanished quite entirely from my mind forever.

I only read it this past summer, and do you know, I can't even recall any of the characters' names anymore. I believe the protagonist's started with an H?

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