i must admit i'm scared of long books and long films. that's one reason i haven't tried mann's magic mountain yet, and i really don't know if i'll have the courage to do so. when the reading implies a computer, i'm even more tempted to give it up. yet, here i am, overcoming my fears and enjoying middlesex. i love family sagas, that's probably one reason for choosing to read this book, but with regards to middlesex i must admit that it was the last part of the book that kept me attached to the computer. the first two parts [grandparents'& parents' stories] were also juicy and interesting, but callie/cal's coming of age and discovering his true self assured me i made the right choice. callie is the girl i would have liked to be, minus the sex problems, of course. she's smart, witty, well-read and she's not afraid to ride her bike at night :)
ruxandra cesereanu wrote a very good review of the book for her strange library. here: http://blog.360.yahoo.com/blog-voNwP7Ijbr5MnY1Xhgw-?cq=1&p=2927#comments
some notes and quotations i liked:
i must be completely out of my mind trying to read this on the computer. somebody stop me.
Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever. I can’t just sit back and watch from a distance anymore. From here on in, everything I’ll tell you is colored by the subjective experience of being part of events.
“Can I tell you something, though?” she asked. “About your part?”
“You know how you’re supposed to be blind and everything? Well, where we go in Bermuda there’s this man who runs a hotel. And he’s blind. And the thing about him is, it’s like his ears are his eyes. Like if someone comes into the room, he turns one ear that way. The way you do it–“ She stopped suddenly and seized my hand. “You’re not getting mad at me, are you?”
“You’ve got the worst expression on your face, Callie!”
She had my hand. She wasn’t letting go. “You sure you’re not mad?”
“I’m not mad.”
“Well, the way you pretend to be blind is you just, sort of, stumble around a lot. But the thing is, this blind man down in Bermuda, he never stumbles. He stands up really straight and he knows where everything is. And his ears are always focusing in on stuff.”
I turned my face away.
“See, you’re mad!”
“You are .”
“I’m being blind,” I said. “I’m looking at you with my ear.”
“The only way we know it’s true is that we both dreamed it. That’s what reality is. It’s a dream everyone has together.”
People were falling in love, getting married, going to drug rehab, learning how to ice skate, getting bifocals, studying for exams, trying on clothes, getting their hair cut, and getting born. And in some houses people were getting old and sick and were dying, leaving others to grieve. It was happening all the time, unnoticed, and it was the thing that really mattered. What really mattered in life, what gave it weight, was death.