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24 August 2015 Lasă un comentariu
The End of the Ambitious Summer Reading List by Lee Siegel
I’m sitting in the bedroom of a rented cottage in Maine as my wife and our two young children eat breakfast downstairs. Outside, a pearl-gray fog unfurls gently over the water. Foghorns blare. Seagulls shriek. Edward Gibbon’s “The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire” calls out to me. G.F. Young’s “The Medici” sings its siren song. Van Wyck Brooks’s “New England: Indian summer” purrs.
Ah, the summer reading list! The stress of work is giving way, at last, to the stress of leisure.
Another summer, another vacation, another vow to myself to finish three classic works of literature and history that I began reading, let me see, about 14 years ago. Or was it 18 years ago? Could it really be 35?
I’ve lost track, no doubt because somewhere in that span of time, there were other literary obligations to dispatch during the precious weeks of summer reading—from Proust’s massive novel “Remembrance of Things Past” to Charles and Mary Beard’s “The Rise of American Civilization.” Not to mention the classic volume by Brooks on the New England literary tradition, that romantic “Indian summer” which I have tried to get through, summer after summer.