oddly enough, i just finished 'sleep', from the murakami collection 'the elephant vanishes', a story about a woman (wife/mother) who suddenly finds that she no longer needs to sleep:'that night, i found myself capable of reading anna karenina with unbroken concentration. i went on turning pages without another thought in mind. in one sitting, i read as far as the scene where anna and vronsky first see each other in the moscow train station. at that point, i stuck my bookmark in and poured myself another glass of brandy.though it hadn't occurred to me before, i couldn't help thinking what an odd novel this was. you don't see the heroine, anna, until chapter 18. i wondered if it didn't seem unusual to readers in tolstoy's day. what did they do when the book went on and on with a detailed description of the life of a minor character named oblonsky - just sit there, waiting for the beautiful heroine to appear? maybe that was it. maybe people in those days had lots of time to kill - at least the part of society that read novels...'also, we watched a movie called lobster, which was extremely 'dream-like', & which we both think you'd probably enjoy it (tho we found the first half to be much more fun than the other)...
I'm pretty sure I read "Sleep" in The Elephant Vanishes sometime in the past couple of years, but I didn't recognize it by the title so I went and reread it on a literary blog. Then it sort of came back.We're still happy, of course. I really do think so. No domestic troubles cast shadows on our home. I love him and trust him. And I’m sure he feels the same about me. But little by little, as the months and years go by, your life changes. That’s just how it is. There’s nothing you can do about it. Now all the afternoon slots are taken. When we finish eating, my husband brushes his teeth, hurries out to his car, and goes back to the office. He’s got all those sick teeth waiting for him. But that’s all right. We both know you can't have everything your own way.Humor is best offhand, deadpan. Nothing kills a joke deader than hitting every cadence in a "get a load of this" way. I'm pretty sure Murakami knows this.Anna Karenina was published in installments, though. That could have influenced Tolstoy's decision to delay a few things. Still, I can't recall a Dickens novel where you spent 18 chapters waiting for the title character to show up. Maybe that's a Russian thing. I have to confess I haven't read the book since college, so I'd have to reacquaint myself with it.The Lobster looked interesting from the reviews I saw of it. It didn't play in the theatres around here as far as I could ferret out. I'll look for it on DVD though. With a few happy exceptions most movies are better at setup than payoff.
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