Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"The Ides of March" & "Good Literature"

It has been sometime since I have read what some might call "good" literature, as opposed to say "popular" literature, but as this is April's book selection for the Men's Book club I'm in I followed through. And you know what? It wasn't as bad as I feared, or as boring as I first thought, either.

My first impressions probably didn't help. Soon after getting it, special ordered at the Barnes & Noble here in Twin Falls, the family and I stopped at Pizza Hut for pick-up and while Kathy ventured in to purchase our dinner I read the first page or so to Eric who was sitting in the back seat. The first few pages of this 1948 "classic" begin with fictional dispatches from Julius Caesar regarding some trivial matters of governance. It was not, to say the least the most auspicious beginning to a novel.

That said, I was soon sucked in to the story that Thornton Wilder spins about a suppositional retelling of the last months of Julius Caesar's life. Wilder very successfully paints a picture of Caesar as being very human and likable while his opponents in the book come off as overly cynical and duplicitous. Wilder's Caesar is the deep thinker of the book and when everything comes to an end on the very last page of the book I felt a little sad to know that the story wouldn't continue.

It will be interesting to see what the others in book club think about this month's selection. The person who selected it thought it was a great read, I'm not sure how many others will feel that way. Then again, if they enjoyed the one-liners and various passages of wisdom on life and politics that Thornton Wilder puts into the mouths of historical figures then there will be much for us to talk about.

If it has been awhile since you've read anything printed before this current decade and you like history then consider looking into Thornton Wilder's "The Ides of March."

No comments:

Post a Comment