Saturday, August 10, 2002


It is a hot Saturday evening. Actually, it's cooled down a bit outside, but the house is still hot inside.

This afternoon and evening, after a long nap, I've been reading All The King's Men by Robert Penn Warren. I had bought the book years ago at Skagit Bay Books in La Conner, Washington, although what sparked me to get it I don't remember. I had forgotten I owned it until I was looking in the book boxes in the garage and came across it. Robert Penn Warren was one of the author's photographed with his typewriter in the photo essay I mentioned a few posts ago.

I'm enjoying tracking the shifts in verb tense and temporal perspective in the novel, e.g., the use of the subjunctive to narrate a past event. This observation by the narrator, Jack Burden, about his boss, Willie Stark, who taught himself law by studying after working in the fields all day, coincided with some of my (bleaker) thoughts about my situation as a student:
But maybe it had taken him too long. If something takes too long, something happens to you. You become all and only the thing you want and nothing else, for you have paid too much for it, too much in wanting and too much in waiting and too much in getting (p. 68).

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