Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Are They Reading? The Book and the Brotherhood

Authors tend to be readers, so it is natural for them to create characters who like to read.  It is always interesting to me to read what books the characters are reading in the books I read. Even if I can't say that ten times fast.

Usually, the characters' choice of books reflects the author's tastes or, I sometimes think, what the author was reading at the time.  But sometimes the character's reading material is a clue to the character's personality, or is even a part of the story. 

This is an occasional blog event. If anyone wants to join in, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your related post. And feel free to use the button.  If this catches on, I can pick a day and make it a weekly event.

The Book and the Brotherhood is one of Murdoch's later novels and I've read mixed things about it, so I was slow to pick it up. But I am now completely absorbed by the story and would like to curl up with it just like the characters who go off to a country house for a "Reading Party" weekend.  They all bring books and spend a few snowy days reading, eating, drinking, and talking.  Heaven.

The hostess for the Reading Party chooses Daniel Deronda by George Eliot as her weekend book.  It is Eliot's last novel and, according to wikipedia, is a "mixture of social satire and moral searching, along with a sympathetic rendering of Jewish proto-Zionist and Kabbalistic ideas."

Leave it to Iris Murdoch to chose such a well-packed novel for one of her characters!  I'm not sure how closely Eliot's novel ties in with The Book and the Brotherhood, although Murdoch's novel involves quite a bit of social satire and a lot of moral searching.  There are no "proto-Zionist" or "Kabbalistic" ideas, but there are pages of philosophizing (it is Murdoch, after all) about marriage, friendship, university education, wealth, and Marxism.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...