A truly good book as fine as this one can provide an alternative to what is before us. An author as smart as Eliot can provide insight, amusement, but most of all worthy companionship. I fear that I sound like a crank about real life, and perhaps I am somewhat guilty, but I have to say too, that reading a book like Eliot’s has given me a greater sense of compassion toward new acquaintances and wisdom in how I can love better the seasoned members of my coterie. For Eliot cared a great deal about being a wise person who loved fully, and in her world of Middlemarch, she offered another paradigm--of how things are and how things should be. Eliot understood people, their limitations and their ambivalence. She did not judge their flaws, instead she let them live through their truths in drama—far more compelling to this reader than a stack of sermons (and by the way, I am fond of a well-written sermon, too).
05 August 2007
Min Jin Lee (posting over at Chekhov's Mistress) on Middlemarch: