dismay and sorrow

I’m a little less than halfway through East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I’m strongly considering giving up. It’s not a subtle book, it’s almost melodramatic, it reminds me almost of a telenovela in that respect. So did Light in August by Faulkner, but that one was a darker book. There’s some fine characterization and some damn good writing in E.o.E. but I’m not really feeling it. The last big book I read was Moby Dick, and of course, because I like to torture myself, I’m still reading Paradise Lost. Now that’s a dense forest of words right there. An amusing thing about E.o.E is the bookmark I’m using. It’s a postcard featuring Rodin’s (Aguste, not the giant flying reptile) Adam. It’s an interesting sculpture since it’s Adam post expulsion. Adam is tensed up, once can see all his muscles are tense as guitar strings. He is pointing down, not at the ground, but at his foot, like he’s been hurt. Adam’s facial expression is one of dismay and sorrow. The stones and thorns of the earth are a betrayal after the soft grass and and foamy soil of the ground. I gotta get a good look at it next time I go to the Art Institute.

A few days ago a customer came into the store with his dog. The dog, knowing there’s treats behind the counter was acting up. He said to his dog, “Calm down or I’ll tie you to a rock.” And I said, to the dog, “Yeah, like Prometheus! And you don’t even want to know what happens next.” The customer then proceeded to quiz me on figures from Greek mythology. I got them all the questions correct. It has been the highlight of the last few days. The dog didn’t even like the treat.

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