Friday, January 8, 2010
The Good Soldier
Purchased in college at the Fordham University Bookstore.
This is an example of a perfectly fine book being ruined by education. All I remember is my professor telling us that the it had an "achronological" narrative structure and that Ford hung out with Pound and Joyce in Paris. (There was a photo to prove it.) It was very important that we remembered the phrase "achronological narrative structure." I still remember it. I don't remember the book. Anyhow, maybe I'll get to reading it again on my own someday -- it has a great opening paragraph:
THIS is the saddest story I have ever heard. We had known the Ashburnhams for nine seasons of the town of Nauheim with an extreme intimacy—or, rather, with an acquaintanceship as loose and easy and yet as close as a good glove's with your hand. My wife and I knew Captain and Mrs. Ashburnham as well as it was possible to know anybody, and yet, in another sense, we knew nothing at all about them. This is, I believe, a state of things only possible with English people of whom, till to-day, when I sit down to puzzle out what I know of this sad affair, I knew nothing whatever. Six months ago I had never been to England, and, certainly, I had never sounded the depths of an English heart. I had known the shallows.