Monday, February 25, 2008

18 miles and Jane Eyre

There were about 17 people who showed up at Buff's Pub yesterday morning to partake in Tyler's last minute group run, although I think it was actually Shifter who mapped out the 17.1 mile loop up the Newton Hills and back down Beacon St. It was a welcome change to go off the Boston Marathon course for a bit and explore new parts of Newton. And the lead group (me, Tyler and Gordon) unintentionally added another mile as we got lost in a beautiful, yet hilly, part of Chesnut Hill. Tyler's wife, Angie the Angel, was our one woman water stop at several points along the course which saved me as I can't stand to run with a fuel belt.

The small number of runners yesterday allowed me to get to meet some of our newer and younger DFMC teamates, including Abby, who refers to herself as a "neurotic reader". My kind of woman!! So we chatted about some of our favorite books while munching on buffalo wings after the run. We're both Jane Eyre fans and she recommended The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (the first novel in his Thursday Next detective series). The premise is very unusual and involves "literary time travel" . I love the idea of travelling though a "Prose Portal" to Bronte's world of Thornfield. Masterpiece Theater meets James Bond!!

(Oh yes - and for another twist to the Jane Eyre story, check out Wide Sargasso Sea which tells the story from Bertha's point of view. Bertha (Antoinette) is the crazy wife in the attic, but in Wide Sargasso Sea you learn a bit more about that Victorian oppressive patriarchial society that might drive any woman nuts!)

Considering Abby is a "neurotic reader" I thought she might be a good candidate to recommend the Norwegian classic, Kristin Lavransdatter, by the great Sigrid Undset (translated by Tiina Nunnally). I often find that there aren't many people interested in reading about Medieval Norway, but I'm guessing that Abby may be one of my best bets. I LOVE this trilogy!! Penguin has a Classic Deluxe Edition containing all 3 of the novels in the Kristin Lasvransdatter trilogy, but the size of that particular volume can be overwhelming as it is over 1,000 pages. I recommend experiencing Kristin through 3 individual texts beginning with her early life and romance with the dashing, yet irresponsible, Erlend in The Wreath (only 336 pages). The cover of the Wreath is horrible and reminds me of some trashy Harlequin romance, but inside is powerful and rich writing.

A trip to Lillehammer to visit Sigrid Undset's home (I've already been there once) and run in the Birkebeiner Lopet (21 K race) is another one of my literary running/reading tour dreams. If only I could get Thom at Marathon Tours to buy into this Babes Bookin' It International vision of mine....

1 comment:

Abigail Greshik said...

I'm definitely going to check the trilogy out!

And after 20 miles, no mere 1000 page book has the power to scare me:)