Saturday, June 18, 2011

Reading Lolita in Tehran

Okay. I tried, and I tried, and I tried.  It was my pick, if anyone should finish it, I should, right?

I plowed through the first section, on Lolita...but it was a lot of reflections on a book I'd read, so I could more easily comprehend the parallels she was trying to make between life in Iran and the book.  Then I got to the next section, which was parallels between life in Iran and The Great Gatsby, which I've never read.  Now, it's part of my life goal to read all the classics.  I'm still plugging through Anna Karenina two years after I started it (the book is actually very interesting, that's not the problem...I have a whole diatribe on the classics and why people don't read them anymore, but that's for another time).  Although The Great Gatsby is obviously included, the fact remains that I haven't gotten to it yet, so this made it really difficult to understand the parallels she was making.  The parallels were quite clear in the Lolita section, which is what made it interesting.  I didn't even realize that they were only clear because I'd read the book she was referring to until I got to the Gatsby section.

Anyway, so I finished the Gatsby section, but I really had to force myself to do it.  After that, I started on the next section and then just gave up.  Not having read the books was really getting in the way.  I think I may try this book again once I've read some of the other works she talks about, because going by my reaction to the Lolita section, there are many interesting comparisons to the books when you've read them.

I'm a bit disappointed that even I couldn't get through my own pick for book club, but, well, we can't win them all.  I have four ideas I'm bouncing around in my head for the next time my turn comes up, so hopefully I'll settle on a good one next time.