This summer is the summer of “intellectual” reading. The premier title is, one that I found years ago in a lovely used book store in Charlotte, NC, Gargantua and Pantagruel.
Modeling yourself upon the dog, you should be wise to scent, to feel and to prize these fine, full-flavored volumes. You should be fleet in your pursuit of them, resolute in your attack. Them, by diligent reading and prolonged meditation, you should break the bone of my symbols to suck out the marrow of my meaning – for I make use of allegory as freely as Pythagoras did (4).
Yes, you see that correctly, dear reader – I refer to page 4 of the “Prologue.” There are a lot of “shoulds” in his directive. This may well be due to the fact that one must not only appreciate the ribald humor of this 16th c. monk, but truly be diligent by nature. I am afraid that I am modeled after the cat. I am slow in pursuit especially if it provides the vaguest of entertainment. So, dear reader I turn to a mystery author with her most recent title, lent to me by my dear neighbor in her moment of triage for my desolate spirit and weak mind – Elly Griffiths and her “Ruth Galloway novels.” “Dear neighbor” was quick to remind me that I had tried one her books previously, but I liked this cover – and hey, I was desperate. I grabbed it. This title, The Ghost Fields, truly inspired my feline sensibilities; I read it in three days lying prone anywhere my body deigned to be prone. How so, you ask? By comparison, I quote here:
So, Ruth is at the gym…She spends three half an hour in the gym, following the programme designed for her by Dean, and then she swims for half an hour. She hates it. She hates the other members in their designer sportswear, running marathons on the treadmill then, stopping to do complicated stretches, carrying their little bottles of water everywhere (286).
This brief and failed rendezvous with my intellect has placed me, somewhat more humbly, with my feet on the ground and well-suited reading in hand. Yet, there is a bit of the dog in me – I am now on page 23 of 146, Book I, with Rabelais. Four more Books to go!
Griffiths, Elly. The Ghost Fields. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015. Print.
Rabelais, François, Jacques, LeClercq, trans., and Lynn Ward, Ill. Gargantua and Pantagruel: the Five Books. New York: The Heritage Press, 1942. Print.