“This week’s musing asks…
Have you ever reread a book and found that your opinion changed?“
It has happened to me on more than one occasion. But right now two of George Bernard Shaw’s plays, Arms and the Man and You Never Can Tell, come to mind. As a precocious pre-teen, I managed to get my hands on all of my dad’s books and read them repeatedly. I still love Shaw’s Candida and Mrs. Warren’s Profession. But Arms and the Man and You Never Can Tell, I have grown less and less fond of over the years.
Arms and the Man is entertaining but all of the characters are so insincere that after a while it gets really, really trying.
I don’t like romance and You Never Can Tell has quite a bit of that. Shaw’s idea of romance frankly irritates me. All that flirting and trying to gain advantage over each other as if they were enemies makes me really annoyed. The character of Dr. Valentine annoyed me. Falling in love at first sight with the beautiful but utterly unsuitable Miss Clandon and then being afraid at the prospect of actually getting married to her exasperated me to no end. Something about You Never Can Tell makes me uncomfortable. Perhaps it is Mr. Crampton’s rough aggressiveness and bitter loneliness or perhaps it is the rather inhuman way all of his children behave.