g. b. shaw

Musing Mondays (Aug.20)

This week’s Musing Mondays from Should Be Reading asks…

“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.

A Bookish Inheritance

I got the idea of doing this post from katieleigh’s blog cakes, tea and dreams. I saw her ‘Freshly Pressed’ post the heirloom books and thought why not do one for my blog? So, thanks to katieleigh for her wonderful post.

Lost Inheritance:

My maternal grandmother was a voracious reader. Unfortunately, I never got to know her. She passed away at a young age. She had a great collection of mysteries and plays (two of my favourite genres). After her death somehow all of her books were lost. I still lament the loss of those books I never got to know.

Love’s Inheritance:

My first Jane Austen was my mom’s copy of Pride and Prejudice. She had gotten it as a wedding gift from one of her cousins. I remember reading it at night during a thunder storm. I just couldn’t bear to put it down. My mom finally came into my room and had to tell me off because it was a school night! That copy of Pride and Prejudice now stands on my book shelf.

Unexpected Inheritance:

 

Surprisingly I got quite a few of my books from my non-reading family members. I spent many a summer holed up with a book in my paternal grandmother’s house. There I first picked up a raggedy copy of an unknown little book called Seryozha: Several Stories from the Life of a Very Small Boy by Vera Panova. It belonged to an aunt of mine. She had gotten it as a present and left it behind when she moved. I couldn’t hold back my tears after reading about the troubles of a boy my age. After I read it at least five times my grandmother gave it to me for keeps.

        

Plays Pleasant by G. B. Shaw, Time of Hope by C. P. Snow, The Blind Musician by Vladimir Korolenko and many more old college reading material that had been forgotten by everyone. All were rescued from a dusty attic and given to me by my dad who is not much of a ‘pleasure’ reader. Now they are well dusted and cherished as books should be.