Because of various health issues and the lethargy that can follow, this blog has gone untouched for far too long. But now we’re back, and I’ll start by reporting on the meeting of September 14, 2015.
We had decided to give ourselves two months to read Manzoni’s The Betrothed, and this was our first month to begin discussion. It was a little confusing, since we had members who had finished, or nearly finished, the book, and some who had just read to the halfway point. One complaint was that the author had allowed himself to be sidelined very often and had strayed from the plot. Another concerned the lack of development of characters. We talked for a while about how we should evaluate these difficulties, since the first copyright for the book was in 1827: should we assume that the novel form was just developing at that time? A metaphor for a way of viewing the book was suggested: look at it as if it were an Italian opera! No need for development or complicated plot twists, just good old boy gets girl with a lot of flourishes and drama thrown in. We agreed that it was quite helpful to consider the book from that framework, and then went on to talk about the various instances of piety and religious devotion we had noticed, trying not to stray into the second half of the book.
We also addressed the need for a new name for our club, since with the transfer of Father Lawrence we are no longer associated with the parish of St. Jude. Our official name is now Catholic Readers Guild!
Because the Thanksgiving holiday comes on the same day as our usual meeting, we are moving the October gathering to the fifteenth of the month, when we will finish the discussion of The Betrothed.
For November, we will read Laudato Si’, the recent encyclical of Pope Francis. In December we will once again stage a reading of a Dorothy Sayers radio play.
Thanks for visiting!