Tagged again!

I don’t much like being tagged but I do like Matt at SkyMinds a lot. So I am adjusting his tagging to my own ways… 😉 Yes, Matt, elders tend to do that 😉
The idea was to grab the book you are currently reading and write down the fifth sentence on page 123.
Well, I decided to copy the paragraph I had stopped at. Hope Matt won’t mind too much.

She had one packet remaining, and only after several minutes of irritable raking through her mess did she find it in the pocket of a blue silk dressing gown on her bathroom floor. She lit up as she descended to the hall, knowing that she would not have dared had her father been at home. He had precise ideas about where and when a woman should be seen smoking: not in the street, or any other public place, not on entering a room, not standing up, and only when offered, never from her own supply –notions as self-evident to him as natural justice. Three years among the sophisticated of Girton had not provided her with the courage to confront him. The lighthearted ironies she might have deployed among her friends deserted her in his presence, and she heard her own voice become thin when she attempted some docile contradiction. In fact, being at odds with her father about anything at all, even an insignificant domestic detail, made her uncomfortable, and nothing that great literature might have done to modify her sensibilities , none of the lessons of practical criticism, could quite deliver her from obedience. Smoking on the stairways when her father was installed in his Whitehall ministry was all the revolt her education would allow, and still it cost her some effort.

This is taken out of Atonement, a novel by Ian McEwan.
You may well wonder what led me to that novel. I had never heard of Ian McEwan before, althought he seems quite well-known, but I don’t read much these days. Anyway, last summer, I rented out the video of Atonement, translated in French by Reviens-moi, Come back to me

Castle Howard fountain

Fountain in the park of Castle Howard

I rented it because of the name of Vanessa Redgrave in the cast of characters. I must say that I don’t particularly like Keira Knightley, who I only remembered by her inadequate (in my opinion) performance in Pride and Prejudice. Maybe she wasn’t inadequate, it was the adaptation of the novel that was…

But I liked Atonement so much that it made me feel like getting the novel and reading it. Of course, it’s taking me forever as I am taken elsewhere by other “duties”, like ElderExercise –you’ll notice that our elder exercise blog now has its own domain name, which means that although there aren’t that many of us, we are here to stay.

The photo in this page was taken at Castle Howard. Nothing really to do with Atonement, which was filmed in Stokesay Court, but there’s a key scene that takes place in a fountain, and some of the fountains at Castle Howard immediately came to my mind.

6 thoughts on “Tagged again!

  1. I haven’t seen Atonement yet. I think I would like to but don’t rent movies much. I usually read the book first and haven’t read it yet. You jogged my memory on this and a trip to the library is in order! Thanks!!!

  2. Ah Atonement. Good choice Claude ! I watched the movie but didn’t really like it. Books often prevail.

    Ps : that was my first tag ever. A friend of mine tagged me and I felt compelled to pass it on 😉

  3. I agree that the 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice was inadequate. Of course, it’s hard to adapt such a beloved masterpiece, but they were off the mark. I’ve seen Atonement, but haven’t read the book.

  4. McEwan is skilled, but there is something cold as ice at the heart of his work.
    That’s why I’m reading Thackeray instead.
    Not that you asked, but here is the fifth sentence on p. 123 of *Henry Esmond:* “‘T’is an infernal disease,’ says my lord, ‘and its twinges are diabolical.’
    The gout of course, a result of rich living.

  5. I have enjoyed Atonement too, both the movie and the book. I think Kiera Knightly did a much better job in this movie than in P & P. Your fountain here does remind me of the fountain in the movie. If you’re interested, I’ve written a “Book into Film” review on Atonement, comparing the two. Thanks again for all the interesting topics you cover here in your blog.

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