Currently, I am on the page of 172 out of 561 of the George Eliot’s masterpiece Adam Bede. It’s still long way to go but being at the recent page I already feel like a winner.
I buy the novel on June 4, 2014, at the Kinokuniya bookstore in Jakarta thanks to previous impressive reading experience with her another book The Mill on the Floss. The first few pages of the Adam Bede steals my heart away so I purchase the book despite the fact my money runs out. Third-person narration, lots of beautiful descriptions, less dialogue.. that’s the type of my favorite novel writing method. Out of so many great writers, it is only Thomas Hardy and George Eliot who satisty my reading appetite.
Alas, the 6th page of the book causes a headache already. I completely have no idea on what the characters of the book talk about. They discuss about religion, Methodist I suppose. And I have no clue about this thing. The following pages stress me even more. Some characters in the novel use certain dialect in their conversations. They do speak English but I don’t really get what they want to say given strange dialect, abbreviated words Eliot write in the novel. And that last for dozen of pages to come. Can’t tell how hard the struggle I have to go through. Let me take one example as follows:
“I shanna rest i’ my grave if I donna see thee at th’ last; an’ how’s they to let thee know as I’m a-dyin’, if thee’t gone a-workin’ I’ distant parts, an’ Seth belike gone arter thee, and thy feyther not able to hold a pen for’s hand shaki’, besides not knowin’ where thee art?…”
Those are the words from Lisbeth Sede, the mother of Adam Bede, the protagonist of the story.
I put it down for a while.
I don’t even open the novel when I experience a very heartbreaking moment after the already difficult early reading phase (I mention about this in previous posts by the way). As the pain fades away, I read the novel once in a while. But this lasts for a few pages only as the weird spoken language remains such a great problem for me.
Bit by bit… I get used to the weird language eventually. I then know what to do when it comes to this kind of language. Slowly but surely, I grasp the plot of the novel although I have yet to completely enjoy reading the novel.
Only after a short visit to the bookstore last month that I really regain my reading spirit. I open the novel again with better understanding and thankfully everything now runs smoothly. After like, 80 pages on, I know where the story goes. I fancy each of the major character and how they may look like in the novel. All in all, I can gradually feel myself in the book. Oh God! It takes such a great attempt to be where I am now and it is so worth it.
Adam Bede is way more difficult than The Mill on the Floss. Given Eliot’s magical writing touch I feel the novel is so worth the struggle. I won’t say anything about the story line of the novel for I have completed one fifth of the total pages of the novel only. All I can write here is that Eliot’s narration never fails to blow my mind away. It entertains me so much. I love it…