Oh the unfinished ‘Middlemarch’!


thanks so much to the-toast.net for the picture

While ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Wuthering Heights’ are my great losses, ‘Middlemarch’ is definitely the biggest loss of all because it has recently been voted as the best British novel of all time by selected participants all over the world by the BBC Culture. I have still failed to complete reading it after two attempts.

Middlemarch’ and ‘The Mill on the Floss’ are both initiated by my kind of favorite lines; the showing of what the major characters doing. George Eliot brings them up at the very first page of the books by doing small things that perfectly meet my expectations. What makes the two strikingly different is that ‘Middlemarch’ is somehow heavier even through petty things. I can sense something bigger awaits Dorothea Brooke by just reading the first page, whereas ‘The Mill on the Floss’ introduces me on the gloomy future of the major characters as the book enters its one third.

I can’t write much here because I stop reading ‘Middlemarch’ after only completing some dozens of pages, which is very far from the conclusion. I purchase the Wordsworth version of the novel long, long time ago. I have tried to read it twice but give it up too soon. Apart from its heavy language, the presence of several characters within just a few pages discourages me.

And like ‘Wuthering Heights’, I also edit the translated summary version of ‘Middlemarch’ in Wikipedia. Unlike ‘Wuthering Heights’ whose plots is quick and easily understood, ‘Middlemarch’, even after has been summed up, remains complicated.

Probably, I will reconsider giving it a third try after I complete reading ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ by Charles Dickens. The review from Micheal Gorra in the BBC Culture intrigues me to try reading the book. He says that ‘If you really read this novel, you will find out about yourself.’ His statement challenges me for I wonder if I will find myself somewhere in the book should I read the novel.


3 thoughts on “Oh the unfinished ‘Middlemarch’!

  1. Wordsworth edition is easily putting one off, it’s good to get a Penguin or Oxford’s edition with all the introduction and explanatory notes inserted within! I’m always fascinated by the quotes of Middlemarch, will start reading it this year!

    • I bought the Wordsworth edition because it was cheap, haha! Turned out that the font of the book is too small for me. Perhaps I should get one of your recommendations. Let me know if you complete reading the novel. That would be a grand reading project regarding the total pages of the book, haha, but definitely worth your time, Sarah.

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