It was clear that I must repair to our town next day, and in the first flow of my repentance it was equally clear that I must stay at Joe's. But, when I had secured my box-place in tomorrow's coach and had been down to Mr Pocket's and back, I was not by any means convinced on the last point, and began to invent reasons and make excuses for not putting up at the Blue Boar. I should be an inconvenience at Joe's; I was not expected, and my bed would not be ready; I should be too far from Miss Havisham's, and she was exacting and mightn't like it.
All the swindlers upon earth are nothing to the self-swindlers, and with such pretences did I cheat myself. Surely a curious thing. That I should innocently take a bad half-crown of somebody else's manufacture, is reasonable enough; but that I should knowingly reckon the spurious coin of my own make, as good money! An obliging stranger, under pretence of compactly folding up my bank-notes for security's sake, abstracts the notes and gives me nutshells; but what is his sleight of hand to mine, when I fold up my own nutshells and pass them on myself as notes!
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens, 1860-61
In my last "what i'm reading" post, I blogged about the novel Mister Pip, a very good book, and announced an impending Dickens mini-binge. Then there was a flood, and a dogwalker crisis, and the book sat on my desk unopened.
But I finally did begin Great Expectations, the brilliant novel by Charles Dickens that inspired Mister Pip, and I am devouring it. I've been trying to make time to read every day, to finish the book before our trip to New Mexico. On the long travel day back and forth from Santa Fe, I'm hoping to read Open Veins of Latin America by Edward Galeano, and A Mercy by Toni Morrison.
Great Expectations is a miracle of a novel. It is Dickens at his best, and his most accessible. I thought I was re-reading it, but it's possible I'm reading it for the first time. My mental imagery from the book are really all from the 1946 movie adaptation, featuring the young Alec Guinness is a supporting role. Rats scuttling through the wedding cake.
I'm not sure if I'll be able to read, other than school work, while in school; it's possible I'll only read when school is not in session. But if possible, I'd like to get to Dickens' Little Dorrit for the first time.