Thursday, October 6, 2016
Why I stopped reading Trollope - and why I don't binge-watch TV
I started, read the 1st chapter, in Trollope's Framley Parsonage, which is the 4th (and little known, I think) in his Barchester series and realized I'm just not ready to get back into Trollope again, so quickly: more families with fraternal rivalries and scheming parents and other gentry trying to get a "position" for someone in the church - nobody ever seems to enter the clergy because of piety or devotion or even the desire to do some good for society - it's always just a comfortable living and a step up the ladder. I can only take so much at a time, which makes me think about the way these novels were published - in serial form - which made it literally impossible to read the novel at a sitting- these novels are, I think, meant to be enjoyed as they unfold over time (off w/ the author under deadline pressure! - leading to some flubs and flops, obviously) - and I think that's a great way to approach expansive literature like 19th-century British fiction. Keep in mind: many readers would be working on multiple narratives in conjunction, reading a Dickens installment while waiting for the next Trollope, e.g. And there would be gaps of maybe a couple of years between the conclusion of one serial novel and the start of the next. I am one of the few holdouts who refuses to binge-watch TV - really don't enjoy more than one episode per night at most, and it seems to me that's how the best TV series unfold as well, to watch too many episodes in close sequence compresses the narration and makes the story less plausible than if there is a gap in time of viewing: often the gap matches the week's span between original broadcast, though that's not the case always. So, Trollope gets put aside for another day - or year.