Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Winter's Tale - "For the Soldiers and Sailors of Chelsea" through "The City Alight"

Let me begin by saying that I am going to write less about this and next week's reading, because we are nearing the end of the book, and I want to read more for enjoyment instead of taking notes. Feel free to provide your own analysis in the comments.

We are nearing the conclusion of Winter's Tale, and, with every chapter, more of the novel's numerous distinct plot strands are being woven together. Earlier in the novel, I wrote that I could tell that some of what I was reading in the novel's first 100 pages or so was foreshadowing, but the novel's tone was so whimsical that it was difficult to tell what was foreshadowing and what was mere quirk/tone-setting. Now, some of that is becoming clear.

For me, the highlight was when Hardesty and Peter Lake meet in the ceiling of Grand Central station, and recognize each other from Pepitas (though, at the same time, you wonder what took them so long, followed closely by the trip up to the Lake of the Cooheries, with the ancient Harry Penn navigating the sleigh by memory so precisely ("a degree right") and taking Praeger through his family's old house, which has laid silent for decades.

What did you like the most about this week's reading?

1 comment:

Night Writer said...

Virginia's and Mrs. Gamely's talk in the park with the statue dedicated "for the Soldiers and Sailors of Chelsea" is one of my favorite vignettes in the book. Don't try to work out the 20th century chronology of the "war" Virginia's father fought in as no known war fits the timing or circumstances. Perhaps it's just another sign of "time" coming apart...and there's another reference to not being able to see all the causes and effects of "justice". I love the part where Mrs. Gamely tells Virginia something to the effect of "I hope I didn't raise you only to move across open ground."

Enjoy the ending of the book, and then anticipate that you will think of this story often, especially if you have a mind interested in parsing the allegories - both grand and small - that drive it.

Have you seen any similarities between Hardesty's quest and Jackson Mead's? "Who" or "What" do Peter Lake and Athansor represent? Or Jackson Mead? Or New York, itself? I have my conclusions but I'm deeply interested in what you and other readers have seen in and surmised from this story, and I can hardly wait for you to finish it.