Sunday, March 9, 2008

Brideshead Revisited

I love this book. I've read it six times, at least. I wrote a paper on it in graduate school and actually got an A from my toughest professor. I pulled it off the shelf last week for two reasons.

First, I saw somewhere that a movie is being made of it, which is just pointless. The BBC miniseries with Jeremy Irons, Diana Quick, Anthony Andrews, Laurence Olivier and John Geilgud is perfect. The miniseries follows the book, almost verbatim, and really captures the spirit and the mood of it. There is no reason to make a two hour movie to replace a 14-hour miniseries. I don't know how you'd even condense the story to fit without losing critical pieces.

Second, because of my grandmother, who died on Friday. My mom told me that when Nona had been asked about being given last rights, she said yes. None of us have ever known my grandmother to be a church-goer, so it was a bit surprising that she had a priest in at the end. There's a line in Brideshead, which is quoted from something else, about God calling someone back with a "twitch upon the thread." Mom quoted that line when telling me about Nona.

I decided that two references to the book in one week was a sign that I should read it, and I'm glad I did. In a strange way, it was a comfort to me during this difficult week.

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