I'm almost a third of the way through Middlemarch by George Eliot, a door-stopper of a book which I bought at a car boot sale (or was it a secondhand bookshop?) for a song. The novel is interesting and at times very, very funny, in that peculiar way in which some Victorian novels are. However, a few days ago, after reading a passage, I had one of those "moments" where different elements with no apparent relation to each other seemed to gel together all of a sudden.
The passage was about Mr Lydgate, the surgeon, and his thoughts on the kind of life famous people might have led before they'd become renowned. It went thus: "Most of us, indeed, know little of the great originators until they have been lifted up among the constellations and already rule our fates. But that Herschel, for example, who 'broke the barriers of the heavens' - did he not once play a provincial church-organ, and give music lessons to stumbling pianists? Each of those Shining Ones had to walk on the earth among neighbours who perhaps thought much more of his gait and his garments than of anything which was to give him a title to everlasting fame: each of them had his little personal history sprinkled with small temptations and sordid cares, which made the retarding friction of his course towards final companionship with the immortals..."
One of the disparate elements that latched itself on to the above passage was a flashback I had when I spotted an old classmate of mine from secondary school in a photo posted on Facebook.What's strange is that in the image she was in the background, in the midst of a group of people, the majority of whom were alien to me (except for the owner of the camera, who was of my acquaintance in university and was in the centre of the picture), and yet my former classmate stood out. Something she never did in class.
Next Post: “Urban Diary”, to be published on Wednesday 3rd October at 11:59pm (GMT)