Wednesday, March 11, 1998

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne *

This is actually the first book I read in English. It was during the time when the movie came out that our English teacher took us to the English section of the school library, and told us to pick a book. It was a tiny section, with not more than 50 books, and since I liked the movie, I chose this book.
Then we had to write about it. I can't remember what I wrote, probably utter none-sense.

On the one hand I want to point out that it was written in the 19th century. I haven't read many books from that period and most of them in my Native Language from Hungarian authors, but there were only a few books I actually like. Hawthorne's style actually reminded me of a Hungarian author, who is known for describing the ruffles on a woman's skirt for 3 pages. They even worked around the same time, so maybe it was the norm back then. But this books is really boring! Nothing happens at all and even when something does, you miss it, because it's buried under a lot of sentences that make no sense.

In hindsight, perhaps I was too young for the book. However, even with my taste now at 30, I'd probably still hate it. This is not a book for the modern reader. It's days have passed. RIP

If I hadn't seen the movie, I would have had no idea at all what it was about. Anyway, watch the movie, leave the book to collect dust on a shelf.