Now that we’ve read twenty-four of the most important works of fiction in chronological order something keeps happening, and a while back Christine suggested the need for a series to document this phenomenon.
That’s right, it seems that at every page turn we run into some association with the fictional past, and it’s time to connect those points and see if any patterns appear. Beware though, some posts could end up looking like the dot-to-dots my three-year-olds “complete.”
For our first official installment (if you’re really hungry for unofficial ones, you can find a good batch here) I bring you this quote only a page or two away from the end of Book One. Winston just saw the dark haired girl on the street in prole territory and regrets his inability to conk her on the head with a brick then and there.
It struck him that in moments of crisis one is never fighting against an external enemy but always against one’s own body. Even now, in spite of the gin, the dull ache in his belly made consecutive thought impossible. And it is the same, he perceived, in all seemingly heroic or tragic situations. On the battlefield, in the torture chamber, on a sinking ship, the issues that you are fighting for are always forgotten, because the body swells up until it fills the universe, and even when you are not paralyzed by fright or screaming with pain, life is a moment-to-moment struggle against hunger or cold or sleeplessness, against a sour stomach or an aching tooth.
Red Badge of Courage, anyone?