Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Clarissa by Samuel Richardson-A Year Long Read A Long

When I saw Joann of Lakeside Musings, a  blog I have happily followed for a long time now, was hosting in conjunction with Terri of Tip of the Iceberg, a read a long on Samuel Richardson's huge 18th century (1500 pages or so) epistolary novel I was interested in joining.   I read it maybe 15 years ago, it took me about six months of on and off again reading to finish it but when I did I knew I had read one of the great literary masterworks of all times.   I was first drawn to read it by the great admiration in which Samuel Johnson held the book saying it was "the first book in the world for the knowledge it displays of the human heart."   Because it is so huge many people probably don't want to invest the time.   Many probably read his much shorter Pamela and stop there, maybe putting Clarissa on a far distant TBR list.

The letters in the book begin on January 10 and continue until late December.   The interesting idea behind this read a along is we will read the letters on the corresponding day this year.   The read a long will be for a whole year.   As I recall the book, each of the letters is masterfully crafted to reflect the personality of the writer.   You may have seen the BBC production of this and a really lot can be learned about life in the late 18th century from this book.    It is also a lot of fun.   There are people to hate and to love in this monster of a book and at times Clarissa will drive you crazy.   Once you have completed it you will know it was a great experience.

To sign up just leave a comment on the blogs of the hosts.   I am not sure yet how the posts will be strucrtered and all but I am sure it will be very well done.   

Mel u


Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

Wow! Sounds like quite a project. Have fun and good luck with it. I'm afraid "far distant TBR shelf" is exactly where I will have to put this one for now, but I always have a vague idea that I will read it someday.

Mel u said...

Rose City Reader-one great thing about the reading life is we always have great things to look forward to-thanks as always for your comments and visits

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

I'm not familiar with Samuel Richardson's work. Thanks for the link to Sushma Joshi's short stories. I'm pretty out of touch with subcontinental lit and trying to recover lost ground. And here's a link to ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT --

JoAnn said...

I'm so happy you will be joining us, Mel! Terri and I will take turns gathering posts at the end of each month (there is a read-along tab at the top of my blog with details). We will also chat about it on twitter using #Clarissa. I'm just sitting down to read today's first letter now...very excited to begin this project.

@parridhlantern said...

A great challenge & one I will follow with interest, have chosen to reduce the long commitment challenges this year allowing me a chance to participate in shorter events.

Jillian said...

I'm planning to read this one during the month of April, with Allie. We'll see how well I do - ha! Have fun, Mel. :-)