Thursday, March 23, 2017

Still In The Wilderness

I usually get out the Kindle while I'm in bed waiting for sleep. I'll read until I get too sleepy to continue. This nightly habit explains why I haven't gotten further along with my reading list.
I've mentioned the current novel, In the Wilderness quite a few times. In 2014, I had read this particular novel, along with three other works by Robert Smythe Hichens, but I had failed to make a note of having read it. I put the neglect down to the accidental destruction of my Kindle that year while we were traveling to Dumaguete.

I had completely forgotten the very beginning of the novel when the two main characters first meet. It was when the characters had begun their honeymoon in Greece that I noticed that the book was becoming very familiar to me. As I got further along, the upcoming sections of the novel were returning to memory. I'm 3/4 of the way through this re-reading and details are becoming less clear. I remember certain situations that are about to occur in the novel, although I can't recall exactly how the novel ends.

Be that as it may, In the Wilderness is currently my favorite of the seven books I've read in the list of the top ten best sellers of 1917.

In the novel, The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî by Sir Richard Francis Burton plays a prominent role. The Kasîdah was written by Burton, but at the time of it's publication, Burton claimed that the work was a translation of a Persian text. It was not known at the time that The Kasîdah was not simply a translation, but an original work by Burton. It's unclear to me if that information was known to Hichens at the time. The characters in In the Wilderness certainly believe it to be an ancient text.

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