Wednesday, March 16, 2016


Well, I am getting pretty cocky with my reading! I thought to myself, you picked up THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY again, Pendarvis, I bet you can handle a return to THE FAERIE QUEENE, you old rascal! Yes, that thought was brewing. Brewing! And the other day I was in that used book stall I like and I saw a tattered old paperback called A PREFACE TO THE FAERIE QUEENE, and I was like, I better get that! Because unlike THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY or THE DECAMERON, I bet you can't just put down THE FAERIE QUEENE for a number of months and breezily pick up where you left off without a care in the world. And there's no way I was going to go back and read those first six cantos again. So many cantos. Cantos! So many. Something in this paperback A PREFACE TO THE FAERIE QUEENE will surely have a section that reminds me of what happened in those first six cantos of THE FAERIE QUEENE! But so far I have read only the first sentence of A PREFACE TO THE FAERIE QUEENE, which is, "I would have called this book 'Spencer and the Romantic Epic' except that I have already written two books with the word 'romantic' in the title, and I should like to break the habit." How pleasantly dry! Oh, the British. Wait, let me check the "About the Author" note. Yes, he is British. How could I have doubted myself? I also see the name George Boyle scribbled in the front of the book in blue ink... the previous owner... quite a coincidence, as I took my copy of THE FAERIE QUEENE out of the house yesterday when I went to meet Bill Boyle for coffee - this mysterious George perhaps a distant relative! - and I knew I was going to be early. The last time I went to this coffee shop I forgot to bring anything to read and I had to sit there looking at a confrontational painting of a grinning skull with flowers coming out of it until my friends arrived. Another solution would be: don't get there early all the time, fool! Ha ha, we have another contender for most boring "post" ever, but I can't lie to you: the more boring it is the more I enjoy typing it. So I am going to keep going. As I am sure you are aware, all the books I am reading now are big and heavy. THE FAERIE QUEENE is more compact and manageable, though it is a precious and fragile old volume, but gee, the weather was so nice yesterday, I was sure nothing bad would happen to it. So I got to the coffee shop early and waited for Bill. Maybe I was sitting in a shadow but I found it hard to make out the words. There was no shadow! My old eyes are going. And the print is so tiny and smushed together. And, as I had not prepared myself adequately with A PREFACE TO THE FAERIE QUEENE, I had no recollection of why all these characters were fighting each other or what the hell was going on. The sudden appearance of a giant named Orgoglio cheered me up considerably! "Orgoglio! Orgoglio!" I whispered to myself. But they were blasting Billy Joel pretty loud at the coffee shop, I have to say, and his somber shouting about the time he "wore a younger man's clothes" and his assertive screeching about everything he was determined to prove to his "Uptown Girl" made it hard to concentrate on the dark, blurry, smushed-up tiny print of THE FAERIE QUEENE, so I just shut the book and sat there.