Saturday, March 19, 2011

The golden bowl

In my quest to become a better human being, I often force myself to read "literature."  The Golden Bowl by Henry James is one such piece of literature.

Written at the turn of the century (two turns ago) it is very much a product of its times.  Its long, 567 pages, and slow.  Much of the book takes place inside the heads of the main characters.  The title character (in this case, a bowl, doesn't appear until around page 80, and only appears a handful of times in the whole book.

I would love to see this story tackled by a modern writer.  For sure, the first 80 or so pages would be gone.  Personally, I would throw away the entire first half (focuses on the Prince's POV) and only included the second half (focuses on the Princess's POV).  Even better, I would have started the story with the moment the bowl breaks (around page 400 in James' version) and moved on from there. 

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