Monday, April 30, 2012

The Curse of The Woman in White

I'm beginning to think a curse has descended upon my strained relationship with The Woman in White. Every time I try to get to know this iconic Victorian text, literary disaster strikes. Let's recap, shall we?

Reading Attempt No. One: I made my way through the first few chapters before aborting the mission. Fail.

Reading Attempt No. Two: Much closer this time. I got through half of the novel before jumping ship. Fail.

Reading Attempt No. Three: Didn't even crack the book open. Epic fail.

Allow me to emphasize that that three failed attempts have nothing to do with the novel -- I always find it engaging and intriguing. But man, every time I pick it up (or, in this case, resolve to pick it up), life always gets in the way. April would naturally be the month of terrifying interviews, reading ruts and an existential crisis that would smash my determination to finally read The Woman in White to smithereens.

Does the universe throw deliberately throw obstacles in my path each time I eye this book as it sits idly on my shelves? Are we literary star-crossed lovers, doomed to be kept apart despite my best efforts?

Yes, I'm slightly indulging in melodrama here, but frustration is building as I face another failed reading of Wilkie Collins's most popular novel. Has anybody ever faced a similar experience with a novel you just know you'll love yet can't seem to finish? Any suggestions for getting over such a literary hurdle?


o said...

This sums up me and Villette :)

amanda @ simplerpastimes said...

There's just something about April, I think! (Blame it on that.) But I wouldn't count this attempt as failed, as you just haven't gotten to it yet. Disregard a deadline and just pick it up as it calls to you, and hopefully that will be enough to conquer the hurdle!

Cassandra said...

Damn, I promised to force you to stick with it this time, but I completely forgot! I like the idea of a curse nonetheless, that enhances the ghostly atmosphere. And just imagine you've got your own private little curse, isn't that exciting? ;)
No, seriously, maybe you could take it with you next time you're going on a beach holiday somewhere where life doesn't get in the way.
I just hope it will live up to your expectations when you eventually get round to read it :)

Diana said...

O: Yes, I can see why you have this problem problem with Villette. I adored that novel, but it is quite dense. It's nice to hear I'm not alone in this.

I hope you manage to conquer it soon!

Diana said...

Amanda: I like your approach to my dilemma. This wasn't a failed attempt, because I never picked it up to begin with. Brilliant! This makes me feel so much better.

I think I'll do as you suggest and wait until a moment when it perfectly suits my reading mood. Maybe I'll try another Wilkie Collins in the meantime -- one that isn't as popular as The Woman in White or The Moonstone.

Diana said...

Cassandra: Having a literary curse is rather a romantic idea (so says the Anne Shirley in me), one rather suited to a sensation novel. Hopefully the fourth time's the charm? :)