Absolutely, Guillermo. It is indeed what we look for in novels, and I think it is great that a book can elicit such different viewpoints from the three of us and that we have a forum on which to share our thoughts. Let's read Gregorius sometime soon. Usually books that take off from classic novels are not that great, but I, for one, would really like to view this story from his side, even if the novel is not the masterpiece that Doctor Glas is. Have you ever read Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys? It's Jane Eyre from the point of view of Bertha, Rochester's first wife. Good novel.
Anyway, I just had one further thought I would like to add on Doctor Glas. Why would it be important to Glas for his suicide to look like a heart attack? He apparently does not believe in God or the afterlife. He doesn't seem to be the kind of man to care about his post-mortem reputation. Most of my patients who have attempted suicide make no effort to hide their intentions. The only exception that I can think of is for purposes of life insurance. This does not appear relevant here. I have no idea whether it even existed in 1905 Sweden, but even if it did, who would be Glas' beneficiary?
That's why I wonder if he did not compound them for murder. Not Gregorius, of course. I don't think that Gregorius has previously been important enough to Glas for him to risk everything to cause the pastor's death. But we know that Glas' mother died when Glas was 15, some time before the death of his father. We are not told when the father died (as I recall), but is it not possible that he compounded the cyanide pills to murder his father? Just a thought.
--Previous Message-- : Well, Sterling, your analysis is certainly : illuminating. I can't disagree with you on : any of your points. As I was reading your : latest post, I started thinking about : Nabokov's "Lolita": its great : magic is that you, the reader, become fooled : by Humbert Humbert's fascinating use of : words, so that at some point you root for : him, believing that his love is actually : pure, disinterested and beautiful. Only : after thinking over the novel you realize : that no, this is not justifiable. The guy is : a pedophile, a raper of underage girls, even : if at some moment they seem to get into the : game. : : What shines through, at least for me, is : that Glas has very serious issues with his : father and with sex, possibly connected. He : is indeed pathological in his approach to : women, certainly murders a man, certainly : helps a frivolous young woman who may have : been mistaken in her choice of husband (as : many people make mistakes when choosing a : mate), and that everybody ends up worse : after the events. : : The fact that we, three readers, have so : different takes at the novel, and that we : somewhat change them after exchanging views, : only proves that the novel is worth reading, : rich in meaning, susceptible to different : readings, and much more nuanced than purely : commercial books. Ain't that what we look : for in novels?