Friday, June 26, 2009
Summer of Patrick O'Brian: love letter to Post- Captain
I know you are just a book ( if anything can ever be just a book ) but I absolutely, ardently, passionately love you.
You are a brilliant novel.
You are enough Jane Austen to make me want to slip into a drawing room and sit like a lady whilst discussing how many couples were at the last ball and people's health and the weather and whist and so forth while listening to the pianoforte.
You are enough CS Forester to make me want to jump aboard and spirit away to the Antipodes atop a 36 gun frigate with the wind in my mainsail and an old ditty about spain and rations in my heart.
You are just a remarkably well-plotted; well-structured work of genius.
I hang on every word of your sparkling dialogue
I laugh at your subtle wit
I forgive the more implausible moments of your outline ( Jack Aubrey disguised as a bear as Stephen sneaks him across France to their destination: Stephen's castle complete with sheep and lemon groves---ha!) and I get infuriated at you ----- and the havoc you wreak on my susceptible emotions. How CAN Diana Villiers be so fascinating and simultaneously so poisonous?
For your dichotomy; your smart turns-of-phrase; your unbelievable narrative and the best editing known to man, I salute you.
For your representation of strong, determined and smart women in a man's world of seamanship and war, I will raise thirteen guns to larboard.
I absolutely adore you.
I know it is a little unorthodox to write a love letter to a book, but I cannot help myself.