Monday, February 14, 2005

Fifth Business

Happy Valentine's Day. So today I made a giggly fool of myself and emailed a valentine to Conversational Reading. But Scott was very nice about it in a hair-tousling sort of way:

Scott Esposito <>
To: Debbie <>
Monday, February 14, 2005 12:09:44 PM GMT-05:00

Wow Debbie. Rarely does the hard world of lit-blogging
produce such sweet rewards.



Also finished reading Fifth Business by Robertson Davies (book 12 of the challenge). Excellent writing and very evenly-paced, but not, I think, thought-provoking enough to justify the style. At some parts the nplot seemed overly-contrived, but charming enough that the reader can kind of ignore it.
It was characteristic of Boy throughout his life that he was always the quintessence of something that somebody else had recognized ad defined. (111)

I had seen a good deal of egotism in my life, and I knew that it starved love for anyone else and sometimes burned it out completely. Had it not been so with Boy and Leola? (207)

It's funny how egotists are often the most shallow of people. Because you would think that egotists, whose characteristic is that they examine themselves constantly, would be the ones most likely to dig beneath the surface and discover hidden truths about themselves. The problem is that egotists examine themselves from entirely the wrong point of view - they try to view themselves from another person's perspective. And it is unfortunately true that the person whose opinion the egotist cares about is probably a very shallow person herself, which is why the egotist only polishes the areas of his personality he thinks she'll notice.

So it is that "self-involved" is a misnomer because self-involved people are actually more concerned about others than normal. Those that aren't egotists are able to spend the day examining themselves and others with equal interest/disinterest; egotists spend the day only worrying about what others think.