Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Room with a View: 64% Complete

I got quite a bit of reading done this weekend, so I'm past the halfway point in A Room with a View.  I must say, I'm enjoying the second half of the book quite a bit.  The book, for those of you who have not read it, is divided into two parts, the first part taking place in Italy, and the second part back in England.  In the first part it felt like the characters did lots of things but nothing really happened, if that makes any sense.  But the second part, so far, is much more engaging.  So I'm enjoying it a lot more.
The word I have for you today is "pourboire" which means a tip.  Literally it's French for "money for drinking" which I suppose is what a tip usually is anyway, right?
One thing I enjoy about this book is how E. M. Forster is constantly poking fun at British sensibilities, particularly their feelings about class and proper social positions.  I have two quotes for you today that illustrate that, I think.  First:
"Miss Bartlett had asked Mr. George Emerson what his profession was, and he had answered 'the railway.'  She was very sorry that she had asked him.  She had no idea that it would be such a dreadful answer, or she would not have asked him." 
And secondly:
"'You ought to find a tenant at once,' he said maliciously.  'It would be perfect paradise for a bank clerk.'
'Exactly! said Sir Harry excitedly. 'That is exactly what I fear, Mr Vyse.  It will attract the wrong type of people.  The train service has improved--a fatal improvement, to my mind.  And what are five miles from a station in these days of bicycles?'
'Rather a strenuous clerk it would be,' said Lucy.  Cecil, who had his full share of medieval mischievousness, replied that the physique of the lower middle classes was improving at a most appalling rate."
(On an unrelated side note, I always get a twinge of pride when I spell check my entry and the day's vocabulary word comes up as misspelled when I know it's not.  It just proves that it's a word most people don't use.)

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