Sometimes I miss stuff.
When I read, sometimes I get so excited about what I’m reading that I miss something very important to the story. Like the point of the story. Or a major turning point in the plot. Most often, I miss it when someone dies. I don’t like death much. I try to ignore it, even when I read.
Most of the time, nobody knows I’ve missed something. Most of the time, I don’t either. Most of the time, I go on blithely thinking that one thing happened when, in fact, something else entirely happened. As a result, the books I read tend to be quite cheerful.
In college, I read Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. Have you read it? I did, although this time I am quite sure I didn’t race to the end because I enjoyed it. I think I raced to the end of the book so that Faulkner would shut up. But when I got to class, I discovered I’d missed a tiny little detail. Oops. Because everyone was talking about Quentin Compson’s death.
Spoiler alert: If you haven’t read the book – Don’t.
I mean, if you haven’t read the book and plan to, don’t continue reading this blog. Do something else. Click on “My Favs.” Click on the blogs in my blog roll. Click on Amazon.com and see what other classics you haven’t read. Most of them, at least those NOT written by Faulkner, are really great books.
Anyway, back to The Sound and The Fury.
I was very confused that my classmates seemed to think that Quentin Compson had died! They had to be wrong, I thought. I clearly remembered the last time he appeared in the novel: Quentin was a freshman at Harvard, and he went swimming in the Charles River. I think that the line was actually “Quentin walked into the Charles until his hat floated.” I figured that, because he was a Southerner, he wanted to keep his hat on at all times; that river gets pretty chilly, you know. Besides, Southerners have some odd customs, and at the time I read this book, well, I didn’t know the half of it.
So there I was, taking American Literature 101, reading Faulkner, occasionally walking across the bridge that had plaques about Quentin Compson’s suicide, and I missed the part where he offed himself. Totally.
Well, you must admit it was an odd literary ploy.
But sadly, that wasn’t the last time I missed something. It still happens. I can read a whodunit, and not only not guess who done it, but read it again a year later, and not guess again. Perhaps I am just subconsciously thrifty.
So when a week or so ago, the blogs I follow started disappearing from my inbox, I wasn’t overly concerned. After all, we all go through slow periods. And then I blamed it on the build-up to the Thanksgiving holiday; everyone must be busy. Surely it was simply a coincidence that everyone was having a slow period simultaneously. Strange things DO happen, you know.
BUT as it turned out, somehow I missed the fact that I accidentally “unfollowed” all the blogs I had consciously, intentionally and with knowledge aforethought decided to follow. Oops. I have now re-followed and re-subscribed.
Sorry. Sometimes I just miss stuff.
20 responses to “What happened?”
I may need to co-opt that one! Thanks! And thanks for stopping by. I visited your site too, and loved it!
Ha ha! I prefer the term(s) eternally optimistic to oblivious.
The problem was…you really read/skimmed the book. If you had read the Cliff notes like all of your classmates, you’d know the outlined pivotal points as well as they did. That’s what you get for being thorough.
Hum, what does it mean if I didn’t notice that you un-followed me?
Ah, I had your comments on my blog and only missed post or two — but looked them up. So no, you will need to look elsewhere to see where you’re oblivious!
There are many times when being oblivious is a great benefit to mankind. I just can’t think of one at the moment …
I am still struggling with re-following. Just when I think I have done it, I realize that nope, I am still not getting notifications. It is driving me crazy! Thanks for letting me know I am not alone. I’ve contacted WordPress, but they are, sadly, oblivious.
Glad you didn’t give up on me!
I live with someone who is oblivious at the most inopportune times. Well, I’m not sure there’s ever an opportune time to be oblivious. But I actually did the same thing sometime last month, accidentally unfollowed everyone. I think I finally have them all back.
This post was so funny. It seems that my sister, RVing Girl, and I subscribe to a lot of the same blogs. It’s amazing to me. We’ve always liked the same things.
I also forget the plots, even when I am reading! If I pick up a book where I left off the day before, I have to go back to find out what’s going on!
Thanks, Old Girl, (It seems funny just to SAY that!),
Well, I’m glad you AND your sister visit regularly — I look forward to your comments.
I’m glad that you are oblivious along with me. Misery loves company, when it notices it has some.
And I’ve always thought that it shouldn’t just be histories that have genealogy/character tables in the front. When I write the great American novel, it will have one too. Even if there are only two characters in it.
It’s nice to know that I am not alone!
As for the name, I’m not sure. I will hit 55 in January, but I have another reason for staying at 54-1/2. I am going to keep it a secret for now, mostly because it is decidedly not funny!
Thanks for your thoughts, and for either understanding what it is to miss the point, or missing it right there with me!
Well written and very well said.
I had to laugh at your missing the point of a story etc. It happens to MANY of us.
Also I have been meaning to ask you…..when will you change the name of your blog or do you plan on staying 54 1/2 forever. 🙂
Since you suggested that I not read the book and click anything available, I raced to replay without reading the rest, thus must ask a question – what was this post about?
Don’t worry about finishing it. It would have given you all the secrets to long life and happiness. Nothing important …
Thanks for reading the first half!
Love this, love this! I am so glad to know another “oblivious” soul. Again you have me chuckling. I would rather think Denial is a river in Egypt.
Hi Georgette, Glad to have you with me on the journey downriver! I find being oblivious is good for my ego — I never know when I am being insulted never get my feelings hurt and never notice when folks stop talking to me.
On the other hand, it makes me think twice about this writing stuff. Aren’t writers supposed to be observers? Oh well. Maybe I read that wrong, too.
Georgette — I can’t get back to your blog! Help. Your gravitar only leads me to your picture…
Maybe you were the only one who was right. Faulkner himself once said that “The Bear” was just a bear.
Ohhhh, you restored my pride — that has to be it – I was right and everyone else was wrong. Does that include Faulkner???! Thanks!
Did the bear swim, too?
Well, since Elyse respectfully left out the very thing that made her think of the Faulkner floating hat incident, I’m going to “out” her right here in public. Recently, I asked her to read a little story about an elderly man remembering the childhood days of his son. In the story it eventually becomes clear that the son drowned at a very young age. After she had read it, I asked Elyse if I gave it away too early in the story that the boy had died. Elyse’s response was, basically, ‘the boy died?’ So to all the folks out there who got their blogs accidentally un-followed and un-subscribed, I can vouch for Elyse. Yep, she sometimes does miss stuff! God bless you, Elyse! Another great piece and another prime example of how good you are at making us laugh because you’re so willing to laugh at yourself! Love ya! Marianne
Oy vey. Most of the time I keep my pride in tact….