Saturday, December 1, 2012

Tess of the D'Urbervilles

I came home from an incredible Bukharin dinner at the home of friends. (Fish course. Salads course. Cold lamb course with steamed quince, turnip, pumpkin, and carrot. Two hot courses: beef dolma wrapped in white onion layers, with chickpeas, cherries, and orange peppers. Rice, chicken, and cilantro pilaf. Also, dessert. Fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, two cakes, tea.) I only know one of the people in the home very well—the matriarch—but we also got to have dinner with her husband and youngest son and his wife.  We laughed a ton, and we listened to lengthy yeshivish lessons on many topics (the son went to yeshiva), Josh recited Russian poetry and everyone recited along, and we argued about whether miracles exist. It was a crazy, wonderful night.

When I got home I was wide awake, so I flipped on the telly and found the BBC production of Tess of the D'Urbervilles. I didn't have to get up early, and I'd neither read nor seen it before, and the image of dirty pretty female farmworkers castrating the tips of rutabagas drew me right in. (I don't know if the book is as blatant with its metaphors, but the BBC production was right out there.) And watched til I got sleepy .......

I love when a good TV production sparks my interest in reading the original book.  It's on the list now, right after Les Miserables!

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