Just arrived in Dallas.
Since I spent some quality time with George Eliot's Middlemarch on my flight, I thought I would relate my enriched experience. Simply love the book (even though it is over a thousand pages!)
Here was my favorite conversation between Will and Dorothea. She's a passionate philanthropist/intellectual, while he is the artist. After they converse (quite bluntly, in fact) over the value of art, Will confronts her impetuously with his idea of the "fanaticism of sympathy." Dorothea states that art does not better the social injustices of the world, yet Will retorts, "I suspect that you have some false belief in the virtues of misery, and want to make your life like a martyrdom." And when you think that they should never embrace their opposing perspectives, the next conversation shows otherwise.
Will tells Dorothea, "'To be a poet is to have a soul so quick to discern, that no shade of quality escapes it, and so quick to feel, that discernment is but a hand playing with finely ordered variety on the chords of emotion - a soul in which knowledge passes instantaneously into feeling, and feeling flashes back as a new organ of knowledge. One may have that condition by fits only.'
'But you leave out the poems,' said Dorothea. 'I think they are wanted to complete the poet. I understand what you mean about knowledge passing into feeling, for that seems to be just what I experience. But I am sure I could never write a poem.'
'You are a poem - and that is to be the best part of a poet - what makes up the poet's consciousness in his best moods,' said Will, showing such originality as we all share with the morning and the spring-time and other endless renewals."
Can anyone say beautiful, witty, intelligent, and romantic in one breath?
Dorothea is a marvelous character... I find so many shortcomings in her that resemble a crazy, passionate girl I know rather well. And Will... he's quite the chap.
Over and out.