I have been struggling with something lately: Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf. I feel ashamed to admit this (not that it's stopping me...), but I don't often read "classic" literature. I stick with more contemporary fiction, or theory, or those kind of almost "pop" science or theory books, or whatever. So when I go back and try to read something that doesn't fall into those categories, sometimes it's really difficult for me to make and maintain the connection that turns reading into that almost symbiotic experience where the book is pulling me in and not letting go. This book in particular, with it's amazing sentence construction and detail, is just defeating me. I start reading (and granted, I'm usually at work, which means it's 90 degrees inside and I'm already tired and stressed out or bored), and ten minutes later I find that I'm not making any sense of what I'm reading anymore. Whole paragraphs are flying by without a hint of recognition from my brain. It's frustrating, because for those ten minutes I'm really enjoying myself. The main thing I'd heard from people before was that the book was boring, and certainly plot is not the main driving force of the story. But frankly, I prefer it that way, with a bare minimum of plot. (I almost always prefer the first half of a book, the part before things get all complicated, to the second half. Even in fiction, I'm not fond of change, I guess.) Anyway, I like the book; I just don't have the stamina to get through much of it at a time.
My only other big occurrence of note his week was that I watched the movie Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, based on a 1985 book by Patrick Suskind. The basic plot is that this boy who has an extraordinarily keen sense of smell climbs from the gutter to learn the art of preserving scent and making perfume, becomes obsessed with the scent of certain women (always redheads, for whatever reason), and eventually kills a bunch of girls and mixes their scents into his magnum opus. Up 'til that point, it's just a good creepy atmospheric movie, but the story suddenly diverges in the last twenty minutes or so into completely unexpected territory. I won't say too much, but it's definitely worth seeing, if only for that last little bit.