Sunday, 25 January 2009

Exams Aren't Without Reward...



Sometimes blackmail is as good a way as any of making yourself work. This is a little something I've discovered over the past two weeks. It is an epic saga of torment, despair, longing, and...


A book.
This book, to be precise.
Yes, I've been ferreting around bookshops again. Waterstones had a nice range of material on Mary Shelley and Frankenstein so I'd thought I'd take a look - not to mention buying both the wobbly but fairly accurate Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein (shame about De Niro, but you can't have everything), and the dire Hallmark made-for-TV version, which had more to do with my admiring er, Luke Goss as the Monster than anything study-related.

But anyway! Whilst shopping for reasonably sensible critical works on Frankenstein and worrying about exams, I happened to stroll past a section entitled 'Crusades' that had this on the shelf. Just one copy amongst a few others that were more general.
Under normal, unstressed circumstances I would have bought it, devoured half of it on the bus back to my halls, and spend the rest of the day in a dreamy stupor reading the rest. Usually whilst trying to take my shoes off whilst reading at the same time. But given the pressure at the time, my resolution was to buy it, yes -
But not read it.
This is the torment part. And a fair part of the 'despair'. Because unread pristine new books in my vicinity is the equivalent of dangling baby deer over a pool full of piranhas. But promising myself that if I revised for the exam then AFTER The Leper King and His Heirs was all mine actually worked! I studied, ignored the temptation to grab the book of the top shelf and read it cover to cover - and it made the horrors of Anglo-Saxon saints and pseudo-Biblical quotes on the nature of obsession all worth it. Survivable, actually.

1 comment:

Mercury Gray said...

That is a wonderful book -- the library at Saint John's has a copy and I checked it out last semester while doing a little research. I have a feeling you're going to enjoy it. And it has some wonderful genealogical tables in it somewhere.

But goodness, if I had to bribe myself to finish my exams I think I might drop out of school altogether.