The Red and The Black – Days 2-4

The Red and The Black
reading in the car

Days 2 -4: Developing a routine of slamming my dose of NyQuil and heading to bed with Stendhal.  I read approximately 15 minutes before the dance of the green fairies pulled my eyelids down and I drifted away to dreams of a horrid nail factory disturbing the quaint beauty of a village bordering Switzerland …and there is a fish in the percolator …and a body wrapped in plastic…and drug deals….and Ronnie dragged off to prison…

On day three I sit in the car, in the shade of a giant old oak tree, and read.  Traffic is a bit distracting.  Horns blowing, mufflers puttering, and some guy yelling “asshole.”  But I’m to the part where Julien Sorel has met Madame de Renal and the breeze is nice…the traffic sounds fade away and I am completely in Verrieres…that is, until my cell phone chirps that I’m getting tweets.  Spell broken. I start tweeting and retweeting with my mom until Alex is done with his dental appointment and we’re off to the grocery store then home, where I drink three Jack Daniels and watch Last Comic Standing and random crap on Hulu.

Some words I’ve had to look up so far in my reading:



1.characterized by or showing servile complaisance or deference; fawning: an obsequious bow.

2.servilely compliant or deferential: obsequious servants.

3. obedient; dutiful.



1.lower in rank; subordinate: a subaltern employee.

2.British Military . noting a commissioned officer below the rank of captain.

3.Logic .

a.denoting the relation of one proposition to another when the first proposition is implied by the second but the second is not implied by the first.

b.(in Aristotelian logic) denoting the relation of a particular proposition to a universal proposition having the same subject, predicate, and quality.

c.of or pertaining to a proposition having either of these relations to another.


4.a person who has a subordinate position.

5.British Military . a commissioned officer below the rank of captain.

6.Logic . a subaltern proposition.

And there was one endnote I reread several times before I could understand what it meant. P.20 “my wife” ….it reads:  “in his comments on Civita-Vecchia copy of the novel, Stendhal notes: ‘does not say Mme. de Renal; fools will say that the author does not know this usage’. The intention is to reveal Renal’s parvenu status through this solecism.

This morning I’ve read a few chapters while sipping coffee and watching the visiting Strickland cats run around playing.  Mango started biting my head.  Then grandmother called and I upset her by being a bit snippy because of my cold and not in the mood to chat about a vacation she “won.”  Smoothed that over, had lunch, and now my cell phone is again chirping.  Hope to get back to Verrieres for the next hour then gym time.


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