I've been smelling bits and pieces of autumn in the air lately--a barely detectable crispness layered delicately between the humidity and Indian summer that have lingered for most of the year. It's a certain light shift in the air that precedes the first falling leaf.
Crime and Punishment has been my book of choice as of late. It's a gruesome exploration of nineteenth-century morality, as well as a scathing social commentary that transcends (as all good literature does) the time period in which it is based. C&P is intriguingly dark, focuses inward, and is delightfully, even wickedly, complex. On occassion, I have re-read a page or paragraph multiple times in order to grasp the full meaning, which I felt was slipping beyond me. Dostoevsky was indeed a master storyteller. For instance, in this work, the reader can visualize minute details of each scene through his sharp observations: from the characters clothing, to their mannerisms, to the feeling of the very room (and its lighting) in which they stand. Two months in, I'm only on page 158 (about 1/3 of the way through), which I consider to be a slow but steady accomplishment. It's an English translation of the original text.
This year, our autumn mums have budded and bloomed unsteadily year-round. It's been odd to see vibrant bursts of rust red, goldenrod, and bright yellow throughout the year, almost garish even. Yet, I am looking forward to see what these autumn mums do when fall really arrives--I hope it's a grand old show. I bet I'll still be reading C&P then; hopefully our weather will be closer to the weather depicted in the novel by that time.