My reading relationship with The Charterhouse of Parma is improving. Stendhal's sexy duchess is not Becky Sharp-like after all; she's much sweeter, though she is agonizing over whether or not to have a love affair with her nephew. If my sons hadn't broken my reading glasses, I might have gotten a lot further into it today. There's something very comically and stereotypically French about this book. In tone it rather reminds me of movies like Belle du Jour. It's the kind of book that stuffy British critics probably condemned as amoral, yet it's so zestfully amoral that it assumes a kind of inverse charm. I like it.
Today strikes me as a day that might be best spent making a large and elaborate meal. I think I will examine the freezer and see what cuts of meat remain there. I seem to remember a tenderloin floating around in the back somewhere. And now I'm also having visions of panna cotta with wild strawberries. . . .