Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pepys' prose

I haven't had much of a literary challenge lately, so I decided to attack 'The shorter Pepys'. The highlights from his 9 vol. diary, to be brief. That would have to be a blogger's dream - getting their ramblings enshrined in leather-bound luxury for future generations to prize and cherish. I've been scribbling in various journals for almost 20 years now, but I doubt I'll reach 9 volumes (or even 3 volumes) anytime soon. Samuel Pepys, meanwhile, held a powerful vantage point from his esteemed place in the royal court of the 17th century, and enjoyed much of the perks of upper-class British life. It isn't so much that his writing crackles with depth and poignancy, but that he was around during a time we can only read and wonder about, and that his scribbles call us back to a time when the human species was much more innocent (or ignorant, depending on whom you ask).
Some might actually find his writing a little dry. He wasn't much for soul-searching (like what I do when I put ink to paper), and each entry is more an account of the day's events before he went to bed. I did notice he liked to party a lot and then complained bitterly about his hangovers the next day. There are several entries were he swears he'll never touch a drop and then a few entries later he's out partying with colleagues till all hours of the night. Probably one of the few flaws I've noticed in his character, and that's pretty normal for anyone. Spirit willing but the flesh is weak.... There is some male chauvinism in his character, but for his time, that's totally acceptable. I'd know better to go after a man for being a sexist pig in the 17th century, since that's just the way it was, and it wasn't going to change for a long while yet.
So that's Pepys so far. It's a thick book and I've only a few days left before I have to either turn it in or renew it. I'm not yet halfway, so I should get a move on. BYE.

1 comment:

Sadako said...

Sounds awesome--I plan to check him out soon.