Middlemarch: Far Too Long

So I’m still reading Middlemarch. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but Middlemarch is yet another 900-page Victorian serial that I have to read for my History of Literary Production class. This is the same class for which I had to read Dickens’ Bleak House, the first 900-page novel.

At this point, I just want to give up. I’ve contemplated not reading Middlemarch so many times, but I’ve already come so far. I mean, I still have about 200 pages left, which is basically the size of a normal novel, but it’s a mere anecdote in the grand scheme of Middlemarch. I’ve also read approximately 700 pages at this point, so it just feels like an enormous waste to come this far and then not actually finish the thing.

The other problem is that I’m reading another book for the same class while I’m reading Middlemarch. The professor set it up this way for some reason that she claims is beneficial to us, but I’m beginning to think she was slightly misguided, as she tends to be when it comes to our best interests. Today, for instance, she gave us a quiz that was ten passages from books five and six of Middlemarch with names missing, which we then had to fill in. That’s fine in theory, but there are around one hundred characters in Middlemarch and books five and six combined is 250 pages.

But I digress. The problem with reading the two books at once is that Middlemarch makes The Woman in White seem like a normal sized novel by comparison, but it’s not. It’s around 500 pages itself, which is still excessively long, but when read alongside Middlemarch, I forget how enraged and bitter I really should be. Irritating.

~ Hilary Lyon Axle Hatchet

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