Sunday, December 11, 2022

Fortnightly Book, December 11

I decided to get started on a fortnightly book, although I have no idea exactly how long this 'fortnight' will last; but it should give me a running start for 2023. The book that I'll be doing is Sigrid Undset's The Winding Road, which was published in two volumes, The Wild Orchid (1931) and The Burning Bush (1932). The novel follows a young man, Paul Selmer, who is raised in a freethinking household before World War I and attempts to navigate the chaos of the world as the Great War expands and the rebuilding afterward begins, particularly with the difficulties (with which Undset herself was very familiar) of his own conversion to Catholicism. Other than that, I know very little about the novel, beyond the fact that it is a novel about loves. The wild orchid (gymnadenia) symbolizes a kind of love that is attractive in idea but is fairly empty and disappointing in hand; the burning bush symbolizes a love both true and perfective.