Saturday, February 6, 2010

Musing on Books: Lavinia by Ursula LeGuin and The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle

Lavinia is a retelling of Vergil's Aeneid from the point of view of a rather minor character, Lavinia, Vergil's final wife. Although I didn't love the style of the book (it didn't have enough depth to make up for the lack of flow that I prefer in my fictional reading), the strong themes of "who are we as individuals" and "is life a story" made it an enjoyable experience.

I recently read The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle which also has the redeeming value of those two themes (although the books are very different in style and story.) I always find it interesting when themes repeat in books that I read one after the other, especially books that are so very different and are chosen fairly at random by myself to read. I have been pondering a lot lately what makes me who I am, and what makes life what it is.

Last night, I also watched the movie The Last Unicorn. Unfortunately the movie completely leaves out the "who am I" theme, and the "is life a story theme" is so buried as to be almost nonexistent. It was sad to me that the movie was so unfaithful to the purpose of the book.

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