Surely you’ve experienced reading a sentence, paragraph, page, maybe more without remembering what you’ve read, because your mind was on something else? I read a whole book, Ivanhoe, and came to the final page without remembering the first. It was probably due to my reading it at night before bedtime, and snoozing in and out of reading. I was also young.
My regret is only what I remember. When I was even younger, I’d watch the 1950s cinema rendition of the classic book. And I remembered faintly from that, too. Funny how little you can remember of so many years.
I’ve recently re-watched parts of that movie on YouTube which have cajoled some of those memories. But I wasn’t satisfied, and so I returned to the source material. It was a fine book that met me, and I had matured enough to appreciate it better. And isn’t it so true that we—consumers, readers, critics—sometimes lack perspective to appreciate a work of art. Of course, there are dreadful renderings, but there are those passing beauties, though few, we see better with a second or more seasoned look.