The above title is both hopefully to bait the reader with interest in this blog post, and is a fundamental theme underpinning my view of clients and lawyering. That is, the value a client can obtain from getting good legal advice for preventive protection from otherwise losing valuable time. Time wasted dealing with legal issues, litigation, and the broad array of problems that in large part can be prevented. One can accumulate more money and stuff. But, universally, no one can get back lost time. Time is our only finite asset.
Now, why Middlemarch?
This novel powerfully reminds me to be aware of the passing time of life. In a good way. Attentive to the interesting and worthwhile nuance of daily life. Not burdened with problems requiring costly legal help and wasted time.
Middlemarch, A Study of Provincial Life by English writer George Eliot. She wrote this in 1870 or thereabouts. Frankly, I expected this novel to be a dull Victorian era read, with my interest lasting possibly only a chapter or so.
To my pleasant surprise, I cannot wait each evening to get back to this novel. I am captivated by Eliot’s powerfully understated and astute commentary about the nuance of everyday life.
My next comment about Middlemarch touches on primary character Dorethea Brooke who has agreed to marry the much older Rev. Edward Casaubon. Casaubon is a long-time, studious bachelor.
As merely one brief, fine example of George Eliot’s astute observations, Casaubon’s anticipation of marriage to Dorethea far outweighs his diminished actual response. He can, however, vaguely only admit this to himself.
Here are a couple of Eliot’s observations about this situation that, to me, demonstrate her wonderful ability to convey these subtle nuances:
“He (Casaubon) did not confess to himself, still less could he have breathed to another, his surprise that though he had won a lovely and noble-hearted girl he had not won delight, — which he had also regarded as an object to be found by search.”
“Poor Mr. Casaubon had imagined that his long studious bachelorhood had stored up for him a compound interest of enjoyment, and that large drafts of his affections would not fail to be honored. Fully all of us, grave or light, get our thoughts entangled in metaphors, and act faithfully on the strength of them.”
Also, here is how I stumbled recently across reading this novel. A woman Rosa Lyster recently wrote a web piece on Medium about her father rediscovering fiction when he read Middlemarch. He was an avid non-fiction-only reader. She writes, in part:
I was visiting my parents for the weekend when he (her father) was about halfway through (Middlemarch), and he walked around the house like a man in a trance. His eyes were all misty, and he kept raising his hands to his head.”
I don’t take Ms. Lyster’s comment as an overstatement. Check out her web piece. It is worth the time. Click here.