Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A friend was mentioning the other day how much he liked the visuals in the Harry Potter movies. He then bemoaned the fact that Hollywood doesn't put such technology at the service of quality movies about the historic lives of the saints or the dramatization of novels like Kristin Lavtansdatter. Which made me think, I wonder if any of my older kids of ever read any of Undset's books? They are certainly among the best 20th century Catholic novels (up there with LoTR in my book).
[spoiler alert]
I appreciate the woman's perspective, for one. For instance, the realism of Kristin's discovery of her condition in the beer house, how her reaction to the smell tipped her off.
My only "problem" with KL is that Erland gets a pass on his infidelity when he goes up to Lapland because "men will be men." I'm not sure if that is Undset's own indulgence or if she is simply conveying the culture presumptions prevalent at the time--which, in fact, may be one of the reasons why Kristen and Erland got into the trouble in the first place. I'd have to read them again. It has been many years.

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