I’ve just read the Writer Unboxed blog The Elements of Awe, Part II. He asks when was the last time you picked up a book and felt that you were shaken to the core. I’m still thinking about this. There have been so many books I’ve read over the years but very few in recent times have rocked my world.
I believe it’s fair to say that most of us want to write a book that will change the world – or a few lives or the way people think about something.
One of my favorite books is George Eliot’s Daniel Deronda. Gwendolen is the almost perfect heroine, destined never to reach her own personal expectations. Her admiration for the good and romantic Daniel raises her above selfish beauty – he is a man whom she is better for having known but from whom she is separated by divisions in society and religion.
Another of Eliot’s great romantic novels is Middlemarch which Andrew Davies brought to the small screen several years ago. Dorothea wants a worthy life, believes she has found the path but is disappointed by the pedanticism of her husband. Love for a lesser being provides a remedy. I read both of these as part of my Master’s degree course and their influence on me as a writer is apparent – at least to me.
Eliot wrote monumental stories, mixed deep passions with lofty desires – all good reasons for writing.