Nearly everyone in Middlemarch seems desperately in need of honest feedback: a mentor, counselor, accountant, or at least a decent advice column. Chapter 23, "Waiting For Death," opens with a reference to Apollo's ill-fated son Phaethon. With a title like that, it's hard to imagine that MiddleMarch will turn out well for Fred Vincy, who is rather more free on his summer holidays than his bank account permits.
All month, readers on Twitter have shared a wonderful trade in Eliot's exquisite one-liners. Here are some of the best:
"There had risen before her the girl’s vision of a possible future for herself to which she looked forward with trembling hope, and she wanted to wander on in that visionary future without interruption." (shared by Lor)
Share favorite quotes, take selfies with your dramatis personae, ask questions, and read along at @1book140, our Twitter book club. Our hashtag #1book140 is a great place to share about what else you're reading.
Our current pace, one chapter per day (the rough equivalent of two short op-eds each day), will take us well into Book V of the novel.
To join the conversation on Middlemarch, follow us at @1book140 and tweet to join the conversation so we know that you're reading along. To avoid spoilers, we spread the conversation across one hashtag per week. Click on each hashtag to see the conversation at that point in the book. Since many readers have our hashtags pre-set on their phones, we're going to use our usual monthly hashtags.
Week One: Chapters 23-29, using #1b140_1 as a hashtag for your tweets
J. Nathan Matias develops technologies for civic participation, media analytics, and creative learning at the MIT Media Lab and Center for Civic Media. He also helps run @1book140, The Atlantic's Twitter book club.