coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Monday, May 23, 2022

Chewing on a memory

My husband bought a loaf of sourdough bread at the farmer's market. This morning I was lazy, and I didn't want to make breakfast. I wanted to grab something. I grabbed a piece of now almost stale sourdough. So good! As often happens, I chewed on more than just the bread.  

This "madeleine moment" reminded of the book Heidi, which made a strong impression on me as a child.  In this case, I remembered Heidi and her grandfather ate bread and cheese for breakfast. I may have cheese later. For now I'm just eating the plain bread, allowing my mind to wander.  

I may read that book again. There was a strong class consciousness throughout, and it may have been my introduction to class and inequality.  At least to an inequality that was clearly defined. Feelings, fears, and suspicions were justified. I have never been the same.   


heidi_book.webp





18 comments:

  1. Reminds of Shirley Temple who was in the Heidi movie. My sister and I loved that story when we were young. I have a picture book adaptation that I got as a gift when I was 7. Such a touching story.

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    1. It was painful it was so touching. I first read the book, but also watched at least two different movie versions, including the Shirley Temple one.

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  2. I was afraid of the Heidi story. When I was small, before I could read, we got a book where you glued in pictures from the movie (b/w Swiss) to go along with the story. The pictures came on the back of the boxes of oats. For a long time, we got the same ones over and over about the sad homesick time Heidi had in the city with her cruel aunt. Also losing both parents . . .

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    1. I can see why you'd be afraid. So many books and movies for children were inexpressibly sad and troubling back then. Old Yeller, Bambi, Dumbo, Darby O'Gill and the Little People.

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  3. My father bought the book for me and began reading it. I was eight. Literally the next day he became gravely ill and was hospitalized for months. Heidi and her aunt were only half way up the mountain to grandfather's house when dad left off the first time. I found where he put the book and read it myself. Fascinating. Only a couple of years ago I reread the book. Even as formulaic as it is, I was riveted again.

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    1. I'm happy to hear you also liked this childhood book.

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  4. Right after I read your post, I searched for and found the Shirley Temple version of Heidi on YouTube and watched it. It is touching and painful to watch. Must have seen it when I was in grade school and now I'm as old as the grandfather. Both of my grandfathers died before I was born. Not sure if I ever read the book. Now I'm in the midst of watching 1968 movie version of Heidi on YouTube. I believe I've seen that version before, too. It seems more familiar than the Shirley Temple version and probably more true to the book. Thank you for bringing Heidi back to life for me today and bringing out a lifetime of emotions not fully felt until now.

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  5. Now I'm baffled, having watched both movie versions of the book, each radically different from the other. The only solution is to read the book. As I watched both movies, I had vague recollections of what I pictured when reading the book. It was not like either movie.

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  6. I have never read that book. We have it in the library, though, classic that it is. Maybe I should try it?!

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  7. Whereas I can say - my chest puffed up with unjustifiable pride - that I have read the novel containing The Madeleine Moment. More than once, too. What's more I have irrefutable proof of this. The edition I read was published by Penguin and came in three approximately 800-page volumes. At a distance these resemble house bricks more than books. Because of their cuboid shape they are not well fashioned to survive being read and are now in a distressed state. Being the egregious fellow I am I have retained them on my bookshelves. Owning Proust's Time says one thing, owning it as three raggedy volumes says something else entirely. Food for the ego, if nothing else.

    I first became aware of Heidi when I was still in primary school (ie, still wearing short trousers). Insufferable as always I knew enough about the world to recognise that Heidi was a girl's name and thus the book was one I could ignore. Girls were, after all, merely inferior versions of boys plus some anatomical adjustments.

    History has paid me back. When I started writing novels seriously I was not only seventy years older, I had - I think - changed for the better. All four completed novels, plus the half-completed one, all have women as their central characters and all triumph - albeit in different ways - repeatedly over men. Yes I have had an op, but not that one!

    Both my daughters have read Heidi.

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    1. Boys miss out on so much. I am happy your daughters read Heidi. I hope they liked it.

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  8. I've heard of the book but never read it. The plot looks interesting (having lived with her grandfather in the Swiss Alps, Heidi returns to Frankfurt and finds it hard to adjust to city life). I must give it a go.

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  9. I haven't thought of that book in so many, many years. I remember reading it, but I don't remember what it was about at all. I think I'll google around today to be reminded. Thank you so much for changing the comment settings. It's wonderful to be able to comment here again.

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    1. Yay! It's wonderful to GET your comments, too.

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  10. Like many of your other commenters I loved the book "Heidi." I even once won a contest (as an adult) in the newspaper, where you had to write a piece about which fictional character from your childhood you had most wanted to be! Actually, Heidi was knocked off that perch when I got to reading Little Women - then I decided I really wanted to be Jo!

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So, whadayathink?