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seriouslyreadabook

Seriously, Read a Book!

Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...

Currently reading

The Sketchnote Handbook: The Illustrated Guide to Visual Notetaking
Mike Rohde
The Antidote
Oliver Burkeman
The Kind Worth Killing
Peter Swanson
Data Points: Visualization That Means Something
Nathan Yau
James Buchanan
Jean H. Baker, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales of Terror - Robert Mighall, Robert Louis Stevenson

Thanks to Jeffrey's recent DJ&MH review series (which includes Mary Reilly and Hyde in addition to the original), I realized that I had not, in fact, ever become acquainted with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as Robert Louis Stevenson wrote them. Actually, the closest I'd come was seeing Dr. Jekyll & Mrs. Hyde (a mid-90s movie adaptation that I cannot, in good conscience, recommend), at a friend's house in middle school — and, frankly, no case of two being one involving Sean Young could ever possibly top Finkle and Einhorn, so that film was doomed from the start.*

 

Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde poster

 

I'm glad I bothered (and not just because I'm pretty sure I had been pulling a mental Frankenstein-style name mix-up, wherein I assumed the doctor was the more sinister half of the duo). The tale itself is more complex than a "man becomes monster", or binary morality tale (though I can see how excerpts could have been used for the likes of Reefer Madness). The philosophical substance of the story reminded me of one of my favorite passages from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's The Gulag Archipelago.

"If only there were evil people somewhere, insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?" 

It's short, and RLS, and a classic. So, really, you have no excuse for not giving the original a read.

 

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* If you were absent from class during the early 90s, and haven't seen Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, you need to remedy that situation immediately.

 

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