Tuesday, 21 August 2012

(Re-)Reading Ivanhoe

I'm going halfway through reading Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. Just a little background of my reason for reading it.

When I was 14, and was in love with Sherlock Holmes, I went to a friend's house, a fellow fonder of the detective. She told me she made a review of SH's short stories for her homework, and showed me her Sherlock Holmes book, a translation in Bahasa. In the shelf, however, I saw a book, thin and small, with a soft purple cover. That book was a English simplified version of Ivanhoe.

Needless to say, I borrowed the book right away. My friend consented, and I read it. My English was not very good at that time, naturally, but was enough to understand the brave and noble character of Robin Hood and King Richard. Thanks to the book, I've been very fond of them ever since. But simplified version is still a simplified version. I looked for the original, and was frightened by the size of it, not mentioning the difficulty of its language. So for the moment I gave up and diverted my eyes to other books easier to comsume.

Yet it is destined that I must read the book somehow. After Robert Lancelyn Greene's Robin Hood and Dumas' Musketeers, I am hungry for more adventurous tales, and I remember my old bold Ivanhoe. Now, my English permits me to peruse the book without letting the language deprive me the joy of reading it. Besides, the words unknown to me, whether in the old English or the modern one, enrich my vocabulary after I search their meaning.

Anyway, I'm in the 21st chapter of it, and very impatient to finish the story. Hope the end will be as happy as related in the simplified one.  

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