It’s something that I thought might never happen but, after several failed attempts, I have finally reached the summit of The Magic Mountain.
Writing a reading-diary has helped enormously; has given me just that extra little bit of impetus when sometimes I felt my mental and physical resolve flagging. Overall, though, I haven’t found the going quite as tough as I expected––maybe just a tricky 100 pages or so halfway through but, once I had put them behind me, the last 100 pages to the summit were practically a gallop.
And what do I feel now that I stand on the summit? Tired? Maybe a little bit. Proud? Yes, just a tad. More learned? Not greatly. Relieved, probably relieved more than anything. Relieved that I can replace the book on my bookshelf, nevermore to see its thick spine mocking me: unassailable. Relieved also that I can justifiably retreat back into a lazy gamble through the nursery slopes of a few short crime novels, knowing that I have paid my dues on the black runs of a couple of back-to-back weighty classics of German literature.
And, while I may not have gained any greater wisdom or any sense of heightened spirituality from my time spent on the mountain, one thing that did become clearer the higher I ascended, was that although I am glad to have finally reached the summit of The Magic Mountain, I actually preferred the view from Buddenbrooks all along.
© Fergus Longfellow
Fergus Longfellow is pleased to have finished The Magic Mountain.