Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
_____Book World Live_____
Ian McEwan will be online Tuesday, March 29, at 3:30 p.m. ET to discuss "Saturday" and his other works.
_____Online Extra: Chapter 1_____
This feature allows you to read the first chapter of a new book. This week's selection is "Saturday" by Ian McEwan.
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
In Saturday, Matthew Arnold's "Dover Beach" serves to describe our parlous human condition better than ever before, but it also quite literally saves the day. Such things do happen, I suppose, but more often in novels, alas, than in life.
Michael Dirda's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. His weekly online discussion of books takes place on Wednesday at 2 p.m. on washingtonpost.com.