Final Progress Report: Samuel Richardson’s “Clarissa, Or, The History of a Young Lady”

I was so cold. It had been so long since I had eaten any food or felt any sensation in the flesh I had which remained. Still, I read onward in Clarissa until the very last page. Stranded in that frozen wilderness, it was all that remained…fulfilling the purpose that my crew (rest their souls) and I set out to achieve.

And then…I finished the last page and closed the volume.

Strangely, a ship entirely composed of a dim light appeared on the ice before me. Indeed, it was my ship, though it had been completely destroyed. Indeed as well, it was manned by my very own crew. I was overjoyed, until I realized that it was but the ghost of my ship and the ghost of my crew. Still, I was beckoned on board and, for lack of an alternative, I went.

There is no way to convey the terror of that voyage, a passenger on a ghost ship among a company of ghosts. I can only compare it to the horror of reading Clarissa itself. The worst part was the endless song montages performed by Kathie Lee Gifford telling me how much fun I was having on this Carnival fun ship cruise. Frankly, I never did see any of the amenities she kept talking about.

Eventually, the ghost ship arrived right at my home town and immediately vanished. Indeed, the town thought I was a dead man and attempted to bury me several times before my words persuaded them otherwise. The folk of my town have never been particularly bright.

I told all who would listen that though my crew was dead and my ship gone, I had achieved what they had dared me to do. I had read Clarissa. They all responded: “Dude…we were just joking. You weren’t supposed to really do it.”

But, there is naught that can be done about that now. To this day I am a marked man. The horrors of the expedition have left their terrible imprint on me, both physical and mental. Indeed, men barely move into my presence before the emptiness in my eyes drives them off again. They KNOW what I have been through and want no truck with any such thing. In truth, I do not blame them.

In the end, was it worth it? In truth, I know not. Either way, I can be done with Clarissa forever. Let that book rot in hell as it deserves with every other book that is even slightly difficult to read. Also, I also don’t have to listen to Kathie Lee Gifford sing anymore. Thank the gods for blessings like that.

(Here is a link to the initial progress report, a link to the first full day’s progress report, a link to the second full day’s progress report, a link to the third full day’s progress report, a link to the fourth full day’s progress report, and a link to the fifth’s full day’s progress report)

About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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1 Response to Final Progress Report: Samuel Richardson’s “Clarissa, Or, The History of a Young Lady”

  1. Pingback: You Might Be Wondering Why I Wrote Progress Reports While Reading “Clarissa” As If I Was On An Expedition | David Atkinson's Blog

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