back in the day

by Andrea Elizabeth

I only have one chapter of Dracula to go, but last night as we were driving home I started Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Akroyd just to get an idea of it instead of making my husband and daughter listen to the last chapter of anything, especially Dracula. Not only do I like 19th century literature, but I also like the mid 20’s to early 50’s literary style. Not the expat’s though – too bleak and depressing. Agatha seemed a bit ahead of her time.

It’s just the way she said “overcoat”. Now there’s a word that has changed contexts. It used to be a blessed thing that helped you overcome the elements that you were so ruthlessly exposed to. Now it’s a plastic fashion statement that you make between climate controlled environments. Nice overcoats were part of your dress back then. Now they lay on top of you like saranwrap. Something to keep leftovers warm, not part of the main dish. Yes New Yorkers and farm workers incorporate coats, not overcoats, but coats and jackets, more into their day to day options, but that’s because they are living an alternative lifestyle. New York city sidewalks are hardly mainstream. And once climate controlled tractors and barns were invented, well, Tolstoy’s Master and Man lost its ethos.

Oh yeah, I read Gogol’s The Overcoat a while back. There you go.