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house of mirth

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*****

*****

Damn if it isn’t the saddest book I’ve ever read – and  genuinely one of the best. Edith Wharton can be viciously funny in that oh-so-awesome Victorian way. See descriptions of Carry Fisher and young Silverton below:

 “She looked down the long table, studying its occupants one by one, from Gus Trenor, with his heavy carnivorous head sunk between his shoulders, as he preyed on a jellied plover, to his wife, at the opposite end of the long bank of orchids, suggestive, with her glaring good-looks, of a jeweller’s window lit by electricity. And between the two, what a long stretch of vacuity! How dreary and trivial these people were! Lily reviewed them with a scornful impatience: Carry Fisher, with her shoulders, her eyes, her divorces, her general air of embodying a “spicy paragraph”; young Silverton, who had meant to live on proof-reading and write an epic, and who now lived on his friends and had become critical of truffles; Alice Wetherall, an animated visiting-list, whose most fervid convictions turned on the wording of invitations and the engraving of dinner-cards; Wetherall, with his perpetual nervous nod of acquiescence, his air of agreeing with people before he knew what they were saying; Jack Stepney, with his confident smile and anxious eyes, half way between the sheriff and an heiress; Gwen Van Osburgh, with all the guileless confidence of a young girl who has always been told that there is no one richer than her father.”

House of Mirth, Chapter 5

*****

*****

Which reminds me – this hipster Ethan Frome adaptation-also funny! Watch it!

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Written by rarface

November 18, 2011 at 11:56 am

Posted in books, videos

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