Meredith's Challenge 2.0

52 books, one year. Stay tuned for more details.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

2.1 The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Throughout reading House, I became more and more upset with myself for seeing House of Mirth before reading it. In my defense, Gillian Anderson is in it and so are pretty dresses! Nonetheless, I hated knowing exactly what was going to happen in end. That didn't stop me from sobbing uncontrollably though when Lily realizes what exactly is going to happen.

Since it is Wharton, of course it is beautifully written and her descriptive prose is stunning. Here is one of my favorite bits that literally made me hold my breath:
The afternoon was perfect. A deeper stillness possessed the air and the
American autumn was tempered by a haze which diffused the brightness without dulling it.
This is so close to describing exactly how I feel about my favorite time of day in my favorite time of year, when I cannot get the words out to say anything really meaningful. The beginning of Chapter 6 is so unbelievably gorgeous, it hurts my heart and I would quote the whole thing here if I wasn't afraid of copyright infringement and of boring my tiny readership. Even if you don't like Wharton, at least look here.

The last scene made me angry with Seldon instead of sympathetic. He had it within his power to unlock the Victorian propriety between himself and Lily and never chose to, whereas, Lily really had no choice in the matter, or much of anything else, honestly. If she wanted to, Lily could have dropped her upbringing as a proper lady instead of what actually happened, but I felt like that option wasn't ever really a choice for her. Maybe that's because the movie spoiled me. Stupid Seldon, so proper and then I'm supposed to feel bad for him? Also, the talk about love at the very end, I felt was kind of cheese ball and I don't know how much he really loved her. If he had, I feel that he would have made his decision earlier, instead of waiting until Lily was desperate.

Obviously, the title is ironical but I'm quite sure what it refers to. Any takers?

As a backlash to Lily's existence, I am now embroiled in The Beauty Myth. It's my second go-round and I do plan on finishing it this time. I blame Wolf for my creepy dream/nightmare last night that I was a fashion model, which if you know almost anything about me, is absolutely ridiculous. Myth is a bit rough-going, you might not hear from me for a bit.


Post a Comment

<< Home