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Middlemarch : an authoritative text,…
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Middlemarch : an authoritative text, backgrounds, reviews and criticism (utgåvan 1977)

av George Eliot, Bert G. Hornback

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
512234,519 (4.2)3
The text of Middlemarch is that of the 1874 edition, the last corrected by the author.
Medlem:ltfl_isulaan
Titel:Middlemarch : an authoritative text, backgrounds, reviews and criticism
Författare:George Eliot
Andra författare:Bert G. Hornback
Info:New York : Norton, c1977.
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Middlemarch [Norton Critical Edition] av George Eliot

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This is a major 19th c. novel and should be on everyone's top 50 list. Having said that, yes the syntax is often grueling, and convoluted. Having reread this book several times, I'm surprised to say that this aspect doesn't get easier. Noticeable is that the writing seems to get most dense right at key points at key places. But on third or fourth reading, the intent clarifies.
Do read Middlemarch with this annotated version, although other annotated versions will do, but at any rate get some help. The back matter points the reader to the reform movements afoot at the time of the action, ca1830. The changes stirring in the political, medical, and religious ordering of the time are vitally important to the novel's setting, and inform the choices characters have to make, and the reader owes it to herself to explore those.
Chapter 81 is wonderful and so rewarding. One commentator calls it the emotional heart of the novel and indeed it is. Yet, after that the rest of the ending seems rather rushed, certainly in comparison to the pace of everything that had come before. I remembered some of the finer points of the plot resolution differently, but was probably conflating that with the way one of the film version's tied up some loose knots.
Even though several important characters are churchmen, students of theology or dissenters, their theology and beliefs seem to play little role in the their lives. It's the inner moral life, the character if you will, of the main characters, their struggle to stay true and honest to themselves and each other that is the main theme. The struggle to find their true calling and place in their world is key. The characters who set themselves against their own best selves, or worse, expend all their energy in concealing their flaws from themselves and the outside world, are doomed. Dorothea, Mr. Casaubon, Will Ladislaw, Rosamond Vincy are some of the great characters in all of literature.
Women's confined roles in the world of Middlemarch, and the concealment of their vitality, and dynamism is another fascinating theme. Time and again, it is they who chart the courses of the wavering and oft benighted menfolk, but do so in ways that keep the men unshaken in their view that it is they who are at the helm.
Once you settle in to the 19th century pace and syntax of the narration, you will trust the writer, and delight in her where so e'er she goes. At various times she breaks through and refers to herself in the first person, becoming yet another interesting character. But at all times it is she who is in absolute command of the tale, and never is there a false step, and indeed much humour and delight in the telling. ( )
  jblatchl | Jul 20, 2020 |
My desert island shelf contains all my favorite books which I have encountered since I began reading decades ago. I would want these books if I could have no others.

Middlemarch represents all the glory, science, religion, art, and culture that was the Victorian Age. I see it as a capstone of the 19th century. --JJM 10/10/05
1 rösta rmckeown | Sep 3, 2005 |
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Do Not Combine: This is a "Norton Critical Edition", it is a unique work with significant added material, including essays and background materials. Do not combine with other editions of the work. Please maintain the phrase "Norton Critical Edition" in the Canonical Title and Publisher Series fields.
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The text of Middlemarch is that of the 1874 edition, the last corrected by the author.

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