The Mighty And Their Fall (Ivy Compton-Burnett) pdf, epub, doc

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A very odd book, with very odd dialogue.This is obviously a stylistic choice, and done for a reason.It would take far more examination to make a really fair reading here. It's good, but difficult to appreciate.

I can't say I'm surprised at either the oddness or the difficulty, as I've read Compton-Burnett before.Her whole body of work depicts different pieces of the same stark, horrifying Victorian power dynamic, using curt, direct, honest, upstanding, Victorian-moral-code-driven dialogue and interaction.The dialogue here is much more predominant than any active or descriptive prose, which is interesting, especially as it is so sharp and short.

The Picasso on the cover is clearly there for a reason.Compton-Burnett was almost an exact contemporary, as the introduction mentions; both were shocking and totally different from the establishment in their fields.While at first the cover seems jarring and incongruous, it soon becomes apparent that a severe attack on the Victorian sense of correct morals and behavior, all done in language, setting, character, and plot that would seem correct as well, bucks tradition every bit as hard as Virginia Woolf, albeit while running in the exact opposite direction.

How can I make this clear.How about a quote.

"Debts do meet another fate.But will he be content with the reward?"

"He will not deem it nothing.It is what he chose of what could be his."

"He may feel that nothing can be his.Most people would in his place."

"You are not my friend, my boy," said Ninian, looking at him."But it is your future in my mind as much as my own.Yours and your children's children's.I must not see you as a friend, but I am your father."

There was a pause.

"I can only wish I could bear this moment for you, Egbert," said Hugo.


So it's hard to like.Then again, most seriously challenging art is hard to like, and I really think this falls into that category.


Notes:
- The NAMES.Egbert, Hengist, Lavinia, Agnes, Ninian, Selina, Teresa, Hugo, Ransom.Also "Miss Starkie."WOW.
- The use of "gently."Ninian, the father and "mighty" of the title, repeatedly says things "gently," and always when telling another member of his family something controlling, judgmental, or just nasty.
- The plot! Ninian, widowed head of this creepy-because-it's-all-just-normal household, had made his oldest daughter Lavinia more or less a replacement for her dead mother; all the awful potentialities and undertones of this action pervade the plot that ensues when he announces out of the blue that he is to be remarried. Victorian incest shift in power dynamic augh!!


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Book info

  • Author:
  • Publisher:Virago
  • File: 7.5 Mb
  • Ganre: Fiction
  • Release: 02.09.1990
  • ISBN: 9781853811777
  • Pages 192
  • Rating: 3.99 (17 votes)

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