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donyskiw
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Re: For Denise: Erasmus

Oh, no way. I'm a hedonist. I want it all: books, food, heat. The reason I became an engineer is because I liked math, science, and art but engineers get paid better than artists. Since I get to retire at age fifty (seven years from yesterday, which was my birthday) I can become an artist next. With food and heat and a retirement home with a library and studio. None of that freezing garret stuff for me.

Denise
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IlanaSimons
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Re: For Denise: Erasmus



donyskiw wrote:
Oh, no way. I'm a hedonist. I want it all: books, food, heat. The reason I became an engineer is because I liked math, science, and art but engineers get paid better than artists. Since I get to retire at age fifty (seven years from yesterday, which was my birthday) I can become an artist next. With food and heat and a retirement home with a library and studio. None of that freezing garret stuff for me.

Denise




Happy birthday Denise!
I hope you did something fun. yes?



Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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beshockley
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Re: Join us in February (Read this first)

I'm in. Hope this French novel speaks to me as much as The Wanderer did in my youth. I am looking forward to the group discussion.
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IlanaSimons
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Re: Join us in February (Read this first)



beshockley wrote:
I'm in. Hope this French novel speaks to me as much as The Wanderer did in my youth. I am looking forward to the group discussion.




great. The Good Soldier aint really French but he wants to be. Tell us about The Wanderer.



Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
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Re: Join us in February (Read this first)


IlanaSimons wrote:
The Good Soldier ain't really French but he wants to be.



Can you amplify this, Ilana? Are you saying that Ford wanted to be French? Or that Ashburnham did? Does understanding this point require me to have read further into the book?
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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IlanaSimons
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Re: Join us in February (Read this first)



Everyman wrote:

IlanaSimons wrote:
The Good Soldier ain't really French but he wants to be.



Can you amplify this, Ilana? Are you saying that Ford wanted to be French? Or that Ashburnham did? Does understanding this point require me to have read further into the book?



Ford Madox Ford's friend wrote to him that his book was "the finest French novel in the English language"---jokingly. My interpretation is that the book is obsessed with passion, and language is foregrounded more than plot.
But (as you might be suggesting) I'm actually not fully on board with the quote.
I actually think that class is the biggest feature of the novel...so I'd want to call it the "most American novel...from a Brit."



Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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Choisya
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Re: Join us in February (Read this first)

[ Edited ]
Moved by Choisya.

Message Edited by Choisya on 02-04-200702:16 PM

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Choisya
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Re: Ilana: re 'finest French novel in the English language'

[ Edited ]
Ilana: Are you thinking of this paragraph in the Dedicatory Letter to his wife, Stella, dated 1927, and written just after he had translated the novel into French:-

'I had in those days an ambition: that was to do for the English novel what in Fort comme la Mort, Maupassant had done for the French. One day I had my reward, for I happened to be in a company where a fervent young admirer exclaimed: "By Jove, The Good Soldier is the finest novel in the English language!" whereupon my friend Mr John Rodker who has always had a properly tempered admiration for my work remarked in his clear, slow drawl: "Ah yes. It is, but you have left out a word. It is the finest French novel in the English language!"'


So far I find it has the feel of the kind of class ridden writing we find in Evelyn Waugh's 'Brideshead Revisited' but is of, course, about pre WWI. Florence also sounds a little like Zelda. Both are very 'mannered' pieces of writing, full of restrained passion. Illicit ('free') love also seems to have been as much the vogue in the Edwardian period, as it was in Waugh's post WWI England, especially amongst the upper middle classes, so I expect there to be some shenagigins and some moralising:smileyhappy: I'm not to keen on Waugh so hope I will like Ford better.





IlanaSimons wrote:
Ford Madox Ford's friend wrote to him that his book was "the finest French novel in the English language"---jokingly. My interpretation is that the book is obsessed with passion, and language is foregrounded more than plot.
But (as you might be suggesting) I'm actually not fully on board with the quote.
I actually think that class is the biggest feature of the novel...so I'd want to call it the "most American novel...from a Brit."

Message Edited by Choisya on 02-04-200703:35 PM

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Leaonard
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Re: Join us in February (Read this first)

Hello All,

I am looking forward to following the group discussion of 'The Good Soldier'. I started reading the book a week ago and am completely absorbed. I'm especially enjoying the convoluted plot and the constantly revealed little mysteries.

I do a lot of volunteer work with Project Gutenberg, so I downloaded and printed a copy, which I use as a markup copy. I do agree that the post it notes idea is probably a better way to track what's going on.

Thanks for the opportunity to share in this book's discussion group.

Len Johnson
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IlanaSimons
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Re: Join us in February (Read this first)



Leaonard wrote:
Hello All,

I am looking forward to following the group discussion of 'The Good Soldier'. I started reading the book a week ago and am completely absorbed. I'm especially enjoying the convoluted plot and the constantly revealed little mysteries.

I do a lot of volunteer work with Project Gutenberg, so I downloaded and printed a copy, which I use as a markup copy. I do agree that the post it notes idea is probably a better way to track what's going on.

Thanks for the opportunity to share in this book's discussion group.

Len Johnson




Hi Lenn
Thanks a lot for joining us.
Tell us about your absorption. What passages feel rich?



Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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IlanaSimons
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Re: Ilana: re 'finest French novel in the English language'

hmmmm....great find, Choisya.
I don't know the full quote, but I'll take it.
What's your interpretation: Should we think of this thing as a "french novel in english" or is the quote just a qualifier about it's success as a book?

I really think the Waugh parallel makes sense.
As you write, this book is highly "mannered" in style, but it also seems to not _want_ to be. It's a mannered book aching to be a bloody passionate book.



Choisya wrote:
Ilana: Are you thinking of this paragraph in the Dedicatory Letter to his wife, Stella, dated 1927, and written just after he had translated the novel into French:-

'I had in those days an ambition: that was to do for the English novel what in Fort comme la Mort, Maupassant had done for the French. One day I had my reward, for I happened to be in a company where a fervent young admirer exclaimed: "By Jove, The Good Soldier is the finest novel in the English language!" whereupon my friend Mr John Rodker who has always had a properly tempered admiration for my work remarked in his clear, slow drawl: "Ah yes. It is, but you have left out a word. It is the finest French novel in the English language!"'


So far I find it has the feel of the kind of class ridden writing we find in Evelyn Waugh's 'Brideshead Revisited' but is of, course, about pre WWI. Florence also sounds a little like Zelda. Both are very 'mannered' pieces of writing, full of restrained passion. Illicit ('free') love also seems to have been as much the vogue in the Edwardian period, as it was in Waugh's post WWI England, especially amongst the upper middle classes, so I expect there to be some shenagigins and some moralising:smileyhappy: I'm not to keen on Waugh so hope I will like Ford better.





IlanaSimons wrote:
Ford Madox Ford's friend wrote to him that his book was "the finest French novel in the English language"---jokingly. My interpretation is that the book is obsessed with passion, and language is foregrounded more than plot.
But (as you might be suggesting) I'm actually not fully on board with the quote.
I actually think that class is the biggest feature of the novel...so I'd want to call it the "most American novel...from a Brit."

Message Edited by Choisya on 02-04-200703:35 PM







Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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Choisya
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Re: Ilana: re 'finest French novel in the English language'

Ilana wrote:
'What's your interpretation: Should we think of this thing as a "french novel in english" or is the quote just a qualifier about it's success as a book?'


So far I don't get any feeling of, say, Zola or Stendhal here Ilana and I would welcome Danielle's comments on the book's 'Frenchness'. I certainly don't get a feeling of Maupassant, who Ford sought to emulate, except for the theme of the senselessnes of war. Maupassant was noted for his 'tight' writing style and he excelled at short stories with intricate plots. I have yet to observe whether Ford's plot could carry this latter description.

As for being a 'french novel in english', this may be a reference to the expression of sexual passion, either covert or overt (I haven't read enough yet to judge). It was unusual for an English novel to be unrestrained in this way at this time which is why, of course, that D H Lawrence's frank writing about love and sex caused such a sensation a few years later. English writing about love had a very 'stiff upper lip' quality about it during and immediately after the Victorian period. If the novel breaks away from those bounds and presages Lawrence, it may well have been thought of as 'French'. I am unsure of its success because it doesn't feature among the great classics on any reading list I know of over here, although its anti-war theme may have been popular immediately after the needless slaughter of WWI, alongside the war poets etc.




IlanaSimons wrote:
hmmmm....great find, Choisya.
I don't know the full quote, but I'll take it.
What's your interpretation: Should we think of this thing as a "french novel in english" or is the quote just a qualifier about it's success as a book?

I really think the Waugh parallel makes sense.
As you write, this book is highly "mannered" in style, but it also seems to not _want_ to be. It's a mannered book aching to be a bloody passionate book.



Choisya wrote:
Ilana: Are you thinking of this paragraph in the Dedicatory Letter to his wife, Stella, dated 1927, and written just after he had translated the novel into French:-

'I had in those days an ambition: that was to do for the English novel what in Fort comme la Mort, Maupassant had done for the French. One day I had my reward, for I happened to be in a company where a fervent young admirer exclaimed: "By Jove, The Good Soldier is the finest novel in the English language!" whereupon my friend Mr John Rodker who has always had a properly tempered admiration for my work remarked in his clear, slow drawl: "Ah yes. It is, but you have left out a word. It is the finest French novel in the English language!"'


So far I find it has the feel of the kind of class ridden writing we find in Evelyn Waugh's 'Brideshead Revisited' but is of, course, about pre WWI. Florence also sounds a little like Zelda. Both are very 'mannered' pieces of writing, full of restrained passion. Illicit ('free') love also seems to have been as much the vogue in the Edwardian period, as it was in Waugh's post WWI England, especially amongst the upper middle classes, so I expect there to be some shenagigins and some moralising:smileyhappy: I'm not to keen on Waugh so hope I will like Ford better.





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IlanaSimons
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Re: Ilana: re 'finest French novel in the English language'



Choisya wrote:
Ilana wrote:
'What's your interpretation: Should we think of this thing as a "french novel in english" or is the quote just a qualifier about it's success as a book?'


So far I don't get any feeling of, say, Zola or Stendhal here Ilana and I would welcome Danielle's comments on the book's 'Frenchness'. I certainly don't get a feeling of Maupassant, who Ford sought to emulate, except for the theme of the senselessnes of war. Maupassant was noted for his 'tight' writing style and he excelled at short stories with intricate plots. I have yet to observe whether Ford's plot could carry this latter description.

As for being a 'french novel in english', this may be a reference to the expression of sexual passion, either covert or overt (I haven't read enough yet to judge). It was unusual for an English novel to be unrestrained in this way at this time which is why, of course, that D H Lawrence's frank writing about love and sex caused such a sensation a few years later. English writing about love had a very 'stiff upper lip' quality about it during and immediately after the Victorian period. If the novel breaks away from those bounds and presages Lawrence, it may well have been thought of as 'French'. I am unsure of its success because it doesn't feature among the great classics on any reading list I know of over here, although its anti-war theme may have been popular immediately after the needless slaughter of WWI, alongside the war poets etc.





Yes: I asked for a very smart friend's opinion last night too, and he reiterated much of what you just wrote: The book's obsession with cheating--with broken love affairs-- makes it "French." But as we said in our previous posts, the style is more reserved...more English.



Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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donyskiw
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Re: For Denise: Erasmus

Thanks, Ilana! On the day of my birthday itself, it was just business as usual. But I went out to dinner the day before and I went to an art gallery reception the day after. While I was there, I picked up a card advertising Art in the Aspens and went online this morning and identified an oil painting workshop I might take this summer instead of my usual hiking vacation (I'd like to do both but I keep spending too much money on books!).

Denise
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cosmotrotter
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Re: Ilana: re 'finest French novel in the English language'

Choisya,
It's good to see you on here - you may remember me from back in the Huck Finn days, among other novels. Anyway, I'm just figuring out this newer system, but I was happy to see one of my former partners in crime, as it were...
Frequent Contributor
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Q:finest French novel in the English language'

[ Edited ]
What does it actually mean the finest French novel?
thanks
ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 02-07-200702:57 AM

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beshockley
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Re: Join us in February (Read this first)



IlanaSimons wrote:


beshockley wrote:
I'm in. Hope this French novel speaks to me as much as The Wanderer did in my youth. I am looking forward to the group discussion.




great. The Good Soldier aint really French but he wants to be. Tell us about The Wanderer.




I guess the secret is out that this is my first read. Not sure how I misunderstood this book as a French novel, but must accept that I completely misunderstood that point. Ha Ha

I read The Wanderer more than half my life ago, when I was 16 in a military prep school in NJ. I was a southern boy and out of my element up there. In the end, the book impressed upon me the need to find my own path and life experiences NOW!

The final result. I went to Alaska and enjoyed life as well as worked for three years instead of going directly to college. When I eventually did attend, I chose to go all the way across the country to Florida for some summer fun times. I still have never returned to live in my home state of Arkansas.

Hard to say exactly what the book said to me, but it definitely influenced my thinking. I guess it somewhat gave me a wandering spirit? Who knows?

I think I need to read that book again!
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Choisya
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Re: Ilana: re 'finest French novel in the English language'

Hi cosmotrotter - good to see you treading the boards again!




cosmotrotter wrote:
Choisya,
It's good to see you on here - you may remember me from back in the Huck Finn days, among other novels. Anyway, I'm just figuring out this newer system, but I was happy to see one of my former partners in crime, as it were...


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Choisya
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Re: Q:finest French novel in the English language'

This has been explained elsewhere Ziki:smileyhappy:



ziki wrote:
What does it actually mean the finest French novel?
thanks
ziki

Message Edited by ziki on 02-07-200702:57 AM




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IlanaSimons
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Re: Join us in February (Read this first)



beshockley wrote:


br>The final result. I went to Alaska and enjoyed life as well as worked for three years instead of going directly to college. When I eventually did attend, I chose to go all the way across the country to Florida for some summer fun times. I still have never returned to live in my home state of Arkansas.



I'm a Florida native. Now living in NYC. You still in Fl?



Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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