Saturday, February 4, 2012
Days of Love...and Lack Thereof, Day 10
Do I seem like an Austen fan? Well, try to adjust because I really am. Mansfield Park, Emma, and her last complete work Persuasion are among my favorites. Austen began work on Persuasion when she knew she was ill. It's shorter than her previous books (and presumably written very quickly), and arguably her most romantic book.
Everyman's Library has lovely hardcover editions of Austen's work, which should make the list for an excellent Valentine's gift for your naked book lover...if all goes well.
First, I can't stand Jane Austen.
Since Gianna chose a classic today, so will I. An American Tragedy is Theodore Dreiser's greatest achievement and a perfect example of the naturalism period in American literature. Drawing from his journalism background, Dreiser used a real case as inspiration for his novel.
Clyde is a young man with great ambitions. He grew up with poor, religious zealot parents, but chooses to turn his back on his upbringing and pursue the American dream--upward mobility through work. Clyde finds himself a job as a foreman in a textile factory in New York, where he supervises the girls who sew shirts. He pursues a worker named Roberta and she agrees to sleep with him so that he won't betray her (their relationship, of course, is against company rules). When people have sex, they can get pregnant. Clyde won't marry Roberta because she's poor and would interfere with his desire for wealth and status. So he drowns her. And then he's sentences to the electric chair. God, I love this book.