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La fira de les vanitats (1877)

de William Makepeace Thackeray

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14,046189364 (3.87)1 / 779
A classic, set during the Napoleonic wars, giving a satiricl picture of a worldly society and revolving around the exploits of two women from very different backgrounds.
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 Monthly Author Reads: December: Thackeray : Vanity Fair5 no llegits / 5rainpebble, gener 2011

» Mira també 779 mencions

Anglès (177)  Italià (4)  Castellà (4)  Francès (1)  Suec (1)  Portuguès (1)  Alemany (1)  Totes les llengües (189)
Es mostren 1-5 de 189 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Loooooooonnnnnnnggggg and borrrriiiiinnnnnnngggggg.

It started off okay as the story of two women with very different backgrounds and attitudes. Becky with no money and no social standing is relentlessly driven to achieve both and nothing will stand in her way. Amelia is from a well off family and is extremely sweet and kind to everyone whose path she crosses. We follow both as find husbands and attempt to establish their place in the world. Other than that, it is basically a family saga with lots of sisters, brothers, cousins weaving in and out of the story.

It's basically a soap opera that drowns in its own details. It probably was cutting edge at the time to have a book revolve around a ruthless woman, but I just don't think there's anything exciting about that storyline now. The book skewers a lot about the society at the time and the social mores, so I can see why this might have been a great read in the past. But honestly, I just didn't care at all about the characters or what happened to them. This was a rough go after trying to read A Suitable Boy which arguably could be called the Indian Vanity Fair and being unable to finish that. This one was a close call, but it was easier to skim parts and still have the gist of the book. Both books started off well for me and both had writing styles I thought were fine and accessible . . .but both devolved into a giant snore for me.

The only redeeming quality here was the narrator who breaks the third wall a bit, talking to the reader and making snarky observations. It's a construct you may be inclined to love or hate, but I felt it was the saving grace of the book. ( )
  Anita_Pomerantz | Mar 23, 2023 |
En un mundo donde nada es lo que parece, dos mujeres tratan de encontrar su lugar. Amelia, dulce pero insustancial, consagra su vida al hombre que ama. Rebecca, atractiva y llena de talento, utiliza mil recursos para ascender en la escala social. En torno a ellas, y en una vitalista sucesión de intrigas, se arremolina una espléndida galería de personajes.
  Natt90 | Jan 11, 2023 |
A delightful book; Thackeray's characters are made to love or hate, as the case may be. This book is exceedingly long, and you have to constantly refer to the notes for context, but what you get out of it is worth it. Who doesn't love to laugh at English"aristocracy"? Thackeray excels at his art. ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
This book might be unique in that it not only claims to have no hero, but in fact has no hero. What it does have is a cast of duplicitous, weak or inane characters, none of whom stir much in the way of either pity, empathy, or affinity. It also has the bad girl to end all bad girls, Miss Rebecca Sharp. I doubt anyone would argue that Becky is not the most interesting character in the book, and while some might admire the good little Amelia, few could actually like her.

Vanity Fair is quite a bit longer than it needs to be and some chapters meander aimlessly, but this, I believe, can be attributed to the method in which it was released. When a book is being presented to its audience in a serial form, it must go on for a prearranged period of time and acquire a certain length. Were it being edited for release as a novel today, I feel sure it would be shortened considerably.

Thackeray breaks the fourth wall constantly, talking to the reader and urging him to see the point he has just made, in a way that can become irritating at times. But, even this conceit works for me for the most part. Toward the end of the book, the narrator explains that he has “just met” the principles, which sent my head spinning, for how could one know all the details set forth in such omniscient fashion if one just had a chance encounter with these people toward the end of their stories? Up to this point, I had accepted the narrator as an all-seeing sort of presence, not a literal acquaintance of the characters, so it was discombobulating to say the least.

Vanity Fair is a moral tale, or more correctly a tale about lack of morals. One wonders if this society actually had any or if everything that passed for morals was pretense.

At one point, Thackery compares the behavior of these persons to a mermaid and her tail:
Those who may peep down under waves that are pretty transparent and see it writhing and twirling, diabolically hideous and slimy, flapping amongst bones, or curling around corpses; but above the waterline, I ask, has not everything been proper, agreeable, and decorous, and has even the most squeamish immoralist in Vanity Fair a right to cry fie.

I believe he is trying to impress upon his reader that this is a world of pretense, a world that cares more for appearance than it ever could for virtue. Indeed, we watch Becky Sharp navigate this society in the most unscrupulous way possible, and we cannot help feeling that her flaws and shortcomings are more about survival than evil.

And, there seems to be a particular emphasis on women and their relationships to one another:

I am tempted to think that to be despised by her sex is a very great compliment to a woman.


As they say, the persons who hate Irishmen most are Irishmen; so, assuredly, the greatest tyrants over women are women.

It does indeed seem that it is the fairer sex, who are proposed to have the gentler hearts, the nurturing instincts and the sweeter dispositions, who wield the knife most cruelly. The men, while equally dissipated, seem somehow more gullible and unaware than hateful or manipulative.

I had a hard time deciding what rating to give this tome. I did enjoy it and found myself caught up in the story at times. There were also moments when I might have laid it aside and never picked it up again without the slightest hesitation. It is not the best of Victorian literature to has none of the power of Eliot, none of the charm of Dickens, and none of the atmosphere of Hardy. In short, it cannot be ranked with the best of its time, but it cannot be dismissed either. I could not help feeling sorry for Thackeray, knowing that he suffered in comparison to Dickens in his lifetime and will continue to do so throughout literary history.

I am happy to have read Vanity Fair at last. There are surely some important ideas addressed and some things of value that can be taken away from it, but it is not the kind of book that pleads well to be read again. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Reading this was absorbing and enjoyable despite a whole slew of reasons why I should never have liked it. It's a long book, 800+ pages. Thackery, like Dickens, was clearly being paid by the word. It wanders all over the place, lots of distractions. There is no character without more flaws than strengths. The people all are snobs. There are very few real people. Success is getting into the vacuous aristocracy. Thackery loves to use gratuitous phrases in French, with some Latin, German, and even Greek, without translation - you're supposed to be in the know. There is gratuitous anti-Semitism. There is colonialism with no regard for the subjugated populations. The names of the characters are often unclear, such as Mrs Crawley without being evident which Mrs Crawley. I can only assume once again it's Thackery saying - you're supposed to be in the know. Very frustrating.

Given all that, why did I like it? It taught me something about myself. I was a sucker for all the cliff hangers and the dropped hints. They kept me wondering what was going to happen next. I was able to dismiss all the superfluous descriptions by wanting to know where this was going.

There are just three main characters, two young women, Amelia and Rebecca, who both attended the same finishing school. One coming from a rich merchant family and the other an orphan who definitely is the more talented but eventually we find out she's totally unscrupulous. The third is Captain Dobbin who is bashful and totally in love with Amelia but since she was early promised to his best friend, a cad, he makes sure his friend does in deed marry Amelia but the cad dies in the battle of Waterloo. Amelia listlessly mourns her husband for fifteen years while Dobbin supports her without her knowing. Financial problems ensue. Amelia just frets while Becky schemes. We know the story is wrapping up in the last fifty pages as the older generation which has disowned the girls finally die off and eventually the right people inherit some money. Rather than give away the ending you'll just have to read it yourself. ( )
  Ed_Schneider | Aug 10, 2022 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Thackeray, William MakepeaceAutorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Ball, RobertIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Beach, Joseph WarrenIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Borden, GabrielleDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Carey, JohnIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Carey, JohnEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Castle, JohnReaderautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Cheshire, GerardCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dames, NicholasIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Dospevska, NeliTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Hill, JamesAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Leslie, Charles RobertAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Macchi, RuthTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Margolyes, MiriamNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Marquand, JohnIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Melosi, LauraTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Mutzenbacher, TheresiaÜbersetzerautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Nierop, A. vanTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Pagetti, CarloCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Pym, RolandIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ricci Miglietta, MauraTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ridley, M. R.Introduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Saintsbury, GeorgeEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Stewart, J. I. M.Introduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Stewart, J. I. M.Editorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Sutherland, JohnEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Sutton, GeorginaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Thackeray, William MakepeaceIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Trollope, JoannaIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Tuomikoski, AinoTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Weldon, FayIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Winterich, John T.Introduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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this story is affectionately dedicated
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While the present century was in its teens, and on one sun-shiny morning in June, there drove up to the great iron gate of Miss Pinkerton's academy for young ladies, on Chiswick Mall, a large family coach, with two fat horses in blazing harness, driven by a fat coachman in a three-cornered hat and wig, at the rate of four miles an hour.
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But, lo! and just as the coach drove off, Miss Sharp put her pale face out of the window and actually flung the book back into the garden.
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A classic, set during the Napoleonic wars, giving a satiricl picture of a worldly society and revolving around the exploits of two women from very different backgrounds.

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