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Villette (1853)

de Charlotte Brontë

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MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
7,991133910 (3.86)2 / 525
With neither friends nor family, Lucy Snowe sets sail from England to find employment in a girls boarding school in the small town of Villette. There she struggles to retain her self-possession in the face of unruly pupils, an initially suspicious headmaster, and her own complex feelings, first for the school s English doctor and then for the dictatorial professor, Paul Emmanuel. Charlotte Bront s last and most autobiographical novel is a powerfully moving study of isolation and the pain of unrequited love, narrated by a heroine determined to preserve an independent spirit in the face of adverse circumstances.… (més)
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Es mostren 1-5 de 134 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I wanted to love Villette, but I never managed to love the character of Lucy Snowe and thus did not care in that deep, integral way that I cared for Charlotte's Jane Eyre. There are large sections of the novel that plod or seem to stand completely still. There is a large discourse on the Papists vs. the Protestants, which brought me almost to tears before it was done. And, by way of its worst failure for me, Bronte lapses into French at the most crucial of times. How can one relate to M. Paul when most of what he says to Lucy at critical moments is presented in French?

There are moments when the power of Bronte's writing breaks through and the story begins to move. There are glimpses of the Bronte magic, but they are broken and sparse. Lucy is a disadvantaged but strong woman who strikes out fearlessly and grasps onto life to make her way and earn her keep. Conversely, she is timid and cowering toward the two men to whom she is attracted, and both of whom treat her with mixtures of disdain and patronization at times. There is little that is loveable in her and I found her cold and icy narrative moved me very little.

The ending is almost enough to redeem the short-comings of the book. It resonates in a way that much of the narrative does not, and it sets in motion more curiosity and thoughts about Lucy's future than I felt through the entire course of the previous 525 pages.

That this book is in many ways autobiographical gives it another layer of sadness. I wonder if Bronte was not too close to her subjects and too invested in her characters to portray them realistically. There is much of the preciousness or viciousness or courtliness or saintliness that simply fails to ring true. Graham, Polly, Genevra and M. Paul all seem more like types than actual people throughout much of the story.

While many have praised this novel and several have held it above Jane Eyre, I think there is a reason that Eyre is so universally loved and read and Villette is more obscure and unknown. The reason lies in the heroine...Jane cannot help but be loved and she loves us back; Lucy cannot be loved nor does she feel any affection for her audience. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
4/25/22
  laplantelibrary | Apr 25, 2022 |
I enjoyed Villette, but not nearly as much as Jane Eyre: some of the story sparkled, but it was not nearly as intriguing. At times, to me, she was a tad too verbose and there were some significant sections of dialog that were written entirely in French. Not knowing the language this was a bit frustrating. I was also a bit disappointed in how the book ended. Still, I did enjoy the book overall, and could see Lucy Snowe as being a very good friend. ( )
  282Mikado | Apr 13, 2022 |
I finally read Villette by Charlotte Bronte, and there was so much to love about it.

There were so many sections I tabbed and quotes I loved. It’s an understated type of love though...with low currents and no euphoria!lol

I still don’t see how this book has not been made into a proper movie or reproduction (there’s a 70s one if I remember correctly, but haven’t been able to find it), considering it even has gothic elements that could be explored. Jane Eyre will always have a place in my read shelves, but I’m very happy to finally add Lucy Snowe.

Just four quotes to remember Lucy by:

“While I loved, and while I was loved, what an existence I enjoyed! What a glorious year I can recall – how bright it comes back to me!...if few women have suffered as I did in his loss, few have enjoyed what I did in his love. It was a far better kind of love than common; I had no doubts about it or him: it was such a love as honored protected, and elevated, no less than it gladdened her to whom it was give.”

“No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure. Happiness is a glory shining far down upon us out of Heaven. She is a divine dew which the soul, on certain of its summer mornings, feels dropping upon it from the amaranth bloom and golden fruitage of Paradise.”

“But solitude is sadness” “Yes; it is sadness. Life, however, has worse than that. Deeper than melancholy lies heart-break.”

“The negation of severe suffering was the nearest approach to happiness I expected to know. Besides, I seemed to hold two lives - the life of thought, and that of reality.” ( )
  Eosch1 | Dec 30, 2021 |
purchased at Pendragon
  Overgaard | Aug 14, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 134 (següent | mostra-les totes)

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (160 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Brontë, Charlotteautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Agricola, ChristianeTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Benedict, HelenEpílegautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Cass, KarenNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Cooper, Helen M.Notesautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Giordani, AndreaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Giusti, GeorgeDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Haapanen-Tallgren, TyyniTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lane, MargaretIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lilly, MarkEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Lilly, MarkEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
May, NadiaNarratorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Porter, DavinaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Pucci, Alfred JohnAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Reddick, PeterIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Ritchie, CharlotteNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Rosengarten, HerbertEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Smith, MargaretEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Standring, HeatherAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Weston, MandyNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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My godmother lived in a handsome house in the clean and ancient town of Bretton.
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I believe in some blending of hope and sunshine sweetening the worst lots. I believe that this life is not all; neither the beginning nor the end. I believe while I tremble; I trust while I weep.
No mockery in this world ever sounds to me so hollow as that of being told to cultivate happiness. What does such advice mean? Happiness is not a potato, to be planted in mould, and tilled with manure.
“Do you like him much?'
"I told you I liked him a little. Where is the use of caring for him so very much: he is full of faults.'
"Is he?'
"All boys are.”
Life is so constructed, that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation
Besides, I seemed to hold two lives—the life of thought, and that of reality; and, provided the former was nourished with a sufficiency of the strange necromantic joys of fancy, the privileges of the latter might remain limited to daily bread, hourly work, and a roof of shelter.
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

With neither friends nor family, Lucy Snowe sets sail from England to find employment in a girls boarding school in the small town of Villette. There she struggles to retain her self-possession in the face of unruly pupils, an initially suspicious headmaster, and her own complex feelings, first for the school s English doctor and then for the dictatorial professor, Paul Emmanuel. Charlotte Bront s last and most autobiographical novel is a powerfully moving study of isolation and the pain of unrequited love, narrated by a heroine determined to preserve an independent spirit in the face of adverse circumstances.

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Mitjana: (3.86)
0.5 2
1 20
1.5 4
2 87
2.5 22
3 304
3.5 84
4 448
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