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The Sot-Weed Factor (1960)

de John Barth

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,930326,993 (4.2)95
This is Barth's most distinguished masterpiece. This modern classic is a hilarious tribute to all the most insidious human vices, with a hero who is "one of the most diverting...to roam the world since Candide." "A feast. Dense, funny, endlessly inventive (and, OK, yes, long-winded) this satire of the 18th-century picaresque novel-think Fielding's Tom Jones or Sterne's Tristram Shandy -is also an earnest picture of the pitfalls awaiting innocence as it makes its unsteady way in the world. It's the late 17th century and Ebenezer Cooke is a poet, dutiful son and determined virgin who travels from England to Maryland to take possession of his father's tobacco (or "sot weed") plantation. He is also eventually given to believe that he has been commissioned by the third Lord Baltimore to write an epic poem, The Marylandiad. But things are not always what they seem. Actually, things are almost never what they seem. Not since Candide has a steadfast soul witnessed so many strange scenes or faced so many perils. Pirates, Indians, shrewd prostitutes, armed insurrectionists - Cooke endures them all, plus assaults on his virginity from both women and men. Barth's language is impossibly rich, a wickedly funny take on old English rhetoric and American self-appraisals. For good measure he throws in stories within stories, including the funniest retelling of the Pocahontas tale -revealed to us in the "secret" journals of Capt. John Smith - that anyone has ever dared to tell." --Time Magazine… (més)
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» Mira també 95 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 32 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Barth has been called "Rabelaisian" at times after the great writer of "Gargantua & Pantagruel" & this is probably the bk that convinced me that that's a deserved description. This is the most epic & bawdy of the 3 Barth novels I read & by far my favorite. To make it even better, the Soft Machine has a song called "The Soft-Weed Factor". ( )
  tENTATIVELY | Apr 3, 2022 |
I found this amusing and pretty well-done, but I can imagine it'd get old for somebody not on a mission to read the likes of Barth. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
Stopped reading after 10%, because the story goes too slow and the old English speech was too hard to follow. ( )
  mslourens | Dec 27, 2020 |
Joel bought me something several years ago for xmas. I already owned it. He kept that copy and asked, teeth gritted, what I wanted. I suggested this and read it over the holidays, particularly one hungover party at my parents'. Punning and ribald, it must be situated just below Pynchon, specifically Mason and Dixon. It is disquieting how polarizing otherwise literate people are concerning Mason and Dixon. One should read the Sot-Weed Factor if at all concerned with the undulating comic possibilities of the Pox.

( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
An interesting book. However, it wavers and meanders to the point that, by the 3/4 point, it loses much of its spark. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining, funny, and witty read. I am not usually a comedic fellow, but this one struck a chord in me. I felt that it had a lot to offer for a writer, a reader, and anyone that appreciates comedy. ( )
  DanielSTJ | Dec 17, 2018 |
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In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and the fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talanted, and yet more talanted than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and string-taut with similies stretched to the snapping point.
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This is Barth's most distinguished masterpiece. This modern classic is a hilarious tribute to all the most insidious human vices, with a hero who is "one of the most diverting...to roam the world since Candide." "A feast. Dense, funny, endlessly inventive (and, OK, yes, long-winded) this satire of the 18th-century picaresque novel-think Fielding's Tom Jones or Sterne's Tristram Shandy -is also an earnest picture of the pitfalls awaiting innocence as it makes its unsteady way in the world. It's the late 17th century and Ebenezer Cooke is a poet, dutiful son and determined virgin who travels from England to Maryland to take possession of his father's tobacco (or "sot weed") plantation. He is also eventually given to believe that he has been commissioned by the third Lord Baltimore to write an epic poem, The Marylandiad. But things are not always what they seem. Actually, things are almost never what they seem. Not since Candide has a steadfast soul witnessed so many strange scenes or faced so many perils. Pirates, Indians, shrewd prostitutes, armed insurrectionists - Cooke endures them all, plus assaults on his virginity from both women and men. Barth's language is impossibly rich, a wickedly funny take on old English rhetoric and American self-appraisals. For good measure he throws in stories within stories, including the funniest retelling of the Pocahontas tale -revealed to us in the "secret" journals of Capt. John Smith - that anyone has ever dared to tell." --Time Magazine

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