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Scenes of Clerical Life (Oxford World's…
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Scenes of Clerical Life (Oxford World's Classics) (1858 original; edició 2015)

de George Eliot (Autor), Josie Billington (Autor), Thomas A. Noble (Editor)

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When Scenes of Clerical Life--Eliot's first work of fiction--first appeared in print anonymously in 1857, critics immediately hailed it for its humorous irony, the truthfulness of its presentation of the lives of ordinary men and women, and its compassionate acceptance of human weakness. Thethree stories that comprise the volume foreshadow Eliot's greatest work, and an acquaintance with them is essential to a full understanding of one of the greatest English novelists.… (més)
Membre:thompsonbenjy1
Títol:Scenes of Clerical Life (Oxford World's Classics)
Autors:George Eliot (Autor)
Altres autors:Josie Billington (Autor), Thomas A. Noble (Editor)
Informació:Oxford University Press (2015), Edition: Second, 416 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

Scenes of Clerical Life de George Eliot (1858)

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(29 July 2017, Oxfam)

Like other early books (that Jane Austen book from the other month springs to mind, and early Hardy in a way), this felt hard to get into, especially the first story, nad a bit over melodramatic, although the writer of the introduction of my copy seems to claim she’s realistic, not melodramatic. Because of the short story format, the characters are by definition not as well-established as in her novels, and although the web of society is there, it’s not fleshed out so much.

“The Sad Fortunes of Amos Barton” took a lot of getting past some old people visiting each other before we got to the story. There’s some good observation of our central vicar character, including sharp comments about how a tallow dip candle that belongs in the kitchen candlestick doesn’t match as well the silver candlesticks kept for best, and I liked Eliot’s boldness in concentrating on a fairly ordinary man and situation; her careful exactness on the effect of the gentry turning the head of a local vicar and the scene where the maid rebukes the fine lady are nicely done. There’s a weird bit of random criticism of the reverend’s hair, odd in a book that was apparently written from the life. We hover over house calls and clerical meetings in a style that will be familiar to those used to Eliot, and we also have a fair bit of her authorial voice and metafiction.

“Mr Gilfil’s Love-Story” gives us the back-story of someone mentioned in the first story, and as it’s told in flashback, we know it’s going to be a tragedy. It’s a bit odd and melodramatic, with Eliot really too far outside her main characters to make them attractive to the reader: she’s best on the controlling instincts of the old man of the family and there are some great scenes between the abandoned and new loves. Mr G is a truly, rather Iris Murdochian, good character and it’s interesting to see how Eliot develops him.

“Janet’s Repentance” is the longest of the stories and covers domestic violence (it’s very good on why Janet remains trapped in her awful situation) and alcoholism. I loved the narrator, an invisible but present figure who is there in church and chapel with Janet but then torments his younger sister with impressions of some of the characters. He reminded me of Murdoch’s narrator in “The Philosopher’s Pupil” – how can he see inside all the houses? Anyway, unfortunately there are too many women characters of a certain age to not confuse me, and the plot relies on having a fairly detailed knowledge/understanding of religious sects and divisions which is perhaps retreating further and further from the modern reader: Eliot does fill in the background but I was a bit confused there, too. Mrs Crewe and Mr Jerome are, again, selfless and good characters who work for the benefit of others, and this redeems the story.

So, sorry, George Eliot, this didn’t hit the spot for me. I’m sure many other people have read this and can change my mind … maybe. ( )
1 vota LyzzyBee | Jun 24, 2018 |
Loved it.
  ivanfranko | Jul 8, 2017 |
Escenas de la vida parroquial fue la primera obra de ficción publicada por George Eliot. Consta de tres nouvelles que aparecieron anónimamente por entregas en la revista Blackwood’s y luego se publicarían en un libro en 1858, ya firmado por «George Eliot». Si Middle­march sería la crónica de la vida en provincias, estas Escenas, situadas en las ficticias poblaciones de Shepperton y Milby, en las Warwickshire, lugar de naci­miento de la autora, son una crónica de la vida rural, trazada especialmente alrededor de la figura del párroco, uno de los personajes más relevantes de la narrativa británica del siglo XIX.
  BIBLIOTECAZIZUR | Jan 2, 2017 |
I found these novellas each quite different. "Amos Barton", the first and shortest was probably my favourite. Everyone in it was resolutely ordinary and nothing really remarkable happened, but it felt very true to life (and had a very sad ending).

I didn't like "Mr Gilfil's Love Story" at all and the fact that he was a clergyman was so peripheral to the story that it seemed a bit of a stretch describing the story as a scene of "Clerical Life". Tina had echoes for me of Miriam in "Daniel Deronda", but with homicidal tendencies. Her character didn't ring true to me at all, although Arthur and Miss Assher were all too convincing. The story was both boring and melodramatic.

Finally "Janet's Repentance" was the longest and had it all - domestic violence, alcoholism, fallen women. Despite George Eliot's rejection of organized religion, it was extremely sympathetic to belief lived out in compassion. I found Mr Dempster's death a bit convenient - it solved Janet's dilemma, which it would have been interesting to pursue. ( )
1 vota pgchuis | Oct 9, 2014 |
Eliot's first novel is actually three somewhat related novellas in pastoral settings and with more-or-less prominent clerics. While Eliot's promise is easy to see, this early attempt seems claustrophobic, perhaps due to its structure. The tone has the carefulness and inhibited language of many debuts, though her humor (and archness) often carry the day. The plots of the novellas are, in contrast, fairly overblown and unnecessarily dramatic. As a modern feminist reader I can't get behind Janet's forgiveness of her husband, which seems to reinscribe the woman's subservient role in the treacly way that Eliot typically reserves for offensively cute little children in subsequent novels. I am left with am impression of moral simplicity rather than the moral complexity I usually enjoy in her work. My overall impression is of wearing a corset laced just a little too tightly--I can't quite get a full, deep breath of Eliot. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 29, 2013 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Eliot, Georgeautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Billington, JosieCol·laboradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Buckland, A HIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gray, BerylEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Gribble, JenniferIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Handley, GrahamEditorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Matheson, AnnieIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
McCaddon, WandaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Millar, H. R.Il·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Noble, Thomas A.Editorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Reid, CharlesIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Rhys, GraceIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Thomson, HughIl·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.
Mine, I fear, is not a well-regulated mind: it has an occasional tenderness for old abuses; it lingers with a certain kindness over the days of nasal clerks and top-booted parsons, and it has a sigh for the departed shades of vulgar errors.
We are poor plants buoyed up by the air-vessels of our own conceit: alas for us, if we get a few pinches that empty us of that windy self-subsistence!
He was more apt to fall into a blunder than into a sin.
Reader! did you ever taste such a cup of tea as Miss Gibbs is this moment handing to Mr Pilgrim? Do you know the dulcet strength, the animating blandness of tea sufficiently blended with real farmhouse cream? No—most likely you are a miserable town-bred reader, who think of cream as a thinnish white fluid, delivered in infinitesimal pennyworths down area steps; or perhaps, from a presentiment of calves' brains, yourefrain from any lacteal addition, and rasp your tongue with unmitigated bohea. You have a vague idea of a milch cow as probably a white-plaster animal standing in a butterman's window, and you know nothing of the sweet history of genuine cream, such as Miss Gibbs's: how it was this morning in the udders of the large sleek beasts, as they stood lowing a patient entreaty under the milking-shed; how it fell with a pleasant rhythm into Betty's pail, sending a delicious incense into the cool air; how it was carried into that temple of moist cleanliness, the dairy, where it quietly separated itself from the meaner elements of milk, and lay in mellowed whiteness, ready for the skimming-dish which transferred it to Miss Gibbs's glass cream-jug. If I am right in my conjecture, you are unacquainted with the highest possibilities of tea; and Mr Pilgrim, who is holding that cup in his hands, has an idea beyond you.
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Wikipedia en anglès (1)

When Scenes of Clerical Life--Eliot's first work of fiction--first appeared in print anonymously in 1857, critics immediately hailed it for its humorous irony, the truthfulness of its presentation of the lives of ordinary men and women, and its compassionate acceptance of human weakness. Thethree stories that comprise the volume foreshadow Eliot's greatest work, and an acquaintance with them is essential to a full understanding of one of the greatest English novelists.

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