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Author Topic: Mission Possible: Re-educate Us
lyra
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Emma's great! Sure it's a gentle comedy of manners about rich, vain, shallow social climbers in a very specific place and society, and furthermore about young people manipulating each other in a marriage market that's almost solely about status and money and as such people often ask 'why on earth is that relevant any more, if it ever even was?' But the genius of Emma is the precision of the observation, which lifts it out of the specific and into the general by itself (see the film Clueless as an example of the universal appeal of the story). There's also as in other Austen novels much more inquiry into the inequalities of society than you expect, much more sharpness in the portrayal of the failings of the upper classes and a keen satirical slant made all the more potent by its subtlety.

it's also witty, beautifully written, fiendishly cleverly structured and immense fun.

Lolita

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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Oh dear, really?

Lolita is a wealth of seemingly contradictory things all at once. It's one of the most convincing portrayals of the experience of romantic obsession ever written, yet at the same time, a study in total lack of self-awareness on the part of the same character. It's Nabokov's most naturalistic book, perhaps his only filmable one, yet in every sentence, almost every word, demonstrates the presence of its author, pulling the strings like a particularly mischievous and perverse deity. It's a whodunnit whose clues go down even to the level of grammar, an infinitely layered puzzle about man's inability to recognise himself in the mirror. And it was written in VN's third language...

"it's also witty, beautifully written, fiendishly cleverly structured and immense fun"

Heart Of Darkness

[ 21.03.2008, 15:23: Message edited by: The Batebe of Toro Foundation ]

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lyra
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What can I say? I've always felt guilty for being too thick to understand Nabokov.
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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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You certainly aren't.

Try reading the annotated edition - it's very helpful in keeing track of the allusions and illusions which go on right the way through...

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lyra
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I might do, thanks. In itself all the metafictional stuff isn't the problem; I think when I read it before I just hated the...erm, I guess, I want to say the 'voice', even though I could see why 'it' was as it was. I may have been looking for the wrong things.
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