Monday, August 7, 2017

History Today on "Moll Flanders"


After you've finished reading "Moll Flanders," maybe you would like to read Sian Rees'  2011 book about "Moll Flanders."

From the "History Today" review:

If you thought Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders was the 18th century’s Belle de Jour then prepare to stand corrected. Most often portrayed as a bodice-ripping wench sexing up the Georgians, of all fiction’s heroines Defoe’s Moll has perhaps been done the greatest disservice in dramatised adaptations. As Siân Rees’ new book reminds us, Moll was, in fact, not really conceived as an 18th-century gal at all. Although the novel was published in 1722, Defoe imagines his heroine putting pen to paper to recount ‘her’ tale in the late 17th century. By then she is looking back on a long life lived among befrilled Jacobeans and penitent Puritans rather than amid the boisterous and bewigged Hanoverians. Nor was mistress Moll that much of a wench, or at least not in the way subsequent scriptwriters have imagined. To be sure Defoe uses a lengthy subtitle to brand her as ‘twelve years a whore’ – condemning Moll to an inevitably fleshy cinematic fate – yet he also adds that she was ‘five times a wife’. It does not make for such good telly, but it was sex and love within marriages and misfortunate affairs (not procured, prostituted sex) that Defoe featured in Moll Flanders.

 You'll find the rest of the article about it here.







Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Welcome to our 11th Season of Classics Revisited!

First up is Charles Dickens' Bleak House.  From the "Charles Dickens Page," here is a map of the London locations where the events in the story take place.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

We'll be discussing these Keats poems...




Keats' life mask, 1816
 ...during Classics Revisited on December 17, 2015

On First Looking into Chapman's Homer
The Eve of St. Agnes
La Belle Dame Sans Merci
Ode to Psyche
Ode to a Nightingale
Ode on Melancholy
Ode on a Grecian Urn
To Autumn
Bright Star

Optional letters: (1) December 21, 27, 1817, to George and Thomas Keats, on, among other things, "Negative Capability"; (2) October 27, 1818, To Richard Woodhouse, "A Poet Has No Identity."


Saturday, August 22, 2015

A quote just for Classics Revisited fans...

...from Andrea Barrett. Turns out she's one of us!

"Every year I try to read five or six books that I know I should have read in my twenties. There's some pleasure in reading those now, at this late date. They're fresh for me, and the experience can be dazzling. It's an amazing pleasure, it turns out, to read Paradise Lost for the first time at age thirty-eight."

Paris Review, "Art of Fiction" No. 180


NY Post article on Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken"

"The Famous Robert Frost Poem We've Read Wrong Forever" is a review of David Orr's new book "The Road Not Taken."

"...The poem isn't a salute to can-do individualism," he continues. "It's a commentary on the self-deception we practice when constructing the story of our own lives."

You'll find the complete article (until such time as the Post takes it down) right here:
forever/http://nypost.com/2015/08/16/the-famous-robert-frost-poem-weve-read-wrong-forever/




Saturday, January 3, 2015

Sshhhhhhhh!

Nobody gets to see this except people who visit this blog!

Our title for January 2015 is Andrea Barrett's Voyage of the Narwhal.  It happens that The Paris Review published an "Art of Fiction" interview featuring her, and it's an excellent piece....but you can only find it right here.




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Short Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer



For the historical record, these are the stories we are reading and discussing. They were the first six stories in the "Collected Stories," plus two others that members suggested:

Gimpel the Fool
The Gentleman of Cracow
Joy
The Little Shoemakers
The Unseen
The Spinoza of Market Street
Yentl the Yeshiva Boy
Something is There