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View Diary: Bookflurries-Bookchat: What a Character! (170 comments)

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  •  I love that book. (8+ / 0-)

    I hate the ending but I think it's right.  Newland is au fond (is that right?) a chickenshit.  A smart, observant, liberal-minded chickenshit, but still a chickenshit weasel who never really believed in himself.  Very similar to Laurence Seldon in The House of Mirth, IIRC (that one is so sad I can't bring myself to reread it).  Maybe Wharton thought that that even the best representatives of that old order were necessarily flawed?

    •  Haven't read The House of Mirth (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Emmet, Brecht, cfk, aitchdee, Monsieur Georges

      Yeah, I think the ending of The Age of Innocence is believeablefor the character, but there are so many times I want to grab him by the cravat (or whatever they wore back then) give him a good shake and tell him to get a grip.  Wharton is dead-on accurate when she describes his disdain for his wife - who is exactly what he'd wanted her to be, exactly what he chose her for.

      I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

      by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:02:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I want to shake him too, (5+ / 0-)

        but I love his perception.  The scene where Ellen is wearing the loose red robe with fur to the chin but with loose sleeves that fall all the way to THE ELBOW when she raises her arm!  And when he leaves and sends her the very interesting yellow roses with the soft thorns and NO CARD!!!  Oh, the exquisite anguish!  Maybe he really enjoyed the anguish more than he would have relished the reality...  Must think about that.

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