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~生まれた町で夢見てきた...~
"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster 
1st-Jul-2006 11:59 pm
bookpile03
E. M. Forster has been one of my favorite authors for many years now, particularly for his short stories, which, oddly, do not get as much critical attention as his novels.

Forster, E. M. Where Angels Fear to Tread. 1905.
Summary: Rebelling against her deceased husband's oppressive family, Lilia goes to Italy and impulsively marries a young Italian man she meets there. Unfortunately, she dies of childbirth, and her family in England is determined to have the product of this union. In the end, though, Gino is unwilling to give up his son, sister-in-law Harriet kidnaps it, and the baby dies tragically.
Comments: This is Forster's first novel, and, as such, it really only hints at the magnificence which is to come. Mostly, the primary conceit of the novel glorifies the "naturalness" of Italy and Italians in the face of stiff British society and propriety...which, personally, as a person of both Anglo-Saxon and Italian descent, I find to be a rather unconvincing dichotomy. Italians can be just as stiff and preoccupied with propriety and the honor of family--read The Godfather if you don't believe me. *sighs* Anyway, I was disappointed by the dearth of the positive female characters that populate Forster's other novels; Lilia was especially annoying and Miss Abbott decidedly unconvincing. There was no real love story, either...unless you count Philip's throes of passion and rejection toward the country of Italy, that is. Of course, Philip gets his homosocial (read: coded homoerotic) moment with Gino and other Italian men at that orgy of an opera. Gino himself is an early incarnation of Forster's fetish for swarthy, low class men.
Notes: Carroll & Graf's Great Novels and Short Stories of E. M. Forster
Rating: 4.5/10 - Though this one is Forster's first, there are a number of other works by Forster that you should be reading first.
Comments 
2nd-Jul-2006 12:28 pm (UTC)
So what should I read first?
2nd-Jul-2006 12:31 pm (UTC)
That depends on what you're looking for. There're the obvious Howard's End and A Passage to India (both of which I've read in part). And, of course, there's Maurice, the first gay novel. I still love his short stories the best, though, and they range way more widely over his career than the novels do.
2nd-Jul-2006 12:55 pm (UTC)
I saw a Passage to India at the uni bookstore, but the Penguin edition has such horrid typing that my eyes bled. I'm still hunting for a better edition somewhere.
2nd-Jul-2006 12:58 pm (UTC)
Which edition was that? I have this one, and, at one point, I used to own this one, but I don't know where it is.
2nd-Jul-2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
It had a jungle green cover with elephants. The type was awful! I resisted buying it though the uni bookshop is cheaper than anywhere else.
2nd-Jul-2006 01:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, there's also an Everyman's Library edition. Have you seen those books? Almost as nice as the Library of America publications.

I wish I had a nice university bookstore close by where I could pick up all those lovely Norton Critical Editions on the cheap...
2nd-Jul-2006 01:09 pm (UTC)
It depends on whether I can find them in this almost bookshop-less place^_^

There are a few Norton Critical Editions at the uni bookshop but they're the same titles every year^^
2nd-Jul-2006 01:11 pm (UTC)
It depends on whether I can find them in this almost bookshop-less place^_^

Which? The Everyman's Library books?

There are a few Norton Critical Editions at the uni bookshop but they're the same titles every year^^

Actually, if you look at their list, there really aren't that many of them, period.
2nd-Jul-2006 01:19 pm (UTC)
Anything really^_^

There's only the Pride&Prejudice version and The Scarlet Letter at the uni bookshop.
2nd-Jul-2006 01:32 pm (UTC)
I meant to ask you about the whole "bookshop-less" thing. When you said only two bookstores in the entire country, did that mean books in ANY language or just stores that sell English-language books?
2nd-Jul-2006 01:42 pm (UTC)
I was talking about English-language books. But even the ones selling Arabic books can be counted on one hand^^

"Bookshops" here sell small dictionaries, newspapers, tons of glossy magazines, and if you're lucky translated trash romances.
2nd-Jul-2006 01:59 pm (UTC)
Okay. That's what I thought. On the other hand, I don't know of ANY stores around me that sell Arabic books around me (barring learning language books). ^^;;;

"Bookshops" here sell small dictionaries, newspapers, tons of glossy magazines, and if you're lucky translated trash romances.

If you add self-help books, religion-related stuff, and bestsellers for adults and children (as long as they're not too intelligent or controversial), it sounds like Walmart. :P
2nd-Jul-2006 02:27 pm (UTC)
I found a Persian newspaper once in a small shop in Connecticut^_^
2nd-Jul-2006 02:56 pm (UTC)
Well, yeah. You can find foreign language periodicals whereever there is demand for that language, but books per se are rather hard to come by. As far as I can recall, Borders and B&N only stock a token selection of Spanish-language titles. (And so does Walmart. >_< Naturally.)
1st-Aug-2006 04:32 am (UTC)
Review archived.
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