Amy's Slant on literature…

Archive for September 2010

A beautifully written novel about society, social protocols and love. It divides its themes between the pleasure of romance and the demands of society and personal freedom. Edith Wharton grew up privileged and understood these themes very personally. I have enjoyed all her work. Edith Wharton was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Her other wonderful novels include Ethan Frome and The House of Mirth. Enjoy!

Half way through this wonderful book, and I again am understanding themes and nuances I did not understand when I first read this novel. I might mention this novel is on the list in the top 100 greatest novels. Becky Sharp is a girl born in the lower class but makes her way through on tenacity, intelligence and wit. Becky seems to land on her feet in every situation even though so many doors are closed to her due to her lower class status. I recommend this book highly.

I have decided not to write about Ayn Rand for now, she is too complicated and I am not in the frame of mind to discuss someone so controversial. I would prefer to go back to the classics. How about Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray. I read this many years ago but it stays with me as a true favorite. I love the main character Becky Sharp, she has so much tenacity. Has anyone read this novel?

I had to cover this novel. I loved this novel but was not a big fan of Ayn Rand. Born in Russia during very tumultuous times may have shaped her belief system. Objectivism is a concept of rational self-interest and denounced altruism. She wrote both fiction and non fiction on this subject and had and continues to have followers in America and globally. Her Philosophy continues to remain controversial. The fountainhead is one novel that explores her belief system. The main character, Howard Roark, is an uncompromising, idealization of a man who relies only on himself with absolute integrity. Ayn Rands characters are not 3 dimensional but the supporting cast all push to break his individuality and creativity. Ayn Rand said through Howard Roark ” Individual creators are the fountainhead of civilization.” You do not have to subscribe to her beliefs to appreciate her fiction, this is a difficult but compelling read I highly recommend.


September 2010

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