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Kermis der ijdelheid (1877)

door William Makepeace Thackeray

Andere auteurs: Zie de sectie andere auteurs.

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13,641188359 (3.88)1 / 771
A classic, set during the Napoleonic wars, giving a satiricl picture of a worldly society and revolving around the exploits of two women from very different backgrounds.
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 Monthly Author Reads: December: Thackeray : Vanity Fair5 ongelezen / 5rainpebble, januari 2011

» Zie ook 771 vermeldingen

Engels (176)  Italiaans (4)  Spaans (3)  Frans (1)  Zweeds (1)  Portugees (1)  Duits (1)  Alle talen (187)
1-5 van 187 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
A delightful book; Thackeray's characters are made to love or hate, as the case may be. This book is exceedingly long, and you have to constantly refer to the notes for context, but what you get out of it is worth it. Who doesn't love to laugh at English"aristocracy"? Thackeray excels at his art. ( )
  burritapal | Oct 23, 2022 |
This book might be unique in that it not only claims to have no hero, but in fact has no hero. What it does have is a cast of duplicitous, weak or inane characters, none of whom stir much in the way of either pity, empathy, or affinity. It also has the bad girl to end all bad girls, Miss Rebecca Sharp. I doubt anyone would argue that Becky is not the most interesting character in the book, and while some might admire the good little Amelia, few could actually like her.

Vanity Fair is quite a bit longer than it needs to be and some chapters meander aimlessly, but this, I believe, can be attributed to the method in which it was released. When a book is being presented to its audience in a serial form, it must go on for a prearranged period of time and acquire a certain length. Were it being edited for release as a novel today, I feel sure it would be shortened considerably.

Thackeray breaks the fourth wall constantly, talking to the reader and urging him to see the point he has just made, in a way that can become irritating at times. But, even this conceit works for me for the most part. Toward the end of the book, the narrator explains that he has “just met” the principles, which sent my head spinning, for how could one know all the details set forth in such omniscient fashion if one just had a chance encounter with these people toward the end of their stories? Up to this point, I had accepted the narrator as an all-seeing sort of presence, not a literal acquaintance of the characters, so it was discombobulating to say the least.

Vanity Fair is a moral tale, or more correctly a tale about lack of morals. One wonders if this society actually had any or if everything that passed for morals was pretense.

At one point, Thackery compares the behavior of these persons to a mermaid and her tail:
Those who may peep down under waves that are pretty transparent and see it writhing and twirling, diabolically hideous and slimy, flapping amongst bones, or curling around corpses; but above the waterline, I ask, has not everything been proper, agreeable, and decorous, and has even the most squeamish immoralist in Vanity Fair a right to cry fie.

I believe he is trying to impress upon his reader that this is a world of pretense, a world that cares more for appearance than it ever could for virtue. Indeed, we watch Becky Sharp navigate this society in the most unscrupulous way possible, and we cannot help feeling that her flaws and shortcomings are more about survival than evil.

And, there seems to be a particular emphasis on women and their relationships to one another:

I am tempted to think that to be despised by her sex is a very great compliment to a woman.

and

As they say, the persons who hate Irishmen most are Irishmen; so, assuredly, the greatest tyrants over women are women.

It does indeed seem that it is the fairer sex, who are proposed to have the gentler hearts, the nurturing instincts and the sweeter dispositions, who wield the knife most cruelly. The men, while equally dissipated, seem somehow more gullible and unaware than hateful or manipulative.

I had a hard time deciding what rating to give this tome. I did enjoy it and found myself caught up in the story at times. There were also moments when I might have laid it aside and never picked it up again without the slightest hesitation. It is not the best of Victorian literature to me...it has none of the power of Eliot, none of the charm of Dickens, and none of the atmosphere of Hardy. In short, it cannot be ranked with the best of its time, but it cannot be dismissed either. I could not help feeling sorry for Thackeray, knowing that he suffered in comparison to Dickens in his lifetime and will continue to do so throughout literary history.

I am happy to have read Vanity Fair at last. There are surely some important ideas addressed and some things of value that can be taken away from it, but it is not the kind of book that pleads well to be read again. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
Reading this was absorbing and enjoyable despite a whole slew of reasons why I should never have liked it. It's a long book, 800+ pages. Thackery, like Dickens, was clearly being paid by the word. It wanders all over the place, lots of distractions. There is no character without more flaws than strengths. The people all are snobs. There are very few real people. Success is getting into the vacuous aristocracy. Thackery loves to use gratuitous phrases in French, with some Latin, German, and even Greek, without translation - you're supposed to be in the know. There is gratuitous anti-Semitism. There is colonialism with no regard for the subjugated populations. The names of the characters are often unclear, such as Mrs Crawley without being evident which Mrs Crawley. I can only assume once again it's Thackery saying - you're supposed to be in the know. Very frustrating.

Given all that, why did I like it? It taught me something about myself. I was a sucker for all the cliff hangers and the dropped hints. They kept me wondering what was going to happen next. I was able to dismiss all the superfluous descriptions by wanting to know where this was going.

There are just three main characters, two young women, Amelia and Rebecca, who both attended the same finishing school. One coming from a rich merchant family and the other an orphan who definitely is the more talented but eventually we find out she's totally unscrupulous. The third is Captain Dobbin who is bashful and totally in love with Amelia but since she was early promised to his best friend, a cad, he makes sure his friend does in deed marry Amelia but the cad dies in the battle of Waterloo. Amelia listlessly mourns her husband for fifteen years while Dobbin supports her without her knowing. Financial problems ensue. Amelia just frets while Becky schemes. We know the story is wrapping up in the last fifty pages as the older generation which has disowned the girls finally die off and eventually the right people inherit some money. Rather than give away the ending you'll just have to read it yourself. ( )
  Ed_Schneider | Aug 10, 2022 |
I appreciated Rebecca's sly wittiness, resourcefulness, and ruthless pursuit of a better station in life. However, even on 1.5x speed the audio was soooo long. There were some bright spots in the story but overall it was drag. ( )
  christyco125 | Jul 4, 2022 |
Wonderful, read in grad school in (relative) youth. Decades later, I often passed his house near the Kensington High Street (near the old Barkers Store), on the same square with John Stuart Mill. Maybe a mile away is Apsley House, near Hyde Park's SE corner, not THE HP Corner. The Duke of Wellington's house, he known for the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo; but I urge you to read about that battle, won really by the Prussian troops who came in to Napoleon's rear. Here John Carey's intro notes that this, the only English novel possibly comparable to War and Peace. Two gallant military beaux, including Amelia's Osborne, head to battle Napoleon in 1815.

I recall that Thackeray's daughter asked her father, "Can you write a book more like Mr Dickens'?"

Becky Sharp holds our attention, although Amelia is featured. I love Thackeray's idea of conversation, a battle. (As in Austen, though not explicit there.) In conversing with Becky, "Thus was George utterly routed" not that Rebecca was in the right, but she'd managed to put him in the wrong; "he now shamefully fled"(p.161, Penguin, 2001). The author makes great verbs from nouns, as when Briggs thinks back to her crush on the writing master, when they both intoned evening hymns, "writing-master and she were both quavering out of the same psalm-book"(169)

In my doctoral dissertation on literary conventions "This Critical Age," I mention women swooning, very common in 19C English novels. Here, the elder Miss Crawley, on learning of Becky's marriage, "fell into a faint"(183). Thackery's chooses perfect verbs, as when married women use smiles to "cajole, or elude, or disarm" (191). Before radio, Becky plays piano and sings--as I heard down streets in Milano, and later in Napoli at the library attached to the Opera House.

Familiar with auctions in my grandparents' Norway, Maine, I was surprised to find the Sedley house auction only through agents. Here we find what I never noticed fifty years ago, racism against those agents, and my room-mates. Attending the high-achieving Amherst College, both my room-mates were smarter and more accomplished than I, and both Jews. Neither had the "Asian face" Thackeray remarks, nor "hooked beaks" Becky remarks (193). Every race in its place, every ethnicity like the French and African. Now Huck Finn is denounced for the common racial moniker of the time, which makes me speculate which of our common assumptions will be disapproved, even hated, in a few decades. ( )
  AlanWPowers | Jun 25, 2022 |
1-5 van 187 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)

» Andere auteurs toevoegen (80 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Thackeray, William Makepeaceprimaire auteuralle editiesbevestigd
Ball, RobertIllustratorSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Beach, Joseph WarrenIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Carey, JohnIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Carey, JohnRedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Castle, JohnReaderSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Cheshire, GerardMedewerkerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Dospevska, NeliVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Hill, JamesArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Macchi, RuthVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Marquand, JohnIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Melosi, LauraVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Nierop, A. vanVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Pagetti, CarloMedewerkerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Pym, RolandIllustratorSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Ricci Miglietta, MauraVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Ridley, M. R.IntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Saintsbury, GeorgeRedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Stewart, J. I. M.IntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Stewart, J. I. M.RedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Sutherland, JohnRedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Sutton, GeorginaVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Trollope, JoannaIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Tuomikoski, AinoVertalerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Weldon, FayIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Winterich, John T.IntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd

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A classic, set during the Napoleonic wars, giving a satiricl picture of a worldly society and revolving around the exploits of two women from very different backgrounds.

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3 edities van dit boek werden gepubliceerd door Penguin Australia.

Edities: 0141439831, 0141199644, 0141199547

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