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Daniel Deronda (1876)

door George Eliot

Andere auteurs: Zie de sectie andere auteurs.

LedenBesprekingenPopulariteitGemiddelde beoordelingDiscussies / Aanhalingen
3,426443,119 (3.89)1 / 275
Deronda, a high-minded young man searching for his path in life, finds himself drawn by a series of dramatic encounters into two contrasting worlds: the English country-house life of Gwendolen Harleth, a high-spirited beauty trapped in an oppressive marriage, and the very different lives of a poor Jewish girl, Mirah, and her family. As Deronda uncovers the long-hidden secret of his own parentage, Eliot's moving and suspenseful narrative opens up a world of Jewish experience previously unknown to the Victorian novel.… (meer)
  1. 70
    Portret van een dame door Henry James (ncgraham)
    ncgraham: Surprised this recommendation hasn't already been made ... scholars throughout the years have noted Gwendolen Harleth's influence upon James in creating Isabel Archer.
  2. 20
    The Custom of the Country door Edith Wharton (davidcla)
    davidcla: Wharton's 1913 novel is excellent, and very interesting to read as a companion to George Eliot's Daniel Deronda. Wharton's Undine casts Eliot's Gwendolen in a new light. And vice versa.
  3. 10
    Harrington door Maria Edgeworth (nessreader)
  4. 01
    Ulysses door James Joyce (kara.shamy)
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1-5 van 44 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
George Eliot’s tome, Daniel Deronda, was her last novel and it is anything but an easy read. Quite frequently when the narrative began to move and become quite interesting, Eliot would veer off into another direction and leave me champing at the bit to get back to the story.

Having recently read Middlemarch, I couldn’t help feeling that these characters were all pale and colorless next to those I had just left behind. The character, Daniel Deronda, was a particular puzzle to me, with reactions that did not seem to be realistic and too much of an effort to make him a type instead of an individual. Perhaps I was just too worn out with his “goodness” to really like him. Gwendolen was understandable and flawed enough to make up for it. She was both interesting and represented the most growth and change through the course of the novel.

I started this novel with a pretty serious dislike of Gwendolen, the spoiled girl, but by the end of the novel my attitude toward her had softened. I saw her as a bit of a Hardy character, caught in the awareness of her faults, without any avenue for correcting them or atoning for her sins. Without giving anything of the plot away, I cannot help admiring her resistance of giving in to the basest reaction to her situation. At the last, I think she was much harder on herself than I would have been inclined to be.

Obviously, much of the purpose of this novel is to address the place of Jewish customs and society in 19th Century Europe. Eliot appears to have some very strong feelings about the maintenance of the Jewish people as a separate identity vs. the efforts to absorb them into the Christian society, with the loss of their own specific religion, customs and heritage. I could not help reading this novel with an eye toward what came later, the holocaust and the rise of the Jewish State. I was very interested in what I saw as the struggle to understand Jews and admit them to be on equal standing with their peers. I wonder what kind of reception this got at the time it was written.

Although I recognized Eliot’s purpose being to explain and perhaps endear us to the Jewish characters, they were the characters I could least understand. Mordecai’s almost paranormal recognition of Daniel as a like soul, Mirah’s perfection (along with Daniel’s), and the coldness of Daniel’s mother make them seem less accessible. And, she cannot resist bringing in some of the oldest and most cliched stereotypes when dealing with the Cohens...the typical Jewish family.

I did find this passage from Daniel’s mother very interesting:

”Had I not a rightful claim to be something more than a mere daughter and mother? The voice and the genius matched the face. Whatever else was wrong, acknowledge that I had a right to be an artist, though my father’s will was against it. My nature gave me a charter.”

We are confronted with the idea that a career and motherhood cannot exist side-by-side. She is the bold woman who chooses the career. She hasn’t a speck of motherly feeling. She is painted throughout the entire episode as cold and unnatural. Superwoman had not yet been invented.

While I did find this a worthy read, it cannot live up to the precedents set by Middlemarch and Mill on the Floss to my mind. I had scheduled it to read in 2015 and had to push it over to 2016, so it feels like a personal accomplishment to have it behind me. I will be thinking about it for some time, I am sure and it may be one of those novels that grows in importance as it settles on my mind. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
[2021-11-19]
  pbth1957 | Nov 19, 2021 |
I blame BBC's adaption of Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South for my obsession with this book. You know that gorgeous green striped dress that Margaret wears at the train station? Well I was putting movies away at work and I saw that dress on the back of a cover. It was Romola Garai on the back of BBC's Daniel Deronda. Given the fact that the cover also contained Hugh Dancy (someone I have loved since my Ella Enchanted days), I took it home and was hooked.

Middlemarch had been on my list for a while but this Eliot novel rose in priority. I loved it. I loved Mirah and her fierce devotion to her country, culture and belief system. I loved Daniel and his staunch commitment to behaving in alignment with his beliefs. I felt for Gwendolyn in her naivety and, well, fear. Because isn't it fear that motivates her?

Eliot is a master of creating living, breathing, growing characters. I'm excited to read more of her work. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
I appreciated the complex nature and depth of Daniel Deronda, but didn't enjoy it nearly as much as Middlemarch, and found I got rather bogged down for a while in the middle. ( )
  JBD1 | Jan 30, 2021 |
This book is good but it is pretty intense. I think part of the problem is that today we don't really understand what it was like to be a Jew 100 years ago.

PS I just watched the Masterpiece Theater 2002 version and the guy who plays Deronda is amazing. The other characters not as good, especially Mirah. ( )
  mcsp | Jan 25, 2021 |
1-5 van 44 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
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» Andere auteurs toevoegen (29 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Eliot, Georgeprimaire auteuralle editiesbevestigd
Brockway, HarryIllustratorSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Cave, TerenceIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Hamman, Edouard ConradArtiest omslagafbeeldingSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Hardy, Barbara NathanRedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Jones, CaroleIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Mathias, RobertOmslagontwerperSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
May, NadiaVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
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This work has been published in many different editions of 2, 3, or 4 volumes. Please do not combine individual volumes with the complete work.

Special note on Everyman’s Library editions: Dent originally published the work in 2 volumes, numbers 539 and 540. Subsequently Dent published a new one-volume edition as number 539. Please do not combine the original number 539 with the complete work.
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Deronda, a high-minded young man searching for his path in life, finds himself drawn by a series of dramatic encounters into two contrasting worlds: the English country-house life of Gwendolen Harleth, a high-spirited beauty trapped in an oppressive marriage, and the very different lives of a poor Jewish girl, Mirah, and her family. As Deronda uncovers the long-hidden secret of his own parentage, Eliot's moving and suspenseful narrative opens up a world of Jewish experience previously unknown to the Victorian novel.

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