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The Custom of the Country (The World's…
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The Custom of the Country (The World's Classics) (origineel 1913; editie 1995)

door Edith Wharton (Auteur), Stephen Orgel (Redacteur)

LedenBesprekingenPopulariteitGemiddelde beoordelingDiscussies / Aanhalingen
2,004546,053 (4.01)1 / 305
First published in 1913 and regarded by many critics as her most substantial novel, "The Custom of the Country" is Edith Wharton's powerful saga about the beautiful, ruthless Undine Spragg. A woman of extraordinary ambition and exuberant vitality, Undine is consigned by virtue of her sex to the shadow world of the drawing room and boudoir. Marriage remains the one institution through which she can exercise her will as she entrances man after man, marrying one after the other with protean facility and almost monstrous avidity. A novel that ranges from New York to Paris, from Apex City, Kansas, to Reno, Nevada, "The Custom of the Country" stands as a dark satire of American business, society, and the nouveaux riches, and as Edith Wharton's contribution to the tradition of the American epic.… (meer)
Lid:BeauxArts79
Titel:The Custom of the Country (The World's Classics)
Auteurs:Edith Wharton (Auteur)
Andere auteurs:Stephen Orgel (Redacteur)
Info:Oxford University Press (1995), 410 pages
Verzamelingen:Jouw bibliotheek
Waardering:****
Trefwoorden:owned, read

Werkdetails

The Custom of the Country door Edith Wharton (1913)

  1. 30
    Het huis van vreugde door Edith Wharton (jennybhatt)
    jennybhatt: While the heroine of this novel is also a social climber, she's a more sympathetic portrait that contrasts well.
  2. 20
    Madame Bovary door Gustave Flaubert (Limelite)
    Limelite: This social climbing, greedy, French counterpart of Undine doesn't get the same ending. Her story does, however, benefit from Flaubert's trenchant satire of the bourgoisie.
  3. 20
    Daniel Deronda door George Eliot (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.
  4. 10
    Gejaagd door de wind door Margaret Mitchell (jennybhatt)
    jennybhatt: As social climbers go, Scarlett O'Hara ranks among the top ones. The similarities (marrying or attaching to various men as a way to get ahead) and evolutionary differences (the self-determination to make it solo if needed and feasible) between Undine Spragg and Scarlett O'Hara provide interesting juxtaposition.… (meer)
  5. 00
    Pink and White Tyranny door Harriet Beecher Stowe (espertus)
    espertus: A lighter account of the marriage of a selfish social climber to an upstanding man
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1-5 van 54 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
One of the best endings I've ever read. ( )
  BeauxArts79 | Jun 10, 2021 |
A young girl, trying to get in with the right crowd, worrying about her clothes, exasperated with her parents who refused to give her money for going out, gossiping with and about the latest scandals — sounds like a typical teen novel, right? Now consider that this novel was written and published nearly a century ago, and then consider whether teens today have really changed all that much.

Undine Spragg and her parents have come to New York City from the small town of Apex; Undine intends to have as much fun as possible heedless of expense, while her parents are hoping more conservatively for their daughter to make a good match. As the novel opens, Undine is fretting over a note from the sister of a “little fellow” in whom she has no interest — until she discovers that Ralph Marvell is a member of one of the first families of New York society. This seemingly insignificant young man will eventually become Undine’s husband, and is one of the most sympathetic characters in the entire novel, along with Mr. and Mrs. Spragg, for Undine does not mature gracefully, or perhaps at all throughout.

Despite its age, readers will find timeless characters in this novel. For instance, anyone who has dealt with strong-willed children or teens will recognize this right away: Undine had “two ways of getting things out of [her father] against his principles; the tender wheedling way, and the harsh-lipped and cold… as a child [her parents] had admired her assertiveness, had made Apex ring with their boasts of it; but it had long since cowed Mrs. Spragg, and it was beginning to frighten her husband.” Though originally published in 1913, Edith Wharton’s novel about the spoiled daughter of well-meaning parents hoping to make a foray into New York Society will still ring true amongst those who work with adolescents and young adults, who despite all the years between, still often long for glamor and adventure regardless of society and financial barriers. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
A drag and a disappointment, considering how much I love her other books. Wharton stacks the deck to ensure that we hate Undine: she's shallow and vain and grasping and selfish and petulant and cruel and an insatiable money pit of a wife. Also, needless to say, a terrible mother. But the real *reason* she is all these things is because she is a small town girl from an insignificant family, who has the temerity to believe she's the equal of Wharton's beloved New York "society". I think, in Wharton's better-known books, her snobbery certainly comes through, but it is mixed with an incisive critique of the very society that produced her. Here, her critique is mostly directed at the nouveau riche rubes and bumpkins who dare to infiltrate Fifth Avenue, and it just makes Wharton look petty and mean.

https://donut-donut.dreamwidth.org/803915.html ( )
  amydross | Dec 28, 2020 |
I enjoyed Undine’s self-absorption and social climbing, she’s consistently awful to anyone who loves her, manipulative and unapologetic which doesn’t make her likable but I didn’t mind that, there were moments I was eager for her plans to come to fruition and other times where I very much wanted them to blow up in her face so she made for an entertaining read.

However, as much as it entertained me to anticipate ups and downs in Undine’s life, in actuality, I wanted a bit more of an arc to the story. I don’t mean a growth arc for Undine, plenty of people in real life don’t change over time, I didn’t need her to change, but I did need the plot to change more than it did. With the exception of a life-changing decision made by one male character, for the most part the story followed the same pattern over and over. As mentioned, it wasn’t without entertainment value, I just felt like the plot could have used a few more sharp turns, a few more unexpected challenges for a character as formidable as Undine to bump up against. I wish the tides hadn’t always turned quite so easily for her, even a character made to seem from the start like they’re going to throw a wrench in the works for Undine, ultimately doesn’t prove to be much of a foe.

While the plot didn’t twist quite as regularly as I might have hoped, I’d still recommend reading this, at this point in time pop culture is overflowing with anti-heroes but there still aren’t that many anti-heroines out there and even the ones that do come to mind like Scarlett O’Hara, have the occasional redeeming moment, the same cannot be said of Undine, so in that respect her character is a fairly unique reading experience. ( )
  SJGirl | Nov 15, 2020 |
There's something likeably unlikeable about Undine. The ending is perfect. ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
1-5 van 54 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
The first time I read Edith Wharton’s novel “The Custom of the Country,” which was published in 1913, I felt at once that I had always known its protagonist and also that I had never before met anyone like her. The values of Undine Spragg—who, in the course of the novel, makes a circuitous and sinister journey from Midwestern rube to ruby-drenched new-money empress—are repulsive, and her attempts to manipulate public attention are mesmerizing. For my money, no literary antiheroine can best Undine—a dazzling monster with rose-gold hair, creamy skin, and a gaping spiritual maw that could swallow New York City. People like her have been abundant in American culture for some time, but I never feel invested in their success; more often, I idly hope for their failure. With Undine, however—thanks to the alchemical mix of sympathy and disdain that animates Wharton’s language in the novel and allows her to match Undine’s savagery with plenty of her own—I find myself wanting her to get everything she desires.
toegevoegd door danielx | bewerkThe New Yorker, Jia Tolentino (Sep 1, 2019)
 
Edith Wharton's "The Custom of the Country" turned 100 this year, and the adventures of its heroine, Undine Spragg, remain as brazen today as when she first advanced upon the American scene.
toegevoegd door danielx | bewerkThe Wall Street Journal, Leonard Cassuto (betaal website) (Dec 13, 2013)
 

» Andere auteurs toevoegen (17 mogelijk)

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Edith Whartonprimaire auteuralle editiesberekend
Conlin, GraceVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Johnson, DianeIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Orgel, StephenRedacteurSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Raver, LornaVertellerSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Showalter, ElaineIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Wagner-Martin, LindaIntroductieSecundaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
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"Undine Spragg – how can you?’ her mother wailed, raising a prematurely-wrinkled hand heavy with rings to defend the note which a languid ‘bell-boy’ had just brought in.
Edith Wharton's The Custom of the Country (1913), takes its title from a Jacobean play by Fletcher and Massinger about the buying and selling of women's bodies, but the country whose customs she mercilessly satirizes in the novel is her native America. (Introduction)
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"Just so; she'd even feel aggrieved. But why? Because
it's against the custom of the country. And whose fault
is that? The man's again—I don't mean Ralph I mean
the genus he belongs to: homo sapiens, Americanus.
Why haven't we taught our women to take an interest
in our work? Simply because we don't take enough
interest in THEM."
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First published in 1913 and regarded by many critics as her most substantial novel, "The Custom of the Country" is Edith Wharton's powerful saga about the beautiful, ruthless Undine Spragg. A woman of extraordinary ambition and exuberant vitality, Undine is consigned by virtue of her sex to the shadow world of the drawing room and boudoir. Marriage remains the one institution through which she can exercise her will as she entrances man after man, marrying one after the other with protean facility and almost monstrous avidity. A novel that ranges from New York to Paris, from Apex City, Kansas, to Reno, Nevada, "The Custom of the Country" stands as a dark satire of American business, society, and the nouveaux riches, and as Edith Wharton's contribution to the tradition of the American epic.

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