Big Readers Forum Index


Faulks on Fiction
Page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Big Readers Forum Index -> Adaptations, books read on radio, etc.
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Please Register and Login to this forum to stop seeing this advertising.






Posted:     Post subject:



Back to top
Chibiabos83
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3435


Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:23 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote

Green Jay wrote:
He's not even reading the ones where girl meets boy, loses boy or is thwarted, gets boy in the end.

Or the ones where girl meets girl or boy meets boy. Or the ones where nobody meets anyone (...Walden?).


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Evie
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, at least Sebastian Faulks included a boy meets boy novel!

Must admit the ones where no one meets anyone appeal more as I get older...  :0)


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
MikeAlx



Joined: 17 Nov 2008
Posts: 2108


Location: Seaford, East Sussex

PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mention of boy-meets-girl always reminds me of Douglas Adams' description of plutonium rock group Disaster Area:-
Quote:
Their songs are on the whole very simple and mostly follow the familiar theme of boy-being meets girl-being beneath a silvery moon, which then explodes for no adequately explored reason.



_________________
Cheers, Mike
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
John Q



Joined: 05 Apr 2010
Posts: 47



PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I once borrowed that huge penguin edition of Clarissa out of the library, not sure it is in print now. Not the best format to read it in but the only available way really that presented itself.  I wonder what the chances are of that in the coming times?  Anyway,  the book finally wore me out around page 1000, it actually was around 1200 pages long.  It is an incredibly skilled book I think, Richardson’s sustained mastery of the widely different voices is amazing.  I think that was my chief feeling as I read the book, admiration for the technical accomplishment, rather  than being particularly moved by Clarissa’s plight. Nobody I think can ever match this  example of  the epistolary novel .  But, the book struck me, and this is the reason I made remained untouched emotionally by it,  as ever so slightly pantomimic, especially in the character of Lovelace.  I mean where did Richardson dig him up? The age of Casanova?  The reader gives a mental hiss, or this reader did, as one of his letters appears  on the page.   There is nice light relief in the epistles of  the sharp witted Miss Howe, Clarissa’s friend, who is always mocking her faithful admirer Mr Hickman. But Mr Hickman is well off, so Miss  Howe’s mother makes sure that he is always welcome at the Howe’s home.  Jane Austen as we all know was a great admirer of Richardson, I wonder if the  idea for some of her independent minded females came from Miss Howe.
Why didn’t I finish the book?  I think like trying to read Remembrance of Things Past there is just too much of it, and the hot house atmosphere of the novel becomes rather unbearable eventually.  I intend trying   his Sir Charles Grandison though, , which hopefully  has a  calmer less torrid plot. It was his last work and again I think in epistolary form
And yes, I agree, for Amis to say that Fielding was unquestionable the novelist of that century is far too dogmatic.  Amis should be careful or he will start sounding like his father, which would be  sad, very sad.


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
TheRejectAmidHair



Joined: 19 Nov 2008
Posts: 3864


Location: Staines, Middlesex

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is cetainly something about the - as you aptly put it - "hothouse atmosphere" of the novel that makes teh experience of reading it somewhat oppressive. I think this is partly due to the tremendous cumulative weight of it all: the screw turns almost infinitely slowly - one can barely see it turning: and yet, it turns remorselessly, the tension tightening over incredibly long stretches to almost unbearable levels of intensity.

Lovelace seems at first a conventional villain, but, after some one third of the novel - after Clarissa ecapes from one prison to find herself in another - Lovelace emerges, for me at least, no as a pantomime villain as I had for some reason expected, but as a character of frightening intensity. I think it becomes clear that he is mentally unbalanced. He actually admires and respecst Clarissa, but th every fact that he does so impels him to torture and to torment her. He needs to exert his power over what he recognises as pure and noble - indeed, especially over what he recognises as pure and noble. There are some moments where teh epithet "Dostoyevskian" is not misapplied.

The exertion of power is a central theme of the novel. Richardson depicts what Thucydides had depicted in a different context: where power exists, it will be exercised - if for no better reason than the fact that it is there. The psychology of power is delineated in great detail: there are those who exercise power simply because they can; and there are those who go along with this - who aid and abet the exercise of power, because they are too weak to object. They won't admit this to themselves of course: they convince themselves that this exercise of power is actually for the greater good. And then, there is Clarissa, the victim of the various abuses of power, but for whom it becomes a point of honour not to submit, even if the refusal to submit leads to the destruction of one's self: but she is aware that her will is all she has left, and if she lets go of that, she is left with nothing.

As for Martin Amis, I've long stopped taking seriously what he has to say about anything. He was trendy for a while back in the 80s and 90s, but is now reduced to saying silly things in public just to get himself noticed.



_________________
See my blog: http://argumentativeoldgit.wordpress.com/

(Go on! - You'd like it!  - Honest!)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
chris-l



Joined: 27 Nov 2008
Posts: 731



PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had hoped to watch this series, but my social life, although pretty limited, intervened. It sounds as if it might have beeen worthwhile. Maybe it will be repeated before too long? I suppose I could have watched it on the computer, but somehow, that never feels quite the same...


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Evie
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, Chris, I don't like watching things on the computer either.  I have a BT Vision box, and they are planning to make iPlayer available through that at some point, which would be great.

I enjoyed the third episode - on snobs - a bit less than the other two, but that probably reflects my own personal views more than anything.  I felt his discussion of Emma, for example, was unsatisfactory, though his look at Jeeves was fun, and the choice of Brick Lane as the modern novel was excellent - and interesting to tie it together at the end with Emma, the book with which he had started.

I do like the range of his choice of novels, and on the whole I enjoy Faulks's analysis of them, though could do without the gimmicky bits (we don't need to see him having his eyes tested, for example, to illustrate the idea that snobs are people who can't see themselves and others clearly), and some of the talking heads are a bit of a waste of time.

Villains in the last part next week.  I wonder if more are planned - I would like to see more.  As someone else said (sorry, I forget who!), he is a better host than I was expecting, and to have this followed by The Tudors means that Saturday TV is actually worth watching for a few short weeks!


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Evie
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed the final part of Faulks on Fiction - a programme devoted to villains.  Again, an excellent choice of novels, I thought (Clarissa, Oliver Twist, Woman in White, Gormenghast, Lord of the Flies, Raj Quartet, Notes on a Scandal),and the talking heads were generally quite good this week.

I haven't read Gormenghast, but saw the wonderful TV series with Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Steerpike so knew a little about him, and found the discussion of his character very interesting; similarly with the Raj Quartet, I haven't read the books, but The Jewel in the Crown ranks for me as one of the very best TV dramas ever, and Tim Piggott-Smith's portrayal of the complex but vile Col Merrick was spellbinding, and the discussion of that character was good too.  

I will really miss this series - hope we might have more in future - it's encouraged me to visit and revisit a lot of books, and despite not liking Faulks's own fiction, I found him an excellent presenter for this.


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Green Jay



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 1605


Location: West Sussex

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found my husband watching this episode - I came downstairs in the last minutes - and he hardly ever reads fiction! Will have to catch up on i-player.

Evie, you must read the Raj Quartet novels. They are brilliant, of course much more complex than a telly series could ever be, although that particular series I did find stunning. And much longer than it would be if made today. And you must read the Cazalet novels ...this is a thought from another thread. I just know you will have some fabulous reading stacked up before you if you do.


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Evie
Site Admin


Joined: 24 Oct 2008
Posts: 3569


Location: Kenilworth, Warwickshire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know, I have been meaning to read both for so many years!  Things just get in the way - who knows why my reading is so disorganised!!  At least it means, as you say, that I have big treats in store.  I still need to read Olivia Manning's Levant trilogy too, having only read the Balkan ones, which are utterly superb.

Sadly my library doesn't have The Light Years anywhere in the county, so I might just have to buy it...

Might have to try to emulate Margaret Thatcher and survive on four hours sleep a night, in order to get all my reading done!  (Don't worry, not planning emulate her in any other way...)



Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Big Readers Forum Index -> Adaptations, books read on radio, etc. All times are GMT
Page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next
Page 7 of 8

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Card File  Gallery  Forum Archive
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group
Big Readers Theme by Mike Alexander
Based on Artemis by Vjacheslav Trushkin
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum