Sunday, December 23, 2007

George Eliot

I was reminded yesterday by a correspondent of our mutual admiration for the novels of George Eliot. He mentioned he was rereading some of them, he did not mention which, and I reflected on the last one I had read - Silas Marner - about a year ago. While I remember this reading reminded me of those aspects of Eliot that I enjoy and admire, I also thought that, for me, this was not one of her best works at the head of which I would put Middlemarch. It is set apart for me in the stratosphere of truly "great" works of literature and I love to read again of the travails of Dorothea Brooke, Will Ladislaw and the society they inhabit in 19th century England. One of the primary characteristics of George Eliot that pervades her novels is her intelligence, much the same way that Tolstoy does in his novels. It is this and her love for her heros and heroines in novels like Adam Bede and Felix Holt as well as Middlemarch that demand my admiration and reward it with good reading.

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