Subject: Re: alternate englands: when?
vendersleighc at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 8 22:17:23 EST 2005
> I suppose we must add Jonathan Whatsit and Mr
Oddly (or whatever it's
called - a curiously forgettable title) to this
list. Certainly early
nineteenth century, to judge by the cast list.
<I've just started reading "Jonathan Strange and
Mr. Norrell". It is firmly
in the Regency period; the chapters even have
dates on them. A quick
check - it runs from autumn 1806 to spring 1817.>
Hey! I'm reading it too. Found it a bit slow at
first, kept checking the chapter list for when
the Strange fellow was going to turn up, but now
I'm well into it I find it is a book well worth
grappling with. Grappling in both senses, it is a
most weighty tome so I read it mostly in bed,
with the duvet bunched up to make a book rest.
Anyhow what i have noticed is that it is one of
those books with a screen narrator. The apparent
author seems to be writing a generation or so
after the events of the novel. Paraphrasing,
there is a reference for example to those yellow
curtained magicians booths that the reader may
remember from childhood. It would seem to stand
in the same chronological relation to it's
subject as Vanity Fair. The style of writing also
seems to me to be definitely that of the mid
nineteenth century or later rather than Regency.
I've only a scrappy knowledge of Victorian
literature -- has anyone read JS & MN who feels
able to comment on the style more closely, ie is
there any particular writer that Susannah Clarke
is taking off?
Also, talking of Thackeray, after Vanity Fair any
recomendations as to what next?
<Oh, and another alternate England- Thursday
Next's 1980s. Personally, if Ms
Next were to travel to our
world, I'd expect her to see shoulder pads,
leggings, stripes of blusher and
Bananarama and Adam Ant, Ah, the nostalgia!
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