Aug. 7th, 2015

kortirion_among_the_trees: (Bookworm)
I have changed my mind completely about George Eliot.  An experiment with Middlemarch as an undergraduate had put me off her for a while, and subsequent acquaintance with Adam Bede reconciled me to her, but no more than that.  But now that I've read The Mill on the Floss I think she's amazing.  Leagues ahead of any other Victorian novelist of note.  I've finally understood what 'realism' means thanks to that book.  It's a pity reading her requires so much mental effort :)

Also, I always knew - theoretically - that George Orwell was George Gissing's heir.  But now that I'm finally reading New Grub Street, I realise just to what extent Orwell had ripped him off.

It was jarring, though, to go directly from The Mill on the Floss to New Grub Street.  My old feeling that Gissing is second-rate remains unchanged, and placing him side by side with Eliot really brings his dreariness (in every sense) into relief.  

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Kortirion_Among_The_Trees

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