Monday, August 1, 2022

La coscienza di George Eliot

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), 1850

George Eliot makes psychoanalysis look like a bush league backwater. Dorothea Brooke, the heroine or actually anti-heroine of Middlemarch evolves from a troubled character with a distorted notion of self-sacrifice to a trouble character who finally gratifies her desires—at the loss of both her social position and wealth.  Dorothea’s husband, the famous intellectual Casaubon, is a prelate but the brilliance of the novel lies in its absence of judgment. It’s an analysis of conscience rather than morality. Deliberation infuses the narrative. Actions are anticipated under the pressure of circumstance and nearly all the decisions finally taken are tarnished by ambivalence. There’s always a cost and few characters, with the exception of the once feckless Fred Vincy, ever find that their lives untarnished by previous missteps. However, is this not an indelible description and prescription for living? Eliot was actually ahead of her time. The title of a novel written decades later by a writer of totally different disposition might throw light on the predicament Eliot adumbrates. The Confessions of Zeno is one of the translations of Italo Svevo’s novel. In the original Italian it’s La coscienza di Zeno.

read "Sense and Sensibility" by Francis Levy, TheScreamingPope

and listen to "Why Do Fools Fall in Love? by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers

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