Friday, August 22, 2008

Edith Wharton overload

I'm still working my way through Hermione Lee's comprehensive biography of Edith Wharton, and it's taking me forever. Lee assumes that if you're reading the biography, you've read all of Wharton's works, which I haven't, at least not since college and grad school. So I'm re-reading some of her novels. I refuse to re-read House of Mirth because the ending annoys me. Lily Bart just needed to get over herself instead of winding up in the position she does.

I did re-read Custom of the Country, which is my favorite of Wharton's novels, aside from Age of Innocence. Undine Spragg is such a great character, going after exactly what she wants, consequences be damned.

My beach reading books were The Reef and Sanctuary, and I didn't really love either of them. I remember reading both ages ago but didn't remember much about them. Now I know why. The characters are overly introspective and annoying.

When Ella and I went to the library to provision for the beach trip, I also picked up a collection of Wharton's novellas, which is next on my list. I think after I read that, though, I'll be taking a long break from anything Wharton related.

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