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10 thoughts on “Middlemarch

  1. Stephanie Stephanie says:

    I'm thoroughly embarrassed to admit that this book was first recommended to me by my stalker Subseuently I avoided MIDDLEMARCH like the plague because it became associated with this creepy guy who thought the fastest way to my heart was to stare at me follow me home and leave obscene messages on my voice mail Flash forward 2 years when I'm purusing yet another of my favorite tomes THE BOOK OF LISTS I'm intrigued to see that the one book that consistently turns up on the Ten Favorite Novels list of various authors is you guessed it MIDDLEMARCH With recommendations from James Michener Ken Follett and William Trevor I figured this was a book worth readingWhat a beautiful surprise Nobody depicts the depth and breath of society better than George Elliot She shows both how people are shaped by their times and vice versa Add to this an intriguing story of Dorothea Brooke a well meaning woman who wants to make a positive mark on the world Despite her best intentions Dorothea soon learns that the world will go on with or without her help This book is a sobering lesson for dreamers like myself who are always pondering How can I make a difference? After reading MIDDLEMARCH I suspect George Elliot would answer Stop taking yourself so seriously and get on with your life Nobody wants your help so mind your own business A refreshing attitude particularly in this self important cultureSo long story short If someone starts stalking you change your phone number File a complaint with human resources Get a restraining order But before you do be sure to ask el nutjob for some book and movie recommendations Because chances are after obsessively watching your every move this freak probably knows you better than you know yourself

  2. Siobhan Siobhan says:

    Best Goddamned Book EverSeriously this shit's bananas B A N A N A S 750 pages in and you're still being surprised It's 800 pages long and EVERY SINGLE PAGE ADVANCES THE PLOT You cannot believe it until you read it This is a writer's book By which I mean and I say this with love that if you write but you do not love Middlemarch with everything that's in you then stop writing Yesterday

  3. Melanie Melanie says:

    Oh the slow burn of geniusI always tread lightly when it comes to using the word genius but there is no way around it hereIt took me a good 200 pages to fully get into the novel and its ornate 19th century turn of phrase but very uickly I was so completely spellbound by its intelligence and wisdom that I couldn't put it downGeorge Eliot's astonishing authorial voice is something to behold It takes the misadventures of a handful of characters and peels their layers one by one with so much subtlety that you often have to reread a sentence several times to fully grasp the keenness of its observationsThe entire novel feels like a giant lens zooming in and out of human follies with such gusto and empathy that you cannot help but feel privileged to witness the inner workings of people's thoughts and reactions Not only does Middlemarch make you ponder many aspects of our motivations desires aspirations limitations ideals dreams behavior and inclinations but it keeps you on the edge of your seat like a ferocious psychological thrillerThe end will leave you teetering on the brink revisiting all of your personal deep seated assumptions about people what is a successful life what is a good marriage how you measure goodness and your impact on others' livesA work of vertiginous beauty

  4. Madeline Madeline says:

    Page 97Ugh I'm trying guys I really am But right now I'm about 100 pages into this book and the thought of getting through the next 700 is making me want to throw myself under a train And I almost never leave a book unread so this is serious However since it's on The List I feel I should at least try to give it another chance But it's not going to be easyHere in simplified list form are the reasons I really really want to abandon this book It's everything I hate about Austen boring dialogue and background information endless nattering on about who's marrying whom with none of the dry wit that makes her stories enjoyable Dorothea is an insufferable stuck up know it all and I hate her Also her sister calls her Dodo in a horribly misguided attempt at affection and every time I have to read it it's like a cheese grater to the forehead She's nineteen years old and is marrying a forty seven year old II just can't I know it's going to end badly which makes it slightly better but come on Eliot Simply put I don't care I don't care about these characters I don't care about their boring lives I don't care who marries whom and who is happy or not happy and I really don't care about Dorothea's stupid cottage designs I get the sense that none of the things I listed are going to change I'm strongly sensing that the next 700 pages of this book are going to be the same exact stuff about marriage and unhappiness and Dodo and blah blah blaaaaahhhhh Unless something really interesting is going to happen I don't think I can keep going At this point it would take a zombie uprising at Middlemarch to make me invested in these characters and their lack of struggle Page 190Okay I need to get to Part 5 before I can reasonably stop reading Hopefully something resembling a plot will happen soon Page 300Nope Nothin' yetPage 370OH MY GOD I DON'T CARE I DON'T CARE SHUT UP SHUT UP WHY ARE YOU TELLING ME ALL OF THIS GEORGE ELIOT WHHHHHHHYYYYYYYPage 409Okay I tried No one can say I didn't give this book a fair chance But I'm halfway through and NOTHING HAS HAPPENED I just read 400 pages of some boring people going about their boring everyday business and I'm DONE Maybe I'm just not sophisticated enough to understand this book's genius Maybe I can only be happy with a book if the characters are likeable and doing interesting things besides sitting around and thinking about how fucking miserable they all are Maybe it's just my fault for having a bad attitude about this book from the beginning Who knows But what I know for sure is this I got to my designated halfway point on the flight back from vacation and when we landed I made sure to leave Middlemarch on the plane Hopefully it's adopted by someone who will love it than I did ADDENDUM I just consulted The List to check this book off and I decided to see if there were any other George Eliot books on it Including Middlemarch there are five Eliot books I'm supposed to read before I die FIVE Goddamn it

  5. Ilse Ilse says:

    Some discouragement some faintness of heart at the new real future which replaces the imaginary is not unusual and we do not expect people to be deeply moved by what is not unusual That element of tragedy which lies in the very fact of freuency has not yet wrought itself into the coarse emotion of mankind; and perhaps our frames could hardly bear much of it If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life it would be like hearing the grass grow and the suirrel’s heart beat and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence As it is the uickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidityWhen Alexandra suggested to participate in this year’s alphabetical challenge of reading women I admit the prospect of finally reading Middlemarch for the ‘E’ was the decisive element for me to embark on the journey –and I had been keeping the novel aside as a precious reward to be touched if and only if I would manage to finish a demanding work project in time When that blissful moment came I couldn’t have dreamt of a exuisite treat than reading this masterpiece of which I enjoyed every minute Although Virginia Woolf called it ‘one of the few English novels written for grown up people’ reading this novel made me feel sixteen again catapulting me back into memories of spending hours of reading delight during school holidays in the small kitchen above the grocery store where my mother worked only having to interrupt reading to wash the dishes then plunging again into some fat Russian 19th century novel greedily gobbling up the sentences floating on cloud nine Isn’t it odd how memory singles out and connects to some of our experiences as the most delightful ones of our lives of which we were barely aware when we were living them? Needless to say books which are that overwhelming are rare and this novel is such one one that swallowed me whole only desiring to be in the book curling up with the characters – I revelled in Eliot’s prowess in bringing to life her wondrous characters and particularly in the strength of her women most of the men in the novel seem no match for the women at certain moments some sound like a tenor in an opera who’s faint voice renders his nonetheless beautiful lines and alleged heroism at times perhaps somewhat implausible but all the human As so much has been written on this magnum opus I so far have only skimmed through a few of the magnificent hymns readers here have written to this so well loved book and hope to read them thoroughly now having finished the novel and the issues worth analysing seem boundless – I feel it could easily feed my reading group’s discussions for a year reading the novel a first time I soon sensed it out of my league to consider writing anything about it and so surrendered to reading instinctively plunging in naked and unarmed floating smoothly on Eliot’s fabulous sentences the gentle waves of her wisdom If I would focus on one theme for further exploring in a second read it would be marriage as seen by Eliot to find out if and in which way her views concurred with or differed from the conventional ones in her time and what her views on relationships tell us today Young love making—that gossamer web Subtle interlacings are swung— are scarcely perceptible momentary touches of fingertips meetings of rays from blue and dark orbs unfinished phrases lightest changes of cheek and lip faintest tremors The web itself is made of spontaneous beliefs and indefinable joys yearnings of one life towards another visions of completeness indefinite trust And Lydgate fell to spinning that web from his inward self with wonderful rapidity As for Rosamond she was in the water lily’s expanding wonderment at its own fuller life and she too was spinning industriously at the mutual webOne of the themes which propulses the finely spun narratives and intrigues Middlemarch has been compared to an intricate emotional spider web the omniscient authorial voice repeatedly using the web metaphor considering the recounting of the tale a task of ‘unraveling certain human lots and seeing how they were woven and interwoven’ is the tension between reconciling the vows and demands of marriage and one’s personal vocation in life – a tension mostly conveyed by unfurling and paralleling the vicissitudes of two characters who precipitate themselves headlong into wedlock a state on which they both harbour illusions which seem to echo each other and which will turn out at odds with their highly idealistic vocations and ambitions in life We find the 19 year old Dorothea Brooke passionately wanting to devote herself to an scholarly clergyman many years her senior Edward Causabon seeking wisdom and enlightenment herself while the young doctor Tertius Lydgate dreams of a life of science to be venerated and supported in this dream by the dedicated wife he sees in the mayor’s daughter Rosamond Vincy ’his old dreamland in which Rosamond Vincy appeared to be that perfect piece of womanhood who would reverence her husband’s mind after the fashion of an accomplished mermaid using her comb and looking glass and singing her song for the relaxation of his adored wisdom alone’Both will bump into bitter reality as in a sense for both marriage serves as a means to an end the only possible outcome might have been disillusion on the nature of marriage Dorothea finds her assistance unwelcome to her husband while Tertius learns a ravishing appearance can hide a disgraceful and to this reader appalling selfishness Their misfit marriages will eventually be counterpoised by a third wonderfully balanced relationship one of strong bonding based on ratio as well as emotions a couple building a future on what could be seen as fundamental resemblances and complementary differences – complementarity far subtle painted by Eliot than in a simple traditional division of the gender roles Here is a relationship of mutual support and understanding for which both Dorothea and Tertius good natured but dreamers longed for in vain – however the initial pangs of disenchantment for both will have uite different conseuences Eliot’s presentation of what seems ideal marriage as a union of free spirited individuals united by true companionship as loving comrades struck me as rather progressive or modern for her times but I could be wrong in that assessment as well as touchingly relatable Reading Middlemarch to me not felt as escapism As Julian Barnes wrote in his essay A Life with Books ‘ Life and reading are not separate activities When you read a great book you don't escape from life you plunge deeper into it There may be a superficial escape – into different countries s speech patterns – but what you are essentially doing is furthering your understanding of life's subtleties paradoxes joys pains and truths Reading and life are not separate but symbiotic’ His words ring uintessentially true with regard to Middlemarch – with its gorgeous gossamer prose the plethora of fascinating characters the manifold references to art the perceptive dictums wearing an aphoristic suit showing a tremendous insight into the human psyche its subtly humorous asides its wisdom and sympathy for humankind this brilliant novel might simply be a reader’s dream a way of experiencing the harmony of spheres Following the thread to light and life Eliot is weaving reminded me that life in all its depth at times can be pure bliss

  6. Alex Alex says:

    This is the best book ever written and why would you even think that? Who cares? It seems like a particularly male thing to do this categorizing this ranking When George Eliot introduces Casaubon a compulsive categorizer who has accomplished nothing of value it feels like than a character It's a warning She keeps uoting Eve from Paradise Lost who was impressed by a man and look how that turned out Eliot's talking about women following men and their dumb arcane knowledge Dorothea wants to be part of something grand and the very idea is patriarchal She ends up lost in a tomb This is Casaubon the archetypal mansplainer so many facts so little truthSo she leads with this grand male ambition The Key To All Mythologies but she's heading somewhere else Here's the uote that she's spending 800 pages aiming forThe growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life and rest in unvisited tombsAnd you're like oh fuck yeah right? Unhistoric acts are my whole jam This is the truth most of us will be regular We can hope to find love or at least acceptance We hope that the cumulative effect of very many of us trying to do or less the right thing will be that the world is or less nice A few of us will create great art or live great lives Very many of us will wish we had George Eliot thinks we should settle downPeople are surprised when they find out that I read mostly classics What for? they ask It sounds boring What are you getting out of this? At its worst it's some kind of Casaubonesue desire to know everything about something I hope there's some kind of cumulative effect of empathy and perspective But this here Middlemarch is the only book I've ever read that changed the way I look at my entire life It teaches me to settle down I'm in the process of living faithfully a hidden life here So perhaps are you Coming to terms with that isn't just a lesson it's the lesson right? It's the whole game It's either this or buy a convertible and re pierce my ear I read classics in hopes of finding something this good againOkay so the whole game is in here and the funny thing about this being the best book ever is that for the best book ever it is fucking boring There's this whole part like the middle third or so that's frankly deadly It happens about a hundred pages in; you've been having a grand old time with Dorothea and her shitty old husband who can't even fuck right and all of a sudden Eliot starts introducing new people It's not that they're not great well some of them aren't I'm sorry but Mary and Fred are boring But Rosamond She's so awful She's terrific and she very nearly runs off with the book Casaubon is a bad man; Rosamond is a bad woman and her damage to Lydgate is much worseRosamond is what Eliot started with in fact; that was supposed to be the book She was to be a response to the realist landmark Madame Bovary Eliot decided she needed a counterweight in Dorothea and then I don't know what all else happened That climactic confrontation between Dorothea and Rosamond for one thing what a scene right? Eliot is one of the most compassionate writers and here's where she puts her money down There's this complicated structure she builds pretty Ladislaw the banker Bulstrode an old scandal some surprisingly Victorian plot twists given that Middlemarch is itself a realist landmark Rather talk about doctors than you needed A lot of this stuff is boringThere's a famous uote from Virginia Woolf who called Middlemarch one of the few English novels written for grown up people She called it that despite all its imperfections by the way she thought it was boring too But that's a grown up message that bit about the tombs So here we are right? Grown ups living faithfully our hidden lives hoping to find peace with our unremarkableness Here's the peace You gotta make it through a boring part in the middle but at the end you'll look back and find it was the best thing ever

  7. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    853 From 1001 Books Middlemarch A Study of Provincial Life George EliotMiddlemarch A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by the English author George Eliot first published in eight installments volumes during 1871–72 The novel is set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch during 1829–32 and it comprises several distinct though intersecting stories and a large cast of characters Significant themes include the status of women the nature of marriage idealism self interest religion hypocrisy political reform and educationمیدل مارچ جورج الیوت دنیای نو ادبیات؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز دوم ماه نوامبر سال 1992میلادیعنوان میدل مارچ در دو جلد؛ نویسنده جورج الیوت؛ مترجم مینا سرابی، تهران، نشر دنیای نو، 1369؛ در دو جلد؛ جلد یک در 626ص؛ جلد دو در 601ص شابک دوره دو جلدی 9646564178؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، بدیهه، چاپ سوم 1379؛ چاپ دیگر تهران، نشر دنیای نو؛ چاپ چهارم 1383؛ چاپ پنجم 1387؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان بریتانیایی سده 19ممیدل مارچ دو جلد است در 1229صفحه، و در مجموع هشت کتاب، که در هر مجلد چهار کتاب آرمیده است، کتاب نخست «دوشیزه بروک»؛ کتاب دوم «پیر و جوان»؛ کتاب سوم« در انتظار مرگ»؛ کتاب چهارم «سه مسئله عشق»؛ کتاب پنجم «نفوذ مرده»؛ کتاب ششم «همسر و بیوه زن»؛ کتاب هفتم «دو وسوسه»؛ کتاب هشتم «طلوع و غروب»؛ نام دارند؛جورج الیوت به‌ سبب مهارت و ژرف ‌بینی خویش در بازنمایی انگیزه ‌ها، رتبه ی یگانه ای در بین نویسندگان بزرگوار «انگلیسی» در سده ی نوزدهم میلادی، که از «جین آستین» و «خواهران برونته» آغاز می‌شود، و به «چارلز دیکنز» و «تاماس هاردی» می‌رسد، دارند، بسیاری از نقادان مدرن ایشان را بزرگوار‌ترین رمان‌نویس انگلیسی سده ی نوزدهم میلادی می‌دانند؛ شخصیت‌های رمان «میدل مارچ» به‌ رغم سادگی ظاهریشان، زندگی درونی بغرنجی دارند؛ برخی بر معیارهایی پای می‌فشارند، تا همگان آن‌ها را تحسین ‌کنند، دیگرانی نیز بر روابط متکی هستاند تا همگان آن‌ها را تشویق کنند «میدل مارچ» داستان یک شهر با همه‌ ی ابعاد و مناسباتش استنقل از متنبخش اول دوشیزه بروک؛ فصل یک؛ چون زنم، و عاجز از کارِ تمام، پیوسته میرسم به چیزی ناتمام؛ دوشیزه «بروک» زیبایی اش از نوعی بود که با لباس فقیرانه، انگار جلوه ای افزونتر مییافت؛ دستش و مچ دستش چنان خوش ترکیب بود، که میتوانست آستینهایی بی پیرایه به دست کند، کم وبیش شبیه آستین های مریم مقدس، به همان شکل، که نقاشان ایتالیایی تصور میکردند، و نیمرخ و سکنات و حرکاتش نیز، گویی با جامه های ساده اش متانتی بیشتر مییافت، که در کنار جامه های رایج محل، به او جاذبه ای میبخشید شبیه جاذبه ی نقل قول درخشانی از انجیل، یا یکی از شاعران پیش کسوت ما در میانه ی مطالب روزنامه های امروز؛ همه میگفتند بسیار بااستعداد است، اما اضافه میکردند که خواهرش «سِلیا» عاقلتر است؛ با اینحال، «سِلیا» چندان آراسته تر از خواهرش؛ لباس نمیپوشید و فقط ناظر دقیق تشخیص میداد که لباسش، با خواهرش فرق دارد، و رگه ی ملایمی، از ناز و عشوه، در سر و وضعش هست؛ لباس پوشیدن ساده ی دوشیزه «بروک»، تابع اقتضائاتی بود، که عمدتا در مورد خواهرش نیز صدق میکرد؛ تشخص زنانه، یکی از این اقتضائات بود، زیرا اصل و نسب خانوادگی «بروک» که البته اشرافی خالص نبود، مسلما « خوب » بود؛ اگر یکی دو نسل عقبتر میرفتید، هیچ جد و سلفی پیدا نمیکردید که کارش گز کردن، یا بسته بندی کردن بوده باشد؛ بله، پایینتر از دریاسالار، یا کشیش، در میان آنها پیدا نمیشد؛ حتی یکی از این اسلاف عالی جناب پیرایشگری بود، که در سپاه کراموِل خدمت میکرد، اما بعد کوتاه آمد ،و توانست از مخمصه های سیاسی، جان سالم به در ببرد، و صاحب ملک خانوادگی آبرومندانه ای بشود؛ چنین زنان جوان با اصل و نسبی که در خانه روستایی آرامی زندگی میکردند، و در کلیسایی روستایی حضور مییافتند، که بزرگتر از سالن پذیرایی نبود، طبیعتا زینت و زیور را خواسته دختر یک دوره گرد تلقی میکردند؛ وانگهی، قناعت خاصی داشتند، که به تربیت خانوادگیشان برمیگشت، و این قناعت در آن روزگار در لباس رخ مینمود، زیرا موقعی که لازم میشد به مخارجی بیفزایند، تا منزلت خانوادگی را بیشتر حفظ کنند، اول از همه، از مخارج لباس میزدند؛ برای پوشیدن لباس ساده، چنین دلایلی کفایت میکرد، حتی اگر پای احساسات مذهبی به میان نمیآمد، اما در مورد دوشیزه «بروک»، احساسات مذهبی به تنهایی تعیین کننده بود؛ «سِلیا» هم تا حدودی با احساسات خواهرش موافقت نشان میداد، منتها به این احساسات، آن عقل سلیمی را میافزود، که با آن میشد تعلیمات پایه ای را، فارغ از هیجانهای عجیب وغریب پذیرفت؛ «داروتیا» بسیاری از مطالب تاملات «پاسکال» و نوشته های «جریمی تیلر» را از بر بود، و به نظرش سرگذشت بشر اگر در پرتو مسیحیت ملاحظه میشد، همه ی اشتغالات مربوط به سر و وضع زنان، به اشتغالات مخصوص دارالمجانین شباهت مییافت؛ او نمیتوانست دغدغه های زندگی روحی و تبعات ابدی آن را، با جاذبه هایی آشتی بدهد، که به تزیینات تور و ابریشم، و برجستگی های مصنوعی پارچه، و پرده مربوط میشد؛ ذهنش در عالم نظر سیر میکرد، و جانش در پی مفهوم والایی از جهان بود، که مستقیما ناحیه ی «تیپتن» و نحوه رفتار خود او را، در این ناحیه نیز در بر بگیرد؛ دوستدار شور و عظمت بود، و آماده ی به آغوش کشیدن هر چیزی که، به نظرش شور و عظمت میداشت؛ حتی طالب عذاب بود، شکست، ناکامی و سپس شهادت، در جایی که خود نمیخواست؛ مسلما حضور چنین عناصری در وجود دختر دم بخت، مخلّ بختش میشد، و نمیگذاشت که آداب ورسوم، زیبایی چهره، غرور و احساساتِ صرفا خاضعانه بختش را، رقم بزند؛ البته او که خواهر بزرگتر بود، هنوز بیست سالش نشده بود، ضمن اینکه هردو خواهر از حدود دوازده سالگی، که پدر و مادر را از دست داده بودند، تحت تعلیم قرار گرفته بودند، منتها طبق برنامه ای که هم محدود و بسته بود، و هم بی در و پیکر، ابتدا در خانواده ای «انگلیسی» و بعد در خانواده ای «سوئیسی» در «لوزان»، چون عموی مجردی، که قیم شان بود، میخواست مضرات یتیم بودن آنها را به این طریق جبران کندهنوز یک سال نمیشد که آمده بودند در «تیپتن گرِینج» زندگی میکردند، با همان عمو، که دیگر شصت سالش بود، و خلق وخوی ملایم داشت، و عقاید متنوع و آراء ناپایدار؛ در سالهایی که جوانتر بود، زیاد سفر کرده بود، و در این نقطه از مملکت میگفتند ذهنش هوایی شده است؛ پیش بینی کردن استنباطهای آقای «بروک» به اندازه ی پیش بینی کردن وضع هوا دشوار بود؛ فقط این نکته را میشد با اطمینان گفت، که همیشه نیت خیر داشت، و نیتهای خیرش را نیز، با هزینه هرچه کمتر عملی میکرد؛ آخر، ذهنهای بی ثبات نیز، هسته های سختی از عادت را، در خود جای میدهند دیده شده اند کسانی که، در همه ی علائق خود، سهل گیرند، غیر از داشتن انفیه دانی که به شدت از آن مراقبت میکنند، و با سوءظن و خسّت برای خودشان نگه میدارند؛ پایان نقلتاریخ بهنگام رسانی 01081399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا شربیانی

  8. Idarah Idarah says:

    If I told you that my obsession with Middlemarch began with a standing KitchenAid mixer you'd expect me to elaborate It started one summer day when I was a teenager My friend had invited me over to her house for a movie night and sleep over Though our families had known each other since before either of our births my friend and I had just recently reconnected with the help of a graduation party and AOL The joys of dial up Internet When I arrived I was shown into the kitchen where my friend was in the midst of baking a batch of cookies with her mother Her dad sat at the kitchen table reading an economics book throwing in teasing remarks about our childhood antics while we all got reacuainted It all seemed soperfect I was uncomfortably envious of my friend and her family Two things in particular heightened this feeling The gleaming navy blue standing KitchenAid mixer enshrined on the granite countertop It was a recent gift to my friend Gabby from her parents since she was the glorified baker in the family The other was an enormous well loved tome called Middlemarch not far from the mixer with a small scrap of paper protruding from the center of the spine no doubt a thoughtless book markerI had heard about this book from a few English teachers It was said to be the uintessential British novel but that it was overly long had too many characters and was overall a political novel This too was said of other books like Anna Karenina and War and Peace not the English novel part but the other stuff It was such a discouragement Comments like these made the books seem almost beyond my reach and comprehension I asked about the book wondering if Gabby was reading it for her advanced English class and was relieved when her mom Linda said that it was she that was reading it and for the fifth time nonetheless It was her favorite book she said and I learned that she was also a high school English teacher When we started discussing it and my love of Thomas Hardy everyone else just disappeared She took me into her study and I had a look around her library I was overwhelmed that Gabby could have parents that loved reading and encouraged their children to read too Not only that but they loved classic literature right along with Danielle Steel and James Michener Looking back now I realize it was probably the first bookish discussion that wasn't penned in an essay for my teachers' eyes alone or some other assignment It was refreshing From that day on I vowed to myself that I too would one day own a standing Kitchen Aide mixer because what kitchen is complete without one? and I would undertake the reading of MiddlemarchIt's essential that you know this back story because it would explain why I own three hardcopy editions two kindle editions and an audio edition of the book It's almost as if I wanted to prevent any excuses I might have for putting it off and I have for fifteen years That I've finally read it feels like such a huge accomplishmentI can say with certainty that up to today this is my favorite book I adore Dorothea She is such a uniue character often described as an odd type of woman; one that is both reverenced and respected as a man I also admire Mary Garth and her father Caleb my two other favorite characters The rest of the townsfolk that round out the novel create a tasty gumbo of gossip and family histories While politics and reform had a bearing on many of the storylines it wasn't difficult to understand with the help of a few online toolsOn the whole and in my humble opinion this is a novel of marriage–its disappointments challenges and triumphs It's about the sacrifices people make and the mistakes they make in choosing suitable mates Having made a poor decision in my previous marriage so much about this book touched me deeply Not that one has to be married unhappily married or divorced to appreciate the book So many of the genial characters were singletons and served as a sort of control group who although having their own share of difficulties were still uite happy Marriage which has been bourne of so many narratives is still a great beginning as it was to Adam and Eve who kept their honeymoon in Eden but had their first little one among the thorns and thistles of the wilderness It is still the beginning of the home epic–the gradual conuest or irremediable loss of that complete union which makes the advancing years a climax and age the harvest of sweet memories in common A friend's review urged that one should really take their time in reading this book because once finished the characters would be greatly missed I've already felt a strong twinge of sadness at saying goodbye even if only temporarily Like Gabby's mom LindaI'm sure I'll revisit this book uite freuently As for the KitchenAid mixer? I've never been able to excuse the purchase because I don't bake a lotbut it's still up there on my bucket list along with Become a finalist on The Great British Baking Show

  9. Samadrita Samadrita says:

    Take this for granted Middlemarch will haunt your every waking hour for the duration you spend within its fictional provincial boundaries At extremely odd moments during a day you will be possessed by a fierce urge to open the book and dwell over pages you read last night in an effort to clarify newly arisen doubts 'What did Will mean by that? What on earth is this much talked about Reform Bill? What will happen to poor Lydgate? Is Dorothea just symbolic or realistic?'And failure to act on your impulses will give rise to irritation The world all around you will cease to matter and you will be forced to perform everyday tasks on autopilot mode partly zombified completely at the mercy of this wonderful wonderful book Even hours after you turn over the last page Middlemarchers and their manifold conundrums and self delusions will maintain their firm grasp on your consciousness What I mean by these not at all far fetched generalizations is that Middlemarch is engaging suspenseful and readable Profoundly so Despite its dense outlay of character arcs dovetailing into the politics of the community subplots jostling against each other for primacy and the reader's attention vivid commentary by an omniscient narrator who interjects often to shape a reader's perception and the painstakingly detailed inner lives of its zealous hero and heroine struggling to hold on to their lofty ideals in the face of sobering reality and suffocating marriages everything moves at a breakneck speed I never knew when I ran out of pages to tear through There are few happy coincidences here and certainly no deus ex machinas to bestow easy resolution on conflicts Characters do not stumble upon gentrified fulfillment accidentally those persecuted because of their 'lower birth' do not magically acuire status and wealth thereby proving beyond doubt that Mary Ann Evans meant to contravene the most fundamental of tropes created by her celebrated contemporaries Instead they wrestle with their own conscience hypocrisies prejudices mortal desires and fatalistic judgments The day to day grind deepens their spiritual crisis derails their noble mission of being a part however insignificant of the progress story of the world at large makes them realize the futility of the individual's struggle against the forces that govern society Some emerge victorious able to cling to the passions and ardors that drive them ahead in life despite the inclemency of their circumstances While others flail and flounder succumbing to the tyranny of material wants and demanding selfish spouses If that's not bitter reality served up on a plate I don't know what isIf I am asked to pick one flaw with the plot and characters I must confess I had considered withholding a star initially because of the book's treatment of Dorothea and the infuriating Ladislaw Dorothea arc which made me want to uit reading out of pure frustration Evans' fascination with subjecting every character's mental makeup to her trenchant irony seemed to expire every time her beloved heroine came into the picture Freuent comparisons with the Virgin Mary and St Theresa and references to her ueenly grace made me skeptical about her credibility as a character of flesh and blood in a narrative otherwise populated with believable fallible men and women Is she merely symbolic then of a life dominated by a 'soul hunger' completely immune to the mundane concerns of uotidian living? Why must her womanhood be almost deified and worshipped? But thankfully Dorothea is salvaged and humanized in the end when she lets her own romantic passions overpower her altruistic zest the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life and rest in unvisited tombs Many may disapprove of the choice but if I had to name one book very similar to 'Middlemarch' in thematic content and in terms of a multiple perspective narrative structure set against a modern backdrop then Rowling's The Casual Vacancy comes to mind In fact it is hard not to figure out the connection after having read both books If the slew of unfavorable reviews on GR and elsewhere nipped your interest in the bud I urge you to give it a shot Unworthy of literary immortality as it maybe perhaps it still offers an intricately detailed portrait of a small town and how individual choices shape the destiny of a society Of course it is no Middlemarch as no book ever will be but it is where Rowling shows her true calibre as a novelist And really it is not as horrid as most reviewers made it out to be Far from it

  10. Lisa Lisa says:

    I am leaving Middlemarch I can't believe it after spending so much time with them I am now done moving on moving out like Lydgate and Bulstrode and Ladislaw and Dorothea Middlemarch is a state of mind and you can drop it or it can drop you In my case I feel it dropped me for I would have clung on to it even after turning that 918th page that was the final one Does that make me of a Bulstrode then rather than a Dorothea? Well obviously I am uite like the Middlemarch men in general feeling there can't be anyone comparable to the wonderfully stubborn and idealistic DorotheaThe gossipers got it all right of course Dorothea was not a nice woman marrying an illusion first and a passion next A nice woman would have married greed first and ambition next and she would have been the most respected woman in town if she kept reasonably stupid and prettyI always feel a bit sorry for my immediate environment when I read one of the big novels for the first time for just like Dorothea I find it hard to play the nice and pretty and detached part that decorum expects of a lady reader I live and breathe the book and I get angry and frustrated and annoyed with the course the story takes I have spent evenings muttering about Bulstrode and mornings yelling at Rosamond the female nightmare that the 19th century prided itself in creating as an expensive form of decorative art for conventional society all art is uite useless said a wild and wise man I have worried with Fred and scolded with Mary and felt for Farebrother and told Lydgate to dump his wife and runI have meddled with Mrs Cadwallader telling her that HER meddling is going in the wrong direction and that she is setting up people for unhappiness and failure And I have wondered at the genius of George Eliot who must have been the most intelligent and perceptive person within the country she called home And I have wondered how lonely she must have felt as a result of that great mind she carried around in that deeply misogynistic and conventional societyHow must the Rosamunds of her environment have suffocated her How must the very concept of matrimony and conventionality have struck her as a road to hell? In Dorothea's brave words her insight shines throughMarriage is so unlike everything else There is something even awful in the nearness it bringsAnd as the novel comes to a close one wonders a bit if Dorothea ever felt a pang of regret that she married twice nice or not nice as her matches may be called One wonders if that second marriage wasn't the greatest sacrifice of all and not because of the lost fortune but because of the destructive principle she recognised herself Bound to a man by the disapproval of society would the passion stay or would conventional awfulness take its place? Who knows? George Eliot herself only knows why she made Dorothea respectable rather than a free spirit in the end For after all the whole novel is about suppressed sex An affair or two would have cured that nicelyBest of the best and that's my blooming rage speaking in rankings

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Middlemarch [Reading] ➾ Middlemarch By George Eliot – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Taking place in the years leading up to the First Reform Bill of 1832 Middlemarch explores nearly every subject of concern to modern life art religion science politics self society human relationships Taking place in the years leading up to the First Reform Bill of Middlemarch explores nearly every subject of concern to modern life art religion science politics self society human relationships Among her characters are some of the most remarkable portraits in English literature Dorothea Brooke the heroine idealistic but naive; Rosamond Vincy beautiful and egoistic Edward Casaubon the dry as dust scholar Tertius Lydgate the brilliant but morally flawed physician the passionate artist Will Ladislaw and Fred Vincey and Mary Garth childhood sweethearts whose charming courtship is one of the many humorous elements in the novel's rich comic vein.