Sunday, August 29, 2010

The House of Mirth

An excellent discussion of Edith Wharton's novel by Interpolations. (Via Stephen Riddle.) To quote:
Set in New York in the 1890s, the House of Mirth is an unflinching look at the ruthless exile of the doomed Lily Bart. Lily is an amazingly pretty and charming socialite. Because she has a taste for the finer things in life, but no means of attaining them, she plans to marry well. “I’m horribly poor—and very expensive,” she says. To this end, Lily, a master of grace and artifice, curries favor with the Fifth Avenue elite to attain wealth and power, comfort and ease. The House of Mirth displays Wharton’s incomparable gift for blending tone and subject matter, as well as her incisive yet sympathetic understanding of human nature and, in particular, the failure of imagination that often lies at the root of spiritual wreckage.


Julygirl said...

Through the Lily Barth character Edith Wharton expemlifies the destruction of a life lived in a spiritual vacuum. In living her life by attaching herself to the superficial and shallow standards of the socially prominent she ends up with no life at all.

Julygirl said...

excuse the typo: exemplifies