The Things that Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say about the Stages of Life
An illuminating exploration of how seven of the greatest English novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries—Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Middlemarch, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Between the Acts—portray the essential experiences of life.
For Edward Mendelson—a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University—these classic novels tell life stories that are valuable to readers who are thinking about the course of their own lives. Looking beyond theories to the individual intentions of the authors and taking into consideration their lives and times, Mendelson examines the sometimes contradictory ways in which the novels portray such major passages of life as love, marriage, and parenthood. In Frankenstein’s story of a new life, we see a searing representation of emotional neglect. In Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre the transition from childhood to adulthood is portrayed in vastly different ways even though the sisters who wrote the books shared the same isolated life. In Mrs. Dalloway we see an ideal and almost impossible adult love. Mendelson leads us to a fresh and fascinating new understanding of each of the seven novels, reminding us—in the most captivating way—why they matter.
The Things That Matter is a book that will delight all passionate readers.
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Review: The Things That Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say About the Stages of LifeUser Review - Ellee - Goodreads
Am done with the book for now. It's well-thought out literary criticism, but not quite what I was looking for at the moment. Read full review
Review: The Things That Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say About the Stages of LifeUser Review - Gina Dalfonzo - Goodreads
Really thoughtful and insightful analysis of seven books and what they have to say about life. A pleasure to read. Read full review