George Meredith Essay On Comedy Text

George Meredith Essay On Comedy Text-52
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This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution.Credit is due under the terms of this license that can reference both the New World Encyclopedia contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation.

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George Meredith (1828–1909), conspicuous in his time as both a novelist and a poet, never became a convincing poet on the order of Hardy or Lawrence.

He is now known for only one poetic work, “Modern Love,” a fifty-poem sequence that—unlike the rest of his poems, even such charming ones as “Love in the Valley”—engaged in a sustained and penetrating look inward.

“Modern Love” appeared in 1862 as the title poem of the volume , here reprinted as a whole.

The editors argue that one reads “Modern Love” better within its original volume: “Juxtaposing multiple versions of ‘modern love,’ the volume thus explores a range of contemporary sociocultural issues, including English cosmopolitanism, the so-called Woman Question, and the diffusion of democratic ideas about social equality.” If you go to poetry for ideas about “contemporary sociocultural issues,” the re-issue of this volume may please you.

It folds us, flesh and dust; and have we knelt, Or never knelt, or eyed as kine the springs Of radiance, the radiance enrings: And this is the soul's haven to have felt.

There are not many poets whose fame rests on a single work.

While Meredith continued to write and publish poetry throughout his life, he is best known for his novels, especially the early novel The Ordeal of Richard Feverel (1859) and the two later ones, The Egoist (1879) and Diana of the Crossways (1885).

The Egoist, perhaps Meredith's best known novel, was a tragicomedy.

Twentieth century British novelist and short story writer, Angus Wilson, called The Egoist "the turning point in George Meredith's career." Wilson saw Meredith as "the first great art novelist." He considered the book an adaptation of a stage comedy, an achievement he arrogates to few English authors, who more characteristically, he suggests, present only "farce or satire." He compliments Meredith most when he is detached from his characters, as "it is then that our laughter is most thoughtful." Wilson is most taken by "the absolute truth of much of the dialogue." "The way Sir Willoughby continues to speak through the answers of other characters, returning to notice their replies only when his own vein of thought is exhausted" is a "wonderful observation of human speech." More materially, Forster compliments Meredith on not revealing Laetitia Dale's changed feelings for Willoughby until she rejects him in their midnight meeting; "[i]t would have spoiled his high comedy if we had been kept in touch throughout … More recently, feminist critics has argued that the novel dramatizes, among other things, the difficulty that women faced in Victorian society.

Meredith's novel depicts a world in which women's bodies and minds were trafficked between fathers and husbands to cement male bonds.

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