New PDF release: A Legacy (New York Review Books Classics)

By Sybille Bedford

ISBN-10: 1590178270

ISBN-13: 9781590178270

A Legacy is the story of 2 very various households, the Merzes and the Feldens. The Jewish Merzes are longstanding individuals of Berlin’s haute bourgeoisie who count number a chum of Goethe between their special ancestors. no longer that this proud legacy potential a lot of whatever to them anymore. safe of their large city residence, they dedicate themselves to little greater than having fun with their comforts and making sure their wealth. The Feldens are landed aristocracy, wealthy yet no longer wealthy, from Germany’s Catholic south. After Julius von Felden marries Melanie Merz the fortunes of the 2 households can be surprisingly, certainly fatally, entwined.

Set throughout the run-up to global battle I, a time of weirdly mingled complacency and angst, A Legacy is pleasing, magnificently humorous, and profound, an unforgettable photo of a doomed lifestyle.

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Extra resources for A Legacy (New York Review Books Classics)

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In an intriguing process of mapping the personal on to the political, Read’s novel treats the mid-life crisis of forty-year-old barrister John Strickland as the litmus test for a more general social malaise, embracing the corrupting effects of the legal and political systems. The crisis for Strickland is brought on by the chance selection of Tolstoy’s novella ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych’ as a holiday read. Reflecting on the public’s lack of taste for fiction, since it no longer affects people’s lives, Strickland very soon has his secure identity entirely shaken up by Tolstoy’s tale.

133). If Howard Kirk epitomizes a pseudo-intellectualism that has ‘substituted trends for morals and commitments’ (p. 32), the representativeness of the Kirks suggests that the failure is a general one. Their shared 1950s background of ‘vestigial Christianity and inherited social deference’ represents 28 The Cambridge Introduction to Modern British Fiction, 1950–2000 a lost social world in which ethics was privileged over politics (p. 23). In Bradbury’s conception of 1972, politics has displaced ethics, a reversal that calls the adequacy of the novelist’s intervention into question.

At one level the book is a depressing portrait of England in the 1980s, on the brink of social collapse; but Barker qualifies this impression by structuring her novel in such a way as to give a longer historical perspective. Liza Jarrett is the century’s daughter, born at the beginning of the twentieth century, and in her eighties in the novel’s present. Living in a street earmarked for demolition, Liza witnesses the destruction of her community, transformed into a derelict wasteland populated by vandals, glue-sniffers, and muggers.

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A Legacy (New York Review Books Classics) by Sybille Bedford


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