New PDF release: Antony and Cleopatra (HarperPerennial Classics)

By William Shakespeare

ISBN-10: 1443443255

ISBN-13: 9781443443258

Antony, the soldier of Rome, and Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, fight with tragic effects opposed to the facility and authority of the rising Roman Empire.

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Additional info for Antony and Cleopatra (HarperPerennial 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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Antony and Cleopatra (HarperPerennial Classics) by William Shakespeare


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