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Galsworthy's style rings still true and it's a pleasure to read, but it's starting to shape up as a modern soap opera. I found the previous generation more subtle: young Jolyon connected to the old world of property but drawn to his simple life; Irene so passive in her demeanor but impetuous in her decisions; Soames torn between money, emotions, desperately trying to make sense between the two (apparently this will never happen "he might wish and wish and never get it - the beauty and the loving in the world")
The new generation is just there: Fleur, flitting and flirting, almost a stereotype of post-war extravagance; Jon sullen poet, lost with no clear desires.
I would have liked more of Profond who makes a great character foil for Fleur and Mont for Jon - not enough juxtaposition between those characters - it would have given dimension, I think.
Anyway, they've all become family now. I'll give them a rest but I might actually tackle A Modern Comedy to reconnect.
-Galsworthy's style rings still true and it's a pleasure to read, but it's starting to shape up as a modern soap opera. -
It's an interesting thought.
When is a family story a soap opera and what qualities are necessary for it to rise above that level?
A meaty family saga is all about the people, their relationships and the psychology around them. What is the source of their rebellion/acceptance? Why do they make certain decisions? Why do they bond with certain people but not others? We should be able to answer all of these questions. With Soames, we most certainly can; with Fleur it's less obvious.
My interpretation, anyhow...
When he wrote To Let, he was much more describing the time in which he was living - it's a much more difficult and subjective exercise. Perhaps that's why he resorted more to plot.
Does that make sense?!
I'm not sure why I feel this way, maybe it's because Galsworthy writes less about the characters and more about other things, like paintings, art, journeys etc. And yes, he resorts more to plot (a little confusing (alternating between families) imo.), and is less describing the characters' emotions and thoughts.
But the story is still fascinating and exciting, and I'm really looking forward to reading the next two parts of To Let. First of all wondering what will happen to (between) Jon and Fleur and their families (parents).
One quote that made me think:
"Jolyon took her hand, and said with a wry smile:
'Ah! why on earth are we born young? Now, if only we were born old and grew younger year by year, we should understand how things happen, and drop all our cursed intolerance. (...) '
Maybe I like this quotation because I am now in my late fifties? He,he
I'll have to think a little about this quote: Am I more tolerant today? I'm NOT sure. Maybe I'm tolerant (should I call it 'patient'?) in another way than I was before?
What about you? Do you become more tolerant as you grow older?
"(...) if only we were born old and grew younger year by year, we should understand how things happen, (...)"
It is a bit illogical though... after all, understanding stems from life experience, not from age...
And now I'm off to bed to see shades of midnight blue...
"... understanding stems from life experience, not from age..."
Yes, but there might be a relation between age and life experience...
Oh, now I wonder if I mean this because I'm getting older...
Weren't elderly people rather stupid when I was younger??
Didn't I understand the whole world then?
I think I remember I did.
The more you learn, the more you know you know very little, you know. (wasn't that Plato?).
That's a way to understanding, as well. IMO.
I even felt some pity for Soames. He was really haunted by "bad luck", and all of it wasn't his fault. I wonder what will happen to Fleur and her husband. Will she become very unhappy like her father? And I assume we'll hear more about Jon (and his mother Irene) in the next volume(s).
Well, I'm not going to check it out this year.
I agree the saga started to feel more plot-driven. The beginning was about characters, but the end was about "what happens next". It was rather disappointing.