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What Maisie Knew (1897)

por Henry James

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1,847376,713 (3.36)185
What Maisie Knew (1897) represents one of James's finest reflections on the rites of passage from wonder to knowledge, and the question of their finality. The child of violently divorced parents, Maisie Farange opens her eyes on a distinctly modern world. Mothers and fathers keep changingtheir partners and names, while she herself becomes the pretext for all sorts of adult sexual intrigue.In this classic tale of the death of childhood, there is a savage comedy that owes much to Dickens. But for his portrayal of the child's capacity for intelligent `wonder', James summons all the subtlety he devotes elsewhere to his most celebrated adult protagonists. Neglected and exploited byeveryone around her, Maisie inspires James to dwell with extraordinary acuteness on the things that may pass between adult and child. In addition to a new introduction, this edition of the novel offers particularly detailed notes, bibliography, and a list of variant readings.… (mais)
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The heartbreaking 2013 movie, and an evocative paperback cover by Edward Gorey, brought me to this 1908 novel. Custody of Maisie, a six year old daughter of divorce, is shared by her venal father, vain mother, a nanny, and her mother's paramour. Maisie herself tries again and again to predict the actions of this horrible tribe of alleged adults before she falls between the cracks. It's kind of astounding that Henry James wrote a novel of this very same situation at least some sixty years before Kramer vs Kramer. Also progressive for the time period is that blame falls equally to both parents, and there's no automatic assumption that every woman possesses a maternal instinct - in fact, it's the mother's boyfriend who seems to be the most responsible adult in the room - until he isn't. The outdated, overly florid language makes for a very difficult read, but there are gems of forgotten verbiage - "animadvert", "peccant" - that make for tiny treasure hunt moments. ( )
  froxgirl | Feb 21, 2020 |
I decided to read this because my husband and I just watched the 2013 movie with Julianne Moore, and loved it. When reading reviews of the movie, I learned that it was based on this book by Henry James.

Update: Gave it a try, but couldn't get past Henry James' writing style. Each sentence was like a puzzle you had to figure out; which would be fine except that the result was not interesting. ( )
  AngeH | Jan 2, 2020 |
A book that made me hesitate about what I actually think of it.
Reading it now, leaves me horrified at the possibility that in that period divorces were executed like that, making the child part of the divorce. I know it happens now as well, but hope that at least the circumstances are different.
Fighting over the child, not even being her real parents, it's a curious situation. And Maisie, she has ideas of her own.

When I look with eyes from this time frame, I'd say it's a soap story :-). It was nice to read, especially because of the schemes and the plotting. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Aug 2, 2019 |
I didn't like this very much. The story revolves around a young child whose wealthy parents get a divorce and, after using her as a bargaining chip in their divorce, basically abandon her to their respective new spouses and then again abandon Maisie to those stepparents.

The problem for me is that the entire novel revolved around these events with little attempt at side stories or character development. Maisie, a small child, is seen only in relation to her reactions to these adult events. I'm sure for its time, this was controversial and shocking, but it seemed, sadly, sort of old news at this point.

I've really loved some of James's other novels, but this one didn't work for me. ( )
  japaul22 | Jul 5, 2019 |
Henry James heard about a divorce case in which a young child had become a pawn and decided to write about it from the child's point of view. Thus we see the story through Maisie's experience (not first person, but from her perspective and limited knowledge). The courts have awarded her to each parent for 6 months of the year, and it seems neither really wants her. The use her at every transfer. even at the age of 6, to convey hostile messages to each other, and Maisie learns to play stupid to extricate herself from these furies. Each parent provides a governess (of varying quality), and each says there is no money to send her to a day or boarding school. Poor kid.

Eventually each parent has a new spouse, but the pattern is set. One, Sir Claude, is loving but weak, the other, the once-governess at Maisie's father's house, now Mrs. Beale, has accomplished her goal of marriage and is not so interested anymore in Maisie. Maisie bonds most with Sir Claude, and when the opportunity comes to essentially run away with him, she takes it.

But more confusion reigns. Neither second marriage is happy, Sir Claude has fallen for Mrs. Beale, and these two plus the governess Mrs. Wix arrive in France, trying to sort out what will become of them all. At the end, it is Maisie who determines her own future.

What, after all this mistreatment, can a girl of 10 or 12 know? ( )
1 vote ffortsa | Apr 3, 2019 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 37 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Henry James’s What Maisie Knew is a perfect comedy, a riotous and delightful piece of Olympian foolery—and happily free from Mr. James’s more recondite snarls of speech. It is worth a dozen best-sellers of the current crop. It has more good fun in it, and more shrewdness, and more civilized entertainment than all the masterworks of the Athertons and Sinclairs, the Herricks and Frank Danbys, the Phillpottses and Mrs. Humphry Wards, taken together. It is a first rate piece of writing by a first rate man.
adicionada por SnootyBaronet | editarThe Smart Set, H. L. Mencken
 

» Adicionar outros autores (17 possíveis)

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
James, Henryautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Dorsman-Vos, W.A.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gorey, EdwardArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ricks, ChristopherEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Theroux, PaulEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The litigation seemed interminable and had in fact been complicated; but by the decision on the appeal the judgement of the divorce-court was confirmed as to the assignment of the child.
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What Maisie Knew (1897) represents one of James's finest reflections on the rites of passage from wonder to knowledge, and the question of their finality. The child of violently divorced parents, Maisie Farange opens her eyes on a distinctly modern world. Mothers and fathers keep changingtheir partners and names, while she herself becomes the pretext for all sorts of adult sexual intrigue.In this classic tale of the death of childhood, there is a savage comedy that owes much to Dickens. But for his portrayal of the child's capacity for intelligent `wonder', James summons all the subtlety he devotes elsewhere to his most celebrated adult protagonists. Neglected and exploited byeveryone around her, Maisie inspires James to dwell with extraordinary acuteness on the things that may pass between adult and child. In addition to a new introduction, this edition of the novel offers particularly detailed notes, bibliography, and a list of variant readings.

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Média: (3.36)
0.5 3
1 15
1.5 1
2 22
2.5 9
3 62
3.5 18
4 64
4.5 5
5 34

Penguin Australia

Uma edição deste livro foi publicada pela Penguin Australia.

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Urban Romantics

2 edições deste livro foram publicadas por Urban Romantics.

Edições: 1909676136, 1909676144

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