Monday, November 17, 2008

the way one buys one's horses—and one's husbands

Are the novels of Anthony Trollope an acquired taste? I suppose he seems wordy and I suppose it can seem tedious that he so often explains what he's telling you while he tells it. But his command of language, his power of description, and his feeling for human interaction are so wonderful. The apparent (and I think real) ease with which he writes; the fluidity of his line, his paragraph, his chapter; all these are masterful. It may be eccentric to appreciate his restraint, but I am truly fond of authors such as he who bend over backwards to avoid sensationalism. He's particularly fine when read late evenings, before bedtime, or during periods of sleeplessness -- a calming influence, full of gentle humor and possessing a pleasant way of letting his characters reveal themselves while conversing - actually holding extended conversations in which they listen, react, interrogate, persuade; pretty much always in full sentences; pretty much always with a transparent clarity.

Over lunch I read two chapters of Phineas Finn that stand on their own and that could be a good introduction to the author's skill and freedom of expression.

They are CHAPTER X, Violet Effingham and CHAPTER XI, Lord Chiltern.

I recommend them.

1 comment:

G said...

I enjoyed this book very much, and also 'The Warden'. Nice to read your post, un saludo