Jul 23, 2012

Reading Check-In ~ Parade's End

As I settled into the first pages I wasn't sure I was going to like Ford's writing style, his use of dialogue tags seemed a little choppy, isn't that a silly thing to condemn a writer for? Well, I was berated as I found myself bound up in his vivid language.
Guernica by Pablo Picasso
Tietjens had been staring --staring with the intentness of a maddened horse-- at his, Macmaster's face! And grey! Shapeless! The nose like a pallid triangle on a bladder of lard! That was Tietjens face... He could still feel the blow, physical in the pit of his stomach! He had thought Tietjens was going mad: that he was mad. It had passed. Tietjens had assumed the mask of his indolent, insolent self.
Picasso's art passed through my mind as I read this description. We see Christopher Tietjens torn apart, reinterpreted, and what Macmaster feels, it's what I do as I look at paintings from the cubist movement: unsettled.

Tietjens is a very interesting character with his enigmatic speeches, I can't make out if they're serious or jests... I'm pretty sure he's just trying to get a reaction. He seems very grounded but isn't afraid to cross the boundaries of convention at work. His home-life is in turmoil stemming from the infidelity of his wife Sylvia, and the knowledge that his child may not be his. You get the impression there's incredible depth to him but he's restrained.

Originally I kept confusing the author's name with
Pre-Raphaelite artist Ford Madox Brown, it turns out he
was Ford Madox Ford's namesake and maternal grandfather.
I'm only into the third chapter but Parade's End's apparent themes of marriage and infidelity put me in mind of The Forsyte Saga. I have a feeling it's going to be a very thought-provoking novel.

3 comments

Caroline Helstone said...

I haven't read much literature from the early 20th century. How does it differ from the Victorians and our contemporary fiction?

Katherine Cox said...

Caroline: I'll probably be better able to answer as I get more into the novel but right now the difference I notice is the writing style/tone. It took some adjustment to fall into.

I've been reading so much from the 19th century, I'm at ease with it's language and style, with Ford I have to concentrate more, just as I did w/ Fitzgerald's Gatsby earlier this year. I feel I'll miss something if I don't.

I haven't read contemporary literature in a while but again I'm fluent in it.

Katherine Cox said...

@Caroline: Now that I'm about 120 pages in I'm really beginning to admire how Ford's exploring different techniques like writing Tietjens thoughts, but how people really think; in random phrases and how we move between subjects.

Jul 23, 2012

Reading Check-In ~ Parade's End

As I settled into the first pages I wasn't sure I was going to like Ford's writing style, his use of dialogue tags seemed a little choppy, isn't that a silly thing to condemn a writer for? Well, I was berated as I found myself bound up in his vivid language.
Guernica by Pablo Picasso
Tietjens had been staring --staring with the intentness of a maddened horse-- at his, Macmaster's face! And grey! Shapeless! The nose like a pallid triangle on a bladder of lard! That was Tietjens face... He could still feel the blow, physical in the pit of his stomach! He had thought Tietjens was going mad: that he was mad. It had passed. Tietjens had assumed the mask of his indolent, insolent self.
Picasso's art passed through my mind as I read this description. We see Christopher Tietjens torn apart, reinterpreted, and what Macmaster feels, it's what I do as I look at paintings from the cubist movement: unsettled.

Tietjens is a very interesting character with his enigmatic speeches, I can't make out if they're serious or jests... I'm pretty sure he's just trying to get a reaction. He seems very grounded but isn't afraid to cross the boundaries of convention at work. His home-life is in turmoil stemming from the infidelity of his wife Sylvia, and the knowledge that his child may not be his. You get the impression there's incredible depth to him but he's restrained.

Originally I kept confusing the author's name with
Pre-Raphaelite artist Ford Madox Brown, it turns out he
was Ford Madox Ford's namesake and maternal grandfather.
I'm only into the third chapter but Parade's End's apparent themes of marriage and infidelity put me in mind of The Forsyte Saga. I have a feeling it's going to be a very thought-provoking novel.

3 comments:

Caroline Helstone said...

I haven't read much literature from the early 20th century. How does it differ from the Victorians and our contemporary fiction?

Katherine Cox said...

Caroline: I'll probably be better able to answer as I get more into the novel but right now the difference I notice is the writing style/tone. It took some adjustment to fall into.

I've been reading so much from the 19th century, I'm at ease with it's language and style, with Ford I have to concentrate more, just as I did w/ Fitzgerald's Gatsby earlier this year. I feel I'll miss something if I don't.

I haven't read contemporary literature in a while but again I'm fluent in it.

Katherine Cox said...

@Caroline: Now that I'm about 120 pages in I'm really beginning to admire how Ford's exploring different techniques like writing Tietjens thoughts, but how people really think; in random phrases and how we move between subjects.

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Maira Gall