Saturday, February 17, 2018

My Victorian Year #7

I'm continuing to make some progress in each of my three Victorian novels.

The one I must finish first is The Ladies' Paradise by Emile Zola. I had not realized the due date for this inter-library loan was so soon! I have now read over half the book. Most of that being read in one day. Having something that good to read helped me get over my increasing frustration at the lack of figure skating coverage at the Olympics.

I have two quotes to share with you. In the first, Mouret describes himself:
'What! Do I enjoy myself! What's this nonsense you're saying? You're in a sorry state! Of course I enjoy myself, even when things go wrong, because then I'm furious at seeing them go wrong. I'm a passionate fellow; I don't take life calmly, and perhaps that's just why I'm interested in it.' (67)
In the second, Mouret's potential investor makes an observation about the Paradise:
'You sell cheaply in order to sell a lot and you sell a lot in order to sell cheaply....But you must sell, and I repeat my question: whom will you sell to? How do you hope to keep up such colossal sales? (74)
Mouret's answer, of course, is to sell to WOMEN. "You can sell as much as you like when you know how to sell! There lies our success." (75)

Mary Barton. I've read a few chapters this week. I would love to finish it this month as well.
It is the woes that cannot in any earthly way be escaped that admit least earthly comforting. Of all trite, worn-out, hollow mockeries of comfort that were ever uttered by people who will not take the trouble of sympathising with others, the one I dislike the most is the exhortation not to grieve over an event, "for it cannot be helped."
I mourn because what has occurred cannot be helped. The reason you give me for not grieving, is the very sole reason of my grief.
Oh! surest way of conversion to our faith, whatever it may be— regarding either small things, or great—when it is beheld as the actuating principle, from which we never swerve! When it is seen that, instead of overmuch profession, it is worked into the life, and moves every action!
Oh! how often I've been hurt, by being coldly told by persons not to trouble myself about their care, or sorrow, when I saw them in great grief, and wanted to be of comfort.
Our Lord Jesus was not above letting folk minister to Him, for He knew how happy it makes one to do aught for another. It's the happiest work on earth.
 Orley Farm. Oops! I didn't read a single chapter in that book this week. Oh well.

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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