Trollope the humanist
Posted by Bob on December 08, 1997 at 19:49:05:
In response to Anti-Trollope RANT, written by Helen on December 08, 1997 at 07:10:54
] a Man of Letters.
] Because he writes about politics (which no-one now finds interesting)a
] writes with a satirical, masculine eye about life
... among many other thought-provoking remarks.
There may be many other, unacclaimed, novelists of Trollopes time who are his equal. However, Trollope's writing justifies his reputation, in my view. He has a compelling ability to get the reader from another age to see how his society works. I think that is "politics", and I don't agree that no-one is interested in it. The way the communities flow or falter, and the impact of, or influence on the individuals in the community are "politics", whether it is in a Cathedral community, or the Civil Service or wherever. Trollope gets you to see how types of individuals might act, and that is the key to illuminating histroy rather than just writing stories.
He is also very angry about the abuses in his society. Have you ever read "The Way We Live Now"?
He also passes the read aloud test with flying colors. He has been the stand-by for soap opera in my family for years, to be read to accompany the dish-washing or the ironing.
To return to the most intriguing of your remarks:
I am not sure that "irony" is the most apt for Trollope. He has so much sympathy with real people, a characteristic that militates against irony. I am also intrigued by you capitalized "Man of Letters". He was actually a working civil servant all his life, writing on the train as he commuted to work. In that was he shares some characteristics with the woorking woman novelist.
He can also be very, very funny. The scene with the chaise-longue being brought into Mrs. Proudie's reception is superb. However, all of the examples I can think of off the top of my head raise their laughs from the female characters. Can anyone remember him ridiculing men. What about Phineas Finn?
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