Posted by Barbara on April 19, 1998 at 13:15:08:
Sorry for the flurry of posts!
I think I must be reading the same edition of the novel as is shown on this board, for it has the same cover illustration.
On the back cover, it says "...Cold Comfort Farm is a classic of its kind, a dazzling parody of the earthy, melodramatic novels of the period."
Now, I haven't read very many novels from that period, but a few that come to mind that could be comprised in this parody are Steinbeck novels such as "The Grapes of Wrath" and "East of Eden". These two books have lots of biblical references--their titles, and character names especially. In East of Eden, for example, all the "good" characters have names that start with the letter "A" and all the "bad" characters have names that start with a "C", just like Cain and Abel in the Bible.
In Cold Comfort Farm, the Starkadder names Judith, Amos, Seth, and even Reuben are all Bible names. There are also a number of references to vipers (as in the postcard Flora receives) and adders in the Bible, things like this:
He will suck the poison of serpents; the fangs of an adder will kill him
They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider's web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
Do not rejoice, all you Philistines, that the rod that struck you is broken; from the root of that snake will spring up a viper, its fruit will be a darting, venomous serpent.
which may well have been the type of verse contained in the postcard which came from Cold Comfort Farm.
I found that the descriptions of the farm itself for example, at the beginning of CH. 3, and the metaphor of the farm being like a crouced animal to be very melodramatic and to stand out from the way the dialogue and the rest of the book is written. I think that Gibbons is deliberately being pretentious and using this writing to draw attention to itself, perhaps to parody other novels from that era.
- The irony of it Constanza 17:19:57 4/20/98 (2)
- Some candidates for parody Laraine 12:51:11 4/20/98 (4)
- Some good insights but . . . Kay 14:24:24 4/19/98 (1)
- I know Barbara 14:33:07 4/19/98 (0)
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