Some candidates for parody
Posted by Laraine on April 20, 1998 at 12:51:11:
In response to , written by Barbara on April 19, 1998 at 13:15:08
] 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."
] 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 crouched 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 brooding rural tragedy in England is probably Thomas Hardy's invention (Tess and
, for example). The problem was that Hardy was a genius and his immitators weren't. The valorization of rural life goes back at least to Wordsworth and Coleridge (I think you can even see it in JA), but the less-than-geniuses poured on the melodrama because without it they found the depiction of rustic life to be boring. I think Gibbons is parodying D.H. Lawrence's work to a large degree (it's what Flora reads on the train in the movie). Sons and Lovers has some tastes of the prose she (Gibbons) parodies.
But if you want to get a taste of the "earthy, melodramatic novels of the period," try Sheila Kaye Smith. Of particular note is her Sussex Gorse (sounds dreadful!). Working your way through that one is worthy of a medal, apparently (my DH has done it, but he doesn't recommend it to anyone he would in any way call "friend", so be forwarned, read it at your own risk, and so on :-).
Laraine, who grew up on a farm and whose father's name was Reuben!!
- Hardy Barbara 20:03:15 4/20/98 (2)
- ... parodying Lawrence.... Kate 13:09:16 4/20/98 (0)
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