1984, by George Orwell: the forces of the Party against the forces of humanity

Some expressions coined by George Orwell in 1984 are so well-known today that I had a familiar feeling when finally, I started reading this novel. I had already read about the principles of Newspeak (the absolute opposite of what writers work for and what readers appreciate) and of course I knew that 1984 was where … Continue reading 1984, by George Orwell: the forces of the Party against the forces of humanity

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Mrs Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf: on madness, regrets, and the elusive quality of time

There are several forces at work in Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, forces opposing one another or complementing each other, which makes of Virginia Woolf's most popular novel a shining object of endless fascination, throwing its multiple and multicoloured sparkles in all directions, so that it is impossible to fully grasp the extent of Mrs Dalloway's depth … Continue reading Mrs Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf: on madness, regrets, and the elusive quality of time

Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen: feeling, screaming and screening, in a stifling society

Spoiler alert: I'll assume that I'm among the last people on Earth to read Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and that everyone is aware of the plot (if only thanks to the movie!). This review contains mild spoilers (but if you know Jane Austen, you know that most of the time, 'all is well that ends well'). … Continue reading Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen: feeling, screaming and screening, in a stifling society

The Custom of the Country, Edith Wharton: portrait of an avid and dangerously beautiful woman

"Even now, however, she was not always happy. She had everything she wanted, but still she felt, at times, that there were other things she might want if she knew about them." The Custom of the Country, Edith Wharton. Here are described Undine Spragg's insatiable desires, extending their claws of avidity towards things she cannot … Continue reading The Custom of the Country, Edith Wharton: portrait of an avid and dangerously beautiful woman

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott: the ambiguous feminism of a classic from my childhood

Little Women, published in 1868, is one of these books which made their way through the decades and continue to fascinate and rejoice us with their grace, their wit and their tenderness. I was a huge fan of Little Women when I was a kid. I read it twelve or thirteen times; I could relate to each of the girl's main feature … Continue reading Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott: the ambiguous feminism of a classic from my childhood