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The Age of Innocence (2008)

af Edith Wharton

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
13,454296418 (4.02)5 / 1137
An elegant portrait of desire and betrayal in Old New York. In the highest circle of New York social life during the 1870's, Newland Archer, a young lawyer, prepares to marry the docile May Welland. Before their engagement is announced, he meets May's cousin, the mysterious, nonconformist Countess Ellen Olenska, who has returned to New York after a long absence. Archer's world is always changing.… (mere)
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    Jane Eyre af Charlotte Brontë (readerbabe1984)
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    The American af Henry James (2below)
    2below: Similar plot and themes--both deal with the issue of being an outsider. I find James' prose a bit more vigorous than Wharton's.
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    The Bostonians af Henry James (jbvm)
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1920s (13)
AP Lit (154)
100 (51)
Indlæser...

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Engelsk (282)  Spansk (5)  Italiensk (2)  Fransk (2)  Portugisisk (Brasilien) (1)  Tysk (1)  Portugisisk (Portugal) (1)  Hollandsk (1)  Alle sprog (295)
Viser 1-5 af 295 (næste | vis alle)
As always, Wharton's novels are difficult for me to rate. I struggle with her books, not due to the writing which is usually quite good, but instead my lack of sympathy for the spoiled, wealthy characters Wharton writes about.

Set during the Gilded Age, in The Age of Innocence the focus is on Newland Archer and May Welland, who at face-value seem to be an ideally matched couple. Into the picture comes May's cousin Ellen Olenska, who arrives in the US after leaving her European husband. Ellen causes quite a stir among the upper echelons of polite society. Newland takes a liking to her, causing him to question the social conventions he feels restricted by and also threatening his relationship with May.

Although I didn't really have much in common with the characters and it was fairly obvious where the story was headed, I still enjoyed aspects of the book. Actually my favorite part of the book was the ending, not because the story was over, but due to the elegant restraint Wharton showed in her writing.

Rating: 4 stars
Published: 1920
Factoids: Wharton was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize. ( )
  Ann_R | Aug 7, 2023 |
There is more blushing in this novel than I have encountered elsewhere. The blush seems to be the main mode of expression, since the characters cannot say anything clearly to each other. Newland Archer often "starts" and then says 1/3 to 1/2 of a sentence in anger that quickly evaporates. I'll have to see the movie now to see if Daniel Day Lewis says anything. I also found Newland's attraction to the Countess to be quite mysterious. It is the central undiscussed mystery of the story. I know that life often works that way, but if you are writing a novel you could say something about the crush besides that she doesn't mind living in the same city block as artists do, and that she can decorate a room with only a single feather and blown flowers.

Here is my favorite quote, a description of Boston:

"The streets near the station were full of the smell of beer and coffee and decaying fruit and a shirt-sleeved populace moved through them with the intimate abandon of boarders going down the passage to the bathroom." ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
Wharton's unsparing portrait of late 1800s upper class New York shows a society crumbling under the weight of its own pretense and conservatism. The senseless and hypocritical rituals of the upper classes and their tribal persecution of outsiders and nonconformists is portrayed here humorously but also as making many of the most privileged members bear the misery of its burden.
I find it hard to sympathize with Newland Archer, the novel's protagonist, because he seems so much in denial of his feelings throughout the first part of the novel that when he finally admits that he is in love with the Countess Olenska, he is far too enmeshed in the demands of his role as son and fiance to do anything about it. ( )
  jonbrammer | Jul 1, 2023 |
Wharton's most well-known book invokes the typical Wharton theme of the strictures of society that the wealthy live under: Does one really have any free choice to live one's life as one pleases? Newland Archer thinks he can escape, to ignore the rules of the New York wealthy society in which he lives. He is engaged to be married to May, a girl deeply embedded in New York society, with the correct and proper breeding and education to fit the requirements for a wife. But then Archer meets Countess Ellen Olenska, a woman who has recently returned from Europe after leaving her husband under scandalous circumstances. He believes he has fallen in love with Ellen, and wants to give everything up, his place in New York society, his fiancée May, and run away with Ellen.

In Archer's mind, May is an innocent, unaware of how bound up in society's rules she is. But who is the real innocent here--is it Archer who thinks he is brave enough and strong enough to give up everything he has ever known? He can't even recognize that behind the scenes May is manipulating people and events so that her life goes exactly the way she wants it to. In the end, innocent May, may have been the most successful at living life exactly as she chose to.

This is a book everyone should read.

5 stars

First line: "On a January evening of the early seventies Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York."

Last line: "Newland Archer got up and walked back alone to the hotel." ( )
  arubabookwoman | May 29, 2023 |
This book surpasses all the others that I've read of Edith Wharton. It's no wonder it won the Pulitzer Prize. The thoughts she gives the protagonists are so clear that even more than a century later they are understandable and conceivably spot-on. I did not read this in high school and college and I am disappointed that I waited so long to read it. THIS should be the required reading for all. The portrayal of "society" in New York, duty, courage, family, desire, and gender-prescribed roles are all here. Having been to New York City several times, I found it fun to read of Wharton's writing this historical fiction and naming significant places in New York City that became monuments in her time, and even more revered today. This is truly a classic. ( )
  Kimberlyhi | Apr 15, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 295 (næste | vis alle)
A larger life and more tolerant views: That’s the greatest promise the novel holds out to us, and it’s as necessary now as it was when Edith Wharton put it into words.
tilføjet af danielx | RedigerNew York Times, Elif Batuman (Nov 1, 2019)
 

» Tilføj andre forfattere (131 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Wharton, Edithprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Auchincloss, LouisIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Bordwin, GabrielleOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Bresnahan, AlyssaFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Dayne, BrendaFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Forster, E. M.Introduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Gibson, FloFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Hill, DickFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Horovitch, DavidFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Howard, MaureenIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Johnson, DianeIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Judge, PhoebeFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Klett, ElizabethFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Lewis, R.W.B.Introduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Lively, PenelopeIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Lorna, RaverFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Merlington, LauralFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Munro, AlanFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Negri, PietroOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Orgel, StephenIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Phelps, William LyonIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Pisanti, TommasoIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Quinn, Laura Dluzynskimedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Raver, LornaFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Ribera, RomàOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Sarah, MaryFortællermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Shore, StephenFotografmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Smith, Lawrence BeallIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Waid, CandaceIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Wolff, Cynthia GriffinIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Woodson, MatthewIllustratormedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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On a January evening of the early seventies, Christine Nilsson was singing in Faust at the Academy of Music in New York.
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And he felt himself oppressed by this creation of factitious purity, so cunningly manufactured by a conspiracy of mothers and aunts and grandmothers and long-dead ancestresses, because it was supposed to be what he wanted, what he had a right to, in order that he might exercise his lordly pleasure in smashing it like an image made of snow.
It was the old New York way of taking life" without effusion of blood": the way of people who dreaded scandal more than disease, who placed decency above courage, and who considered that nothing was more ill-bred than "scenes", except the behavior of those who gave rise to them.
When he thought of Ellen Olenska it was abstractly, serenely, as one might think of some imaginary beloved in a book or a picture: she had become the composite vision of all that he had missed.
That terrifying product of the social system he belonged to and believed in, the young girl who knew nothing and expected everything, looked back at him like a stranger through May Welland's familiar features; and once more it was borne in on him that marriage was not the safe anchorage he had been taught to think, but a voyage on uncharted seas.
"No," she acquiesced; and her tone was so faint and desolate that he felt a sudden remorse for his own hard thoughts. "The individual, in such cases, is nearly always sacrificed to what is supposed to be the collective interest: people cling to any convention that keeps the family together--protects the children, if there are any," he rambled on, pouring out all the stock phrases that rose to his lips in his intense desire to cover over the ugly reality which her silence seemed to have laid bare.
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An elegant portrait of desire and betrayal in Old New York. In the highest circle of New York social life during the 1870's, Newland Archer, a young lawyer, prepares to marry the docile May Welland. Before their engagement is announced, he meets May's cousin, the mysterious, nonconformist Countess Ellen Olenska, who has returned to New York after a long absence. Archer's world is always changing.

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