Lista de posibles títulos para el próximo libro del Book Club
Les paso el listado que hicimos el sábado. Los títulos que son originales en inglés los dejé en ese idioma. En el caso en particular de A Death in Venice, Thomas Mann lo escribió en alemán, así que agrego esta novela en español.
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
A few words on Miss Austen are in order, to understand what she was writing and the time of her compositions. She lived during what is known as the Regency period in a country vicarage with her parents as well as brothers and one elder sister, Cassandra. She lived a quiet but not dull life and most of this is reflected in her letters (esp. those to her sister) . She also lived in a bigger town, Bath, but did not like it as much.
The world she writes of is of the country gentry, neither too grand or too humble, what would be considered middle class in our days. She was a keen observer of human nature who could in a couple of sentences give us a sketch of a certain character.
If you want to watch some films on her life, I highly recommend “Miss Austen Regrets” with Olivia Williams playing the part of Jane Austen, very moving and interesting, it focus more on Jane Austen as a more mature woman. There is a great documentary presented by Anna Chancellor –who is incidentally related to Austen- “The Real Jane Austen”. And of course, there is also “Becoming Jane” which is quite interesting, yet a little more on the fictional side.
Regarding our choice of first book, even though Northanger Abbey was published posthumously, it felt right to start with this book. Catherine Morland is one of Austen’s most endearing heroines and her tale is a coming of age story, told with charm, wit, a dash of sarcasm, but a great deal of sympathy for her characters.
Again if you want to watch a good version of this novel. ITV did a nice version in 2007, Felicity Jones plays the main character and JJ Feild plays Henry Tilney. There’s a BBC version of the 80’s but I haven’t seen it and can not comment on its merits.
In many passages, Catherine’s reading material is mentioned so I thought it convenient to add a few links, in case you’re interested, to download these works in particular. They are all Gothic novels. A genre which was particularly popular at the time. I leave here some links regarding Gothic fiction, and the Gothic revival in England in particular.
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
The Italian by Ann Radcliffe
The Castle of Wolfenbach by Eliza Parsons
The Mysterious Warning, a German Tale by Eliza Parsons n/a
The Necromancer; or, The Tale of the Black Forest by Ludwig Flammenberg n/a
The Midnight Bell by Francis Lathom n/a
The Orphan of the Rhine by Eleanor Sleath n/a
Horrid Mysteries translation of Peter Will of a tale by Carl Grosse n/a
First Post of Our Book Club Blog
To start, I would like to thank Clara for putting the blog together and being enthusiastic from the get go of this idea. I have always wanted to do something like this, but I have never found people who are that keen on reading or interested in the same books I am.
I want to say a few words on what it means reading to me, but I feel rather cheated since other people have said it better than me. Here are some of those thoughts:
“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” Oscar Wilde
A sentiment I whole heartedly agree with, most of my favourite books I read almost every year. I find something new, something I didn’t think of before. We read these books with a newer perspective, probably a bit more jaded or wiser.
“Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own.” William Hazlitt
“A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.” Franz Kafka
These two quotes get it exactly right, a good book should reveal something of human nature or of ourselves in the process of reading it. We read about these stories of fictional characters and feel as if they were part of our own world, they become enmeshed in our consciousness.
Finally, since this is getting to be a long one. I would like to invite you all, to join us in our discussions and to enjoy the first book which we are about to savour. Please feel free to make this an extensive invitation to people you might think will add to our meetings and are passionate about reading.
Take your time with Northanger Abbey and you won’t be disappointed.
Hope to see you on March 10!