27: Daniel Deronda

Writing a novel? Anyone can do that. Writing two novels? That’s sort of impressive…I guess. Writing a novel that seems like it’s really two novels, one a masterful tragicomedy of manners and the other a crazy fairy tale of ideas, a novel equally notable for peerless psychological acuity and for well-meaning yet nutso 19th-century race mystique, and featuring one of the most enjoyably despicable villains in literature? Now you’re talking.

The Sometime Seminar discusses George Eliot’s final novel, Daniel Deronda (1876).

Supplemental links: Henry James’s review in comic dialogue form; F.R. Leavis’s conjecture on the novel Gwendolen Harleth

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