Saturday, October 15, 2016

"The past is a foreign country..."

Book review:  The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley

"The past is a foreign country:
          they do things differently there."

L. P. (Leslie Poles) Hartley (1895–1972)

This is the celebrated first line of The Go-Between, Hartley's novel of Victorian romance and deception published in London in 1953. It can mean whatever you make of it.

I take it as an admonition….one must try to be aware of the unique and partly (perhaps completely) inaccessible context that framed the actions and outlooks of those who did things we think we're interested in…you know, it's not easy to think and feel as the Romans did…

The 1970 movie with Julie Christie and Alan Bates is a genuinely throbbing, set-your-teeth-on-edge rendition of the book…give the book or the movie a try.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2016 All rights reserved.

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