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Seduction and Betrayal: Women and Literature (New York Review Books Classics) Kindle Edition

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Length: 228 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Elizabeth Hardwick (b. 1916) has been a frequent contributor to The Partisan Review, The New Yorker, and The New York Review of Books, which she helped found in 1963. Her books include the novels The Simple Truth, The Ghostly Lover, and Sleepless Nights, the essay collection A View of My Own, and The Selected Letters of William James, for which she acted as editor. Joan Didion is the author of The Year of Magical Thinking and We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction.(December 2008)

Product Details

  • File Size: 532 KB
  • Print Length: 228 pages
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics; New Ed edition (July 13, 2011)
  • Publication Date: July 13, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #843,196 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Philip P. Chandler on August 25, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An excellent set of essays. Unlike the typical jargon-ridden contributions to academic journals, these essays illuminate their topics (the Brontes, Ibsen's women, Don Giovanni, Hester Prynne, Hetty Sorrel, Roberta [in "An American Tragedy"], Maslova [in "Resurrection"], Clarissa, Tess) without any ax-grinding. They are written for those who wish to learn from, to see more clearly what is being shown in, the works of imaginative literature that are the treasure belonging to us all.

One sentence after another both gets at the essence of the text she is explicating and is memorable in its expression. The title essay is simply great. Examples: "Sexual transgression loses its overwhelming character as a wrong or a mistake when the persons have virtues of a compelling sort, or spiritual goodness, or the grandeur of endurance." "In many respects, the characters in "The Scarlet Letter" are not characters at all, but large, fantastically painted playing cards. Symbolic action is Hester's role." "To think of the past as a series of agreements with others that make an everlasting claim on us is unreal, and yet it is one of the most interesting questions ever asked about the subject matter of so much art: youthful love." "Richardson thought, or told himself that he thought, of his brilliant creation as a sort of encyclopedia of male guile and treachery, an elaborate defensive karate, by which the menaced girls of the eighteenth century could learn to protect their virtue." "In a letter the writer holds all the cards, controls everything about himself and about those assertions he wishes to make concerning events or the worth of others. For completely self-centered characters, the letter form is a complex and rewarding activity.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Her essays on the Brontes, Zelda Fitzgerald, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, and Jane Welsh Carlyle are absolute classics. If you are interested in any of these writers (and yes, even Zelda was a writer!), don't miss this one.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joan Ead on May 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The writing is so good, but the subject matter is not new, and the few new insights into some fascinating literary woman aren't quite worth it. But I did read it and had moments of pleasure. So try it.
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