Quite disappointing , after reading Clarissa! it looks like a poor copy of Clarissa but with a happy ending . The second half is quite boring reformed...moreQuite disappointing , after reading Clarissa! it looks like a poor copy of Clarissa but with a happy ending . The second half is quite boring reformed rakes are even more dull than vertuous characters in this novel, but still it's interesting to read it if one likes the 18th century .(less)
I have just finished it and I feel exactly like Denis Diderot writes in his “Eloge de Richardson”about his novels : “How delightfully moved I was by th...moreI have just finished it and I feel exactly like Denis Diderot writes in his “Eloge de Richardson”about his novels : “How delightfully moved I was by them! With every moment I saw my time of happiness growing a page shorter. Soon I had the same feeling as is experienced by men who get on extremely well together and, having been together for a long time, are about to separate. When it was finished, I suddenly felt that I was left alone.”
It is really a strange experience to read such a book as Clarissa : first because of its length you will keep the characters with you for 1500 pages , and it’s not so usual and if it’s tragic it’s not a boring dull tragedy though it’s impossible not to be moved and sad after Clarissa’ s death and even Lovelace’ s death., and at the same time almost all Lovelace letters to Belford are so hilarious , witty , funny I never expected to laugh as I did all along ...!The humor of them is exquisite !!!And for these reasons Clarissa can hardly be compared with any other epistolary book of the period . I really had the feeling when I started it to have travelled in a time machine 350 years ago, and being the special witness of this story, as Richardson never appears it’s really like if we were all alone with the characters, as if we were reading their letters as they were writing them behind their chairs. Everything looks so true, so genuine, so real, Diderot expresses that better here: ” O Richardson! whether we wish it or not, we play a part in your works, we intervene in the conversation, we give it approval and blame, we feel admiration, irritation and indignation. How many times have I caught myself, as happens with children being taken to the theatre for the first time, shouting out: Don't believe him, he's deceiving you ... If you go there it'll be the end of you.My heart was in a state of permanent agitation. [...:] The world we live in is his scene of action, his drama is anchored in truth, his people are as real as it is possible to be, his characters are taken from the world of society, his events belong to the customs of all civilized nations; the passions he portrays are those I feel within me; the same things arouse them, and I recognize their force in myself; the problems and afflictions of his people are of the same kind as those which constantly hang over me; he shows me the general course of life as I experience it”
This book is so haunting and addicting , that I’m sure I will keep the characters with me a long, long time after reading it, it’s a long book but Richardson skills keep us awake all along. As Diderot writes about the author” The more you read him, the more pleasure you take in him. “I totally agree with Denis! I didn’t expect to enjoy it so much,(though it’s a tragic story )I didn’t read such a very good book for many years, I’m sure I will reread it with the the same pleasure in a few years .
And I really enjoyed the friendship between Lovelace and Belford, they were my favorite characters, I thought their last seperation at the end very sad and very moving .(not metionning of course the saddest events of the book )
An absolute masterpiece !!! No questions so many europeans authors of the 18th and 19th have been influenced by it (less)