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Xingu

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  612 ratings  ·  178 reviews
Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet alone. To this end she had founded the Lunch Club, an association composed of herself and several other indomitable huntresses of erudition. The Lunch Club, after three or four winters of lunching and debate, had acquired such local distinction that the entertainment of dis ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published June 17th 2004 by Kessinger Publishing (first published February 27th 1916)
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  612 ratings  ·  178 reviews


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Ilse
Reading Kalliope’s gorgeous, tempting review of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, coming accidently across this short story by her, like my daughter stealthily sticking her finger into a whipped cream topping, I hadn’t the patience to wait until I would find the time to embark on the novel – too keen to get an impression of the taste of Wharton’s prose. The 1916 short story Xingu turned out somewhat more spicy and far less sweet than whipped cream toppings– which for me is fine, as I have no ...more
Brina
Mar 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I read Edith Wharton's Xingu with a group of women who call themselves the Enchanted readers breakfast club. We have decided to discuss short stories over coffee. Having never been exposed to Edith Wharton before and desiring a variety of women authors for my women's history month lineup, I decided to join them.

In thirty two short pages, Wharton offers a social commentary on the education and social awareness of upper class society women. During this era, as in Wharton's case, the sole purpose
...more
Candi
"Her mind was an hotel where facts came and went like transient lodgers, without leaving their address behind, and frequently without paying for their board."

This short story by Edith Wharton is priceless! I spent an entertaining morning alternately reading, drinking coffee, and discussing bits and pieces of this with my own ‘breakfast club’ on-line. In this book, Wharton introduces us to the ‘Lunch Club’. Any member of a book club will most definitely appreciate this one! I’m sure you will reco
...more
Cathrine ☯️
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Hah! Very amusing satire about a very pretentious women's book club. Brilliant denouement.

This short story can be read for free on line at:
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/24131/...
PattyMacDotComma
Mar 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of humour and poking holes in pomposity
Recommended to PattyMacDotComma by: Brina
5★
What an absolute treat of a short story! Anyone who’s ever felt like an awkward peasant among self-proclaimed literati will love this Mad Hatter’s Tea Party of a book club.

"Mrs Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet alone. To this end she founded the Lunch Club, an association composed of herself and several other huntresses of erudition."

The ladies are meeting in one of the 'lesser' homes, awaiting the author of their current book discu
...more
Chrissie
Link to the story free online: http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-sto...

I want to give Wharton another try, having given Ethan Frome and The Age of Innocence both one star ratings.

OK, so I read this, and it certainly did make me smile. What makes it special is that it criticizes social snobbery and intellectualism through humor.

The story is short. It will not take you an hour to read. It is about a group of women who in the late 1800s meet to discuss books, quite an appropriate topic for those of
...more
Sara
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a sense of humor
Not quite a novella and yet more than a short story, Xingu is a witty and humorous look at pomposity, snobbery, and the inclination to derive worth from someone other than self. It was a bundle of satirical fun that made me laugh, while shaking my head and protesting to myself that "I have met these people."

If you have ever met someone who throws around big words in an effort to appear intellectual, but never bothers to know the ACTUAL meaning of them, thus betraying themselves, you cannot help
...more
Debbie Zapata
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gutenberg
The Lunch club is expecting a guest for their next meeting, a famous author! Everyone is all atwitter over the prospect, except perhaps newest member Mrs. Roby.

"I can understand that, with all your other pursuits, you should not find much time for reading; but I should have thought you might at least have got up 'The Wings of Death' before Osric Dane's arrival."
Mrs. Roby took this rebuke good-humouredly. She had meant, she owned, to glance through the book; but she had been so absorbed in a nov
...more
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
At the beginning, I thought Wharton's writing pretentious. But as I proceeded with this short story I saw how the writing style complemented her theme. And by the end I was smiling broadly. Wharton has portrayed her characters eloquently and in the end, it was they who were pretentious.

My favorite quote: ' Her mind was an hotel where facts came and went like transient lodgers, without leaving their addresses behind, and frequently without paying their board.'
Hannah
What a wicked little satire! Wharton portrays a ladies' literary meeting with tongue firmly in cheek as the ladies welcome a popular author whose work intimidates them. They wish to seem educated and up-to-date, but they haven't read the author's books. Mrs. Dane, the popular author, sits down to her coffee and asks the ladies what their opinion of Xingu is. But—what is Xingu?
❀Julie
A must read (and a quick one) for fans of Edith Wharton. This one shows more of her humorous side and anyone in a book club would appreciate.
Piyangie
This short story by Edith Wharton is my first experience with her. True to what I have heard of her, her works involves a strong social commentary on the society at her time.

In this work, Wharton has picked up the theme of a lunch club formed by some upper-society ladies to serve as an abstract group to expose the level of education and ignorance of the women of high society at her time. There is satire throughout the story on the pretentious display of intellect of these high society ladies, t
...more
Diane
May 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent short story about a pompous group of lunching ladies who have dedicated themselves to culture and literature and the like. It's humorous because the women pretend they know more than they do and will have entire conversations professing opinions on topics they know nothing about. This story has cemented Edith Wharton as one of my favorite American writers.
Ivonne Rovira
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone sick of social airs
Recommended to Ivonne by: Stacie Haden
Edith Wharton wrote this story at the turn of the 20th century about bourgeois women from the backwater of Hillbridge; however, it’s sentiment is true for any age and for any but the largest American metropolises. A case study in snobbery with the most satisfying ending.
Melodie
Sep 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Timeless satire on the pretentiousness of humans. A 1900's book club has invited a celebrated author into their midst to discuss her literary offering. Caught up in their one upmanship, they make fools of themselves. As they attempt to discuss a topic(Xingu) of which they have no clue, hilarity ensues.
A previous reviewer likens this group to the high school cliques we all are so familiar with. And I cannot think of a better description. Edith Wharton nailed it! This is part of a collection of
...more
Terris
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I really enjoyed this short story of a ladies' group that gets together for enriching, cultural talks. But while entertaining a distinguished guest author, the ladies get into a discussion that leads to an entanglement of words and conversation while trying to sound educated about "Xingu," of which none of them has ever heard.
This is a very entertaining story, and I found myself laughing out loud. It is also a reminder about not trying to sound like a "know-it-all" -- it might get you into trou
...more
Kevin Ansbro
"Miss Van Vluyck adjusted her spectacles as though they were the black cap of condemnation."

Wonderful satirical short exposing the intellectual pretentiousness that exists within a ladies' lunch club.
Kathleen
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
How fun it was to watch the ladies’ Lunch Club in action, and enjoy the unraveling of this clever plot! The best part was Edith Wharton’s trademark descriptive similes peppered throughout, which may have stood out more in this short story than they do in her novels.

Just a few of my favorites:
“ … whose manner of putting forth an opinion was like that of an obliging salesman with a variety of other styles to submit if his first selection does not suit.”
“Mrs. Leveret felt like a passenger on an oce
...more
Pat
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Che si fondino Lunch Club per raccogliere cacciatrici di erudizione che “inseguono la Cultura in gruppo quasi fosse pericoloso affrontarla da sola”, o s’invitino le Orsic Dane di turno, scrittrici dall’ego espanso e dal dubbio talento; oppure si levino in coro le voci delle varie signore e signorine Ballinger, Plinth, Glyde, Van Vluyck, Leveret in vuoti discorsi e insulsi commenti, finché esisterà una Fanny Roby che dichiara candidamente d’aver appena letto Trollope ma nessun’opera della scrittr ...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thoughts to follow.
Katy
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2018
A delightful reread for me. I definitely need to read more by Wharton.

2013
For all of us who think too much of ourselves and what we have read.
Funny and true.
debbicat ☮~Traveling Sister
Brilliant!! This was so clever and unexpected. I would not have picked it up ( I don't think) had my newly formed Breakfast Club (book club within The Reading for Pleasure Book Club) chosen it for a short story. I am still thinking about it. It was just fun! The group chat made it even more fun, tho. I have not read much of Edith Wharton. Now, after this, I do want to add more titles by her. Again..how clever she was!

I highly recommend it for those that like short stories and some playfulness.
...more
Albus Eugene Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore
[Feb 2012]
Il Sarchiapone.
Il Sarchiapone deriva dallo Xingu. Questo è noto. Gli studiosi affermano che, nel tempo, alcuni caratteri dello Xingu stesso abbiano risentito del favorevole influsso del Sarchiapone. Il professor Walter Franklys, nel suo libro ”The Sarchiapon. Origin and Evolution”, fa risalire l’origine di tutto al passaggio della Cometa di Basile, avvistata nel 1634 dall’osservatorio dell’isola di Tule.
La vasta letteratura formatasi negli anni attribuisce poi al Sarchiapone rilevanti
...more
Hajarath Prasad Abburu
What a satire!! What a laugh riot!!

Xingu is a social satire based upon a bunch of pretentious, self - praising ladies who are the members of one Lunch Club in a place called Hillbridge. On an uneventful day, they invite an author Osric Dane to attend their meet and address them. What follows is a rip roaring laughter riot. Read it!!

Thank you Srividya for recommending this book. I LOVED LOVED LOVED IT!!!


PS : The lunch club meetings reminded me the meetings of American Guild of Architects in Th
...more
Inkspill
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
what a delightful funny tale. A brill read and a nice break from all the recent heavy dusties :)
Tania
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
A clever and amusing short story, about a group of pretentious women who have formed the Lunch Club, in which to discuss literature. They regret asking Mrs Roby to join, as she's not the right sort. She was recommended to them by a man. He was probably flattered by her, or liked her hair style.
Mrs Roby manages to make fools of them all during one of their discussions. Once I had found out exactly what was going on, I had to go back and read the second chapter again, to see where it all fitted
...more
Laura
Free download available at Project Gutenberg

Opening lines:
Mrs. Ballinger is one of the ladies who pursue Culture in bands, as though it were dangerous to meet alone. To this end she had founded the Lunch Club, an association composed of herself and several other indomitable huntresses of erudition. The Lunch Club, after three or four winters of lunching and debate, had acquired such local distinction that the entertainment of distinguished strangers became one of its accepted functions; in recog
...more
Terry ~ Huntress of Erudition
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very funny, especially if you imagine it in a modern book discussion group setting - I found that there is always one "expert", who has to say her views first and will dispute yours if they differ and there is another person who came for the discussion and the snacks, didn't read the book, but does have a definite opinion about it.
Srividya
Hilarious! Highly recommended.

A brilliant satire on book clubs and ladies clubs by Edith Wharton that has you laughing as you read. This was my first by the author and I must say that I am looking forward to reading more by her.
Anil
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Simply amazing. I think I'm becoming an Edith Wharton fan.:)
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Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the a ...more
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“Oh, certainly, 'The Wings of Death' is not amusing," ventured Mrs. Leveret, whose manner of putting forth an opinion was like that of an obliging salesman with a variety of other styles to submit if his first selection does not suit.” 2 likes
“... it became clear to her observers that she was not quick at shifting her facial scenery. It was as though her countenance had so long been set in an expression of unchallenged superiority that the muscles had stiffened, and refused to obey her orders.” 2 likes
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