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Liber Amoris, Or, The New Pygmalion
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Liber Amoris, Or, The New Pygmalion

3.09  ·  Rating details ·  82 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Hazlitt, as Pygmalion, mythologizes the obsessional love of his early forties. Galatea is Sarah Walker, the twenty-year old daughter of a tailor in whose house in Chancery Lane Hazlitt took lodgings after separating from his wife. He describes the joys, agonies and humiliations experienced as he worships in Sarah the perfection that he himself has created. The book is writ ...more
Published (first published 1823)
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Nikolay Nikiforov
It's rather hard to imagine a less appealing character than this story's narrator. He is delusional, paranoid, selfish, manipulative, creepy, pompous, abusive. How much of this H. is real Hazlitt, a writer of great talent and perception, is a curious question. Whether narrator's mania comes through so forcefully thanks to the work of critical reconstruction, or is it just simple honesty, this is a rather astonishing report of love life at its lowest, with no saving grace or absolution.
Happy is
Robert Goulding
Well, that was icky

Quite mortifying to read this, having always admired Hazlitt's writing. It seems hardly possible to believe any more there can be any insight or good judgement in his essays, when he could write this, ostensibly to uncover the treachery of the woman he "loved" (stalked, hounded, slobbered over, terrified). He published their letters, transcribed their conversations verbatim, all to convict her; and on every single page he, Hazlitt himself, is almost unbearable to watch.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
That ugly reflection is yourself.
I was already a fan of Hazlitt before reading this and even more so now. Unlike anything else he wrote, this is a tormenting account of how possessive love can be. Without fear of how he is perceived, Hazlitt is clearly writing from personal experience as he executes passage after passage with such skill in depicting the young male condition.

Nobody wants to listen to that friend who pours endlessly about 'that girl', so I would recommend this to men in such a si
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
A good enough place to start with the sadly-overlooked but very interesting Mr. Hazlitt and his wide scope of writing. Hazlitt is crucial to modern/post-modern critical writing because he took an interest in the aesthetics of writing and complexity of narrative before nearly anyone else was doing what today would be consider narratological literary criticism. Hazlitt had a wide-ranging interest in writing, including journalism but also was deeply into both sacred and secular philosophy. He thus ...more
Mj Zander
There are undoubtedly some stunning lines in this, but poor Hazlitt sounds so hopelessly desperate, on the verge of disturbing and pathetic, that I found it somewhat difficult to read, especially after reading some of his brilliant essays. If he was attempting to emulate Rousseau he fell short. It does make for an interesting compare and contrast of his writings, but it's not something I'd recommend to someone unfamiliar with his essays as I feel this is not a fair representation of his writing.
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is not easily classified. It is a frame story, an epistolary novel, a confession. Its structure and meaning is so intertwined with its plot, that none can properly discussed without creating a spoiler situation. Although the story is initially disorienting, the reader's perseverance will be rewarded.
Sep 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The rather astonishing story of the ill-fated love affair Hazlitt had with Sarah, the daughter of his landlord, while separated but not divorced from his wife. The range of passions here is rather disturbing; he could possibly been seen as a stalker today, seemingly fuelled by a disbelief in Sarah's continued statement that she did not love him and was, in fact, seeing someone else. Was she playing him? Hazlitt goes from loving to raging - and everything in between - during the course of the boo ...more
Sep 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Assigned reading for a university module. The edition I purchased was formatted ridiculously badly; titles were on individual pages, the writing wasn't centred and some lines had two words while others had minuscule font. The actual text, however, was entertaining and fun to read. The narrator was an obsessive prick, with no respect for boundaries, and I felt sorry for Sarah, but at the same time, he was so much like a needy child that I pitied him as well. A decent read, if you can find a profe ...more
Nov 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Read this and The Far Side of a Kiss around the same time. They are connected -- Haverty's book being a telling of the story of Liber Amoris from the viewpoint of the girl. And of course - the tie to Pygmalion -- how would one resist this dual read? Well, I suppose one could but I didn't.
Adam Wahlberg
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Masterfu, if a bit disturbing, meditation on obsession and delusion. Reminded me of "Don Quixote."
Aug 26, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ks-recommended
I'm trying to figure out if it's possible on this site to give a book 0 stars.
Jan 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you are interested in the self-absorbed rantings of a man who is in "love" with a girl who repeatedly refuses to reciprocate, this book is for you.
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William Hazlitt was an English writer, remembered for his humanistic essays and literary criticism, and as a grammarian and philosopher. He is now considered one of the great critics and essayists of the English language, placed in the company of Samuel Johnson and George Orwell, but his work is currently little-read and mostly out of print. During his lifetime he befriended many people who are no ...more
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“Sacrifices are no sacrifices when they are repaid a thousand fold.” 2 likes
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