The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

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Short Story Archives > The Lifted Veil - Chapter 1

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message 1: by Silver (new)

Silver The Lifted Veil is a rather unique story for George Elliot for a couple of different reasons. It is the only time she ever used first person narration, and the only time she ever wrote about the supernatural.


message 2: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments It's decidedly different from Middlemarch. I wouldn't have guessed the author was George Eliot. It's interesting that it represents the only time she wrote in 1st person and about the supernatural. A kind of experiment. One, I guess, she decided didn't work for her. I wonder what influenced her to try out these devices.


message 3: by Silver (new)

Silver Renee wrote: "It's decidedly different from Middlemarch. I wouldn't have guessed the author was George Eliot. It's interesting that it represents the only time she wrote in 1st person and about the supernatural...."

Those are some interesting questions. Yes, it is curious to think that she never wrote in the first person again.

The idea of her writing something supernatural is also interesting considering how very different that is from most of her other works. She usually is a very realistic writer, though Silas Marner borrows from Gothic literature in a lot of ways, and while it is not supernatural, some of the characters in the book talk about ghosts and superstition.

Maybe she deiced that writing about the supernatural wasn't for her, or she just felt like trying out something different. Or maybe she was influenced by what was popular at the time as I know there was a lot of sensationalist literature in the 19th century.


message 4: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments I did a tiny bit of research. One critic suggested that she was influenced by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but I don't know enough about her life to know why. If they met, or she enjoyed reading him, or, perhaps, she was winning a bet. :D

Personally, I think the narrator's voice seems very feminine, even for a sensitive young man. I suspect I'd find the story to be more effective if the protagonist was female. More Cassandra, I suppose. Unable to affect the outcome of her visions.

I certainly understand why Eliot's publisher recommended that she publish this under a pen name. I suspect it has gotten critical attention simply because of its novelty.


message 5: by Renee (new)

Renee M | 747 comments I don't remember the gothic aspects of Silas Marner. I'll have to take another look. Thanks for the tie-in.


message 6: by Silver (new)

Silver Renee wrote: "I did a tiny bit of research. One critic suggested that she was influenced by Nathaniel Hawthorne, but I don't know enough about her life to know why. If they met, or she enjoyed reading him, or, p..."

I did not recall it as striking me as being particularly feminine I suppose I did just take it as him being a more fragile, and sickly young man, and being contrasted against his brother who would be like the "jock" in today's world.

I think the comparison to Cassandra is a good one.


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The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910

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