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The only satisfactory age in England! Yet what chance had it to-day.

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Or, still more, to-morrow. What chance had quiet fields, Anglican sainthood, accuracy of thought, heavy-leaved, timbered hedge-rows, slowly creeping plough-lands moving up the slopes? Sweet-williams along the path. Light filtered by boughs. Gleams in the little window-panes. Wallstones all lichen. In both cases, what is regarded as quintessentially English is rendered in a markedly poetic manner. The highly visual details in both passages generate a vignette of England, or might even be read as ekphrases of paintings by the canonical English painter Constable. Here is how Eagleton describes the effect of the beautiful on a community:.

Certain objects stand out in a sort of perfection dimly akin to reason, and these are known as the beautiful. Because these are objects which we can agree to be beautiful, not by arguing or analysing but just by looking and seeing, a spontaneous consensus is brought to birth.

Eagleton Englishness in these novels is, predictably, embodied by the gentleman. Yet gentlemen are first and foremost defined by what they are not, and do not do. They exist. The pendant to this underlying negativity of Englishness is the necessity to uphold a constant parade. Englishness implies publicity.


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Eagleton also emphasizes the importance of the public sphere in maintaining national ideology:. This also matches the analysis of Englishness from the outside, by a foreign character in the novels. He was the English Milor with le Spleen. He represented the England that the Continent applauded—the only England that the Continent applauded. Silent, obstinate, inscrutable, insolent, but immensely wealthy and uncontrollably generous. This is illustrated most clearly—and scathingly—through the Duchemin-Macmaster couple. Hobsbawm underlines the fact that traditions are being invented at the very time when the continuity with the past is broken:.

Such movements, common among intellectuals since the Romantics, can never develop or even preserve a living past. Where the old ways are alive, traditions need neither be revived nor invented. What knits society together for Burke, as with Hume, is the aesthetic phenomenon of mimesis, which is a matter more of custom than of law.

The only problem is where all this imitating ends: social life for Burke would appear a kind of infinite chain of representations of representations, without ground or origin. If we do as others do, who do the same, then all of these copies would seem to lack a transcendental original, and society is shattered to a wilderness of mirrors. The two lovers, Mrs Duchemin and Macmaster, both appear as mirrors of one another. This culminates when they kiss for the first time:. Their presence in the novel constitutes a critical counterpoint to the dominant ideology, shedding light on the widespread pretence of English values that have been emptied of meaning.

One of the great banks. She obviously causes him a great deal of difficulty and distress, but never has the satisfaction of causing him to break down in public. If Christopher Tietjens is meant to represent the idea of the English gentleman, an obvious question to raise is what does Sylvia symbolise? It seems to be something like Britain itself, a country which exploited the best of its upper class with the First World War being the final betrayal of any true decency that still existed.

And, despite all the hypocrisy of the Victorian age, there was much to admire. The title itself could be seen as a reference to this idea. The only way in which the government were prepared for the war, so far as Tietjens knew, was to come up with a ritual to use in demobilisation: after a band played, an adjutant would say, "There will be no more parades". This utterly fatuous way to plan for four years of grisly death, the decimation of the male youth and the overturning of the foundations of society has a deeper meaning that Ford skilfully brings out: things will be changed by the war; pomp and circumstance the music the band plays is Land of Hope and Glory will no longer be important as the old order is overthrown.

This is a double sided coin, of course, for it does not just mean the destruction of the cruelty and fickleness of Sylvia but also of the virtue and decency of Christopher. Apr 25, Devon Flaherty rated it liked it. All authors have their overused words. And for Ford, well, he has a number of them, which at times he is doing on purpose. However, when Graham Greene did a release of it many years ago, he left off the last book, saying that Ford himself wrote The Last Post superfluously tee hee and that he later regretted its inclusion.

I was, therefore, torn between reading it as a trilogy or in its entirety. It helped that I had a terrible time getting through it at all. I left it at the trilogy. Many Parade fans would be appalled, for even though the last book is supposedly very different, it does have its proponents. This is another one of those books listed without fail in the top one hundred best books, wherever you might find that list. It has been called the greatest war novel s of all time, as well as the best of the 20th century. It does not have the large base of obsessive followers as many of the other chart-toppers Anna Karenina, The Great Gatsby, Don Quixote, etc.

It is a difficult read. Or, in the words of some article I read months ago and can not now find, it is a dying novel. Sure, it has themes and stories that could transcend, but its language and literary devices are wearing thin. The writing style is somewhere between stream-of-consciousness and chunky time jumps backwards and forwards. If ellipses vex you, I beg you not to pick up this book.

Particular moments in time are relived again and again, the whole dense pages adding up to maybe a total of ten actual scenes. I think in pictures. Meandering, messy, repetitive tirades of words are tiresome to me. And yet I can appreciate many things about this novel s. The characters, in general, are extremely finely drawn. So is leftover Victorian England. So is war, or at least WWI.

And Sylivia? I want to play editor, and demand that he cut the whole thing by at least half, re-order it into sequential events, and flesh out a few of the supporting characters and subplots. Plus, give us more action! Which is what the book is, really: a very tight winding in the distinct voice of the times. Not a re-read for me. It took me forever. If I was forced to choose one to re-read, it would definitely be A Man Could Stand Up—, which has some achingly beautiful language and moments.

For Stoppard reviews, see here and here. Of course, Cumberbatch fever helped. I ended up watching the whole five-part series while I was on a break from reading the novel, which has confused me considerably. From what I can recall, the series is a great representation of the novel s. It has that sort of fractured, in-his-head, finely-drawn characters feel, and it covers just about all the scenes, at least in the middle two books. There were some plot changes that I am not sure about. It could have been that I misunderstood something. It could have been that not reading the last book put me at a disadvantage.

It could have been Stoppard added things for translation into movie. Plus, for a book which gathers most of its sexual steam by being definitively demure, the series was a bit too overtly sexy for itself. It is true, as has been widely said, that he does a great job acting, as does Rebecca Hall. Beautiful cinematography, fun costumes. Enjoyable, at the very least, for anyone who tolerates period films.

Some do not!

No More Parades

Monkeys and cats. Well, it was doomed! Like dead milk. You appear to be a very decent fellow. Or both.

Parade's End - I go to sleep [Christopher & Valentine]

She was quite right. She had to save her man. Middle Class Morality? A pretty gory carnival that had been for the last four years! But these were not limbs, muscles, torsi. Collections of tubular shapes in field-grey or mud-colour they were. Chucked about by Almighty God? But there was positively lightning. And a little blood!

Paperback Editions

Apr 14, Jamie Bradway rated it liked it. Too obviously an intermediary step of a larger work. Jan 09, Realini rated it it was amazing Shelves: modern-library-top , delightful , masterpiece. The hero is a genius, with a brilliant mind. In war, he acts with exemplary discipline, dedication, sense of duty and honor, taken to some extremes. There is a moment when he is training or supervising soldiers under his command and his attitude appears farfetched. Yet, like always with this Superhero, there is a good sensible reason for his insistence on an overbearing exercise If they reach the gates of Paradise- and a good number in this heinous conflict will- the Supreme Deity will see clean and organized men.

His attitude towards his wife has an Angelique, otherworldly quality about it, although he can be as cold as ice. Indeed, Sylvia played for me the role of the dark angel, a villain that is cheating on the hero and tormenting him. Until I realized I might be very wrong. The wife of the protagonist might be in love with an insensitive man that she tries desperately to entice and seduce. Having to do with an exceptional character, who is extraordinary in his abilities to work with numbers, understand so many aspects of life, prove bravery, honesty, generosity and an indifference to worldly possessions, Sylvia Tietjens must play an extreme game.

Her philandering is a manifestation of yet another complicated, hard for me to understand personage, but one which seems to try and get her husband back… So to say. It is true that I have been overwhelmed and annoyed often by the idiosyncrasies of a woman that takes lovers, if only to tease and torment them in turn, then dispatches a supposed lover of her spouse- and I thought why not let him be, unless she is really head over heels…but here we may have a situation wherein one allows oneself acts that one does not accept for others.

But Sylvia tells general Campion that her husband is a…socialist. The general is not amused and in fact takes this statement so seriously as to consider excluding Christian from his will. When told about this, the hero is first inclined, in jesting, to accept this preposterous accusation to avoid an inheritance that he does not want- after all, he refused to take advantage of his rights as heir after his father died- and then he goes as far as to protect and explain the position of his wife in a baffling manner. I hate communism and left wing systems and I would have been mad.

He is as composed and unaffected as possible. Or so it seems. To end with another positive aspect… what a name the author has: - Ford Madox Ford! May 06, Dustincecil rated it liked it. Sylvia Tietjens Pretty ballsy of her to see the war as nothing but a roadblock on the path of her lifelong battle with her equally reckless? This has turned out, so far, to be a very interesting study of a man's sense of duty to his country, marriage, and social structure. It's difficult to feel any sense of compassion for these mega rich self obsessed characters- but 3.

It's difficult to feel any sense of compassion for these mega rich self obsessed characters- but they are drawn so completely, and so committed to their positions- I can't help but want to see how this plays out. Aug 23, Jane E rated it really liked it Shelves: british , fiction.

I am getting more into this set of 4 books and found this second one more easily read and understood.

No More Parades

The writing is still very scattered but that seems more purposeful in indicating the very scattered thought patterns of the characters. I still don't understand the motivation of the main character's seemingly appalling wife. Why does she want him with no money, why does she want to denigrate him in the eyes of his brother, social contacts and family friends? Perhaps that becomes more clear in t I am getting more into this set of 4 books and found this second one more easily read and understood.

Perhaps that becomes more clear in the later books. Purchased Ca Foscarina bookshop, Venice Oct 20, Mollie Johnson rated it did not like it. Really couldn't get into it. Whilst I can appreciate the literary talent that Ford has employed, I couldn't enjoy reading it. Audiobook edition narrated by Stephen Crossley, very good job. This second book in the Parade's End series gives more insight into the character of Sylvia Tiejens. An extraordinary description of officers and ranks, in a hut, under bombardment during an air raid.

Very impressionistic - dreamlike - hallucinatory; and haunting - truly, the main character Tietjens becomes haunted. And I know there are a dedicated band of people who love him and I can see why. Just not for me, I suppose, overall. But this is not to say they weren't interesting. Quite an eye opener of life behind the lines during WW1; of all the vanity, and social considerations, that could take precedence over the lives of the ordinary soldiers, which was very disturbing. But away from that I often found it quite hard to relate to or even understand the cause of all the strength of embarrassment and shame these officer gentlemen, the upperclass ladies, all suffered for one reason or another in the course of their social lives; while at the same time, quite happily endorsing very dubious behaviour, as long as appearances were maintained.

Very odd. One thing I did relate to though, was the sense Tietjens had of being of the 18th century, out of water in the 20th I think he's right. Last week someone said they often wondered "Whose thoughts are these? They meant which character was talking or thinking at any one moment, but I wondered how much of Ford was in Tietjens - he said he was based on a man who died, and that his marital situation was based on someone he knew also dead from Philadelphia I think he may have been indulging in a bit of misdirection here I suspect he felt all these things himself.

Does anyone know? I'll have to dig up a biography - and I will read the other two novels in this sequence Sep 16, Hayley B rated it it was amazing. This installment is, at first, a little difficult to get into, what with the abundance of military jargon and the dour environment, but it is also the more compelling of the books so far.

We see Christopher drawn deeper into despair by his wife Sylvia probably one of the most evil, heartless characters I have read , suffering all the more cruelly because of his upstanding morals and good nature, and also by having a man die in his arms during a raid. It is Sylvia's scheming that may, in the end This installment is, at first, a little difficult to get into, what with the abundance of military jargon and the dour environment, but it is also the more compelling of the books so far.

It is Sylvia's scheming that may, in the end, get him killed as he is sent to the front line as a consequence. In this book we see Sylvia's Catholic guilt over her past affairs, stating that the Virgin Mary's child had no father, whilst her's has two. It's as if by forcing Christopher to have an affair, she can clear her own feelings of guilt.

It just so happens that she also can't bear any other woman to have him. I loved the character development in this part and was saddened by the entire situation. Looking forward to reading on! This second part of the "Parade's End" tetralogy is as well written as the first part. The author gives the information about the events bit by bit, often in the thoughts of the characters.

And his characters are strongly developed. Take Sylvia, the estranged wife of Tietjens. She is the most terrible person I ever read about. You have to read the other two books, was it only to know how she ends up. Sadly I am not at all familiar with the army and customs within the army at all, so especially the first part was difficult to get through at times. But this can of course not be a reason to give this book a lower rating.

This definitely must be a four star rating. Maybe one of the last two books in will even reach five stars. In the last chapter Tietjens has a long conversation with General Campion, who is his Godfather also. Some things become clear, but why the atitude of Tietjens towards his wife is as it is, remains a mystery to me, and probably also to Tietjens.

You definitely need to read the whole tetralogy. Jan 27, Natassia rated it liked it Recommended to Natassia by: University module. I found the beginning to be confusing, following Tietjen's train of thought and conversations was difficult with them being so disjointed and repetetive but I understand Ford's reasoning behind it. It gives the impression of trauma and shell-shock, leaving you as confused and frustrated as the sufferers.

Sylvia Tietjen's character is complex and difficult. She doesn't seem to know what she wants or how she feels. She makes assumptions about her husband he makes them about her but they lack the h I found the beginning to be confusing, following Tietjen's train of thought and conversations was difficult with them being so disjointed and repetetive but I understand Ford's reasoning behind it.

She makes assumptions about her husband he makes them about her but they lack the honesty needed to bring them together.

No More Parades (Parade's End, book 2) by Ford Madox Ford

We get clarity into their situation as their past is explained, along with their relationships but there are times when Ford expects you to discern understanding from what he has said, without making it explicit. It turned out to be an interesting read, without the story really going anywhere, and I'm not interested to read the next book in this trilogy. And maybe the first.

This one is much more dependent on the other three novels of the tetrology than the novel preceding it, Some Do Not. Whereas Some Do Not covered many relatively brief episodes over a large swath of time, No More Parades is much more grounded chronologically, striving for depth where the former had range. There is much shown by Ford concerning his characters in both cases, and the use of these two different approaches when used in adjacent volumes is quite pleasing.

No More Parades also further d This one is much more dependent on the other three novels of the tetrology than the novel preceding it, Some Do Not.