Fri, 3 January 2020
Are the dreamlike musings of a sensitive intellectual truly predictive, or merely the result of an overactive imagination? George Eliot, today on The Classic Tales Podcast.
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This week we are showcasing the amazing work of George Eliot, the pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans. A good friend of mine, Morag Kawasaki, did a recent research project showcasing the role of women in romantic and Victorian literature. George Eliot/Mary Ann Evans came up time and time again as the most important female author at this time. Some key takeaways were: women weren’t judged against the published men of the time, they were only reviewed against each other.
They were also held to a much higher standard than the male writers of the time. Also, Eliot not only spoke but translated four languages: English, German, Greek and Hebrew.
Henry James, when writing about her novel Middlemarch, pointed to the ‘constant presence of thought, of generalizing instinct, of brain’ and he paid passionate tribute to Eliot’s ‘intellectual vigor, her immense facility, her exemption of cerebral lassitude’”.
Today’s story is about an intellectual, who, after suffering an illness, realizes he has gained the ability to read the thoughts of those around him. His name is Latimer, which means ‘one who interprets Latin’. Even this person’s name is indicative of understanding that which is hidden to most others.
The command of the language, and this ability of Eliot’s to see what others don’t are elegantly evident. I hope you like it.
App users can read Morag’s entire research project, The Journey of the Romantic & Victorian Female Author in their special features for this week’s episode.
And now, The Lifted Veil, Part 1 of 2, by George Eliot.