The Age of Innocence – Discussing a Forbidden Romance

I’ve finally done another classics discussion video! This time around, we’re taking a closer look at Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence, Pulitzer Prize winner and renowned classic. It is, at its core, what I’d call a forbidden romance. But it’s also a tragedy, an identity crisis, and humour-filled display of how to avoid a scandal in 1870’s New York.

Needless to say, I adore this book. I’m not really talking about this in my video, but Edith Wharton’s prose is so unique and humorous that I actually laughed from the very first page. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. So – back to the video. As usual, I talk about the story in great detail before going into my analysis and discussion. I believe that anyone, regardless of whether you’ve read it or not, should be able to enjoy the video (if you don’t care about spoilers).

If you decide to give it a watch, do let me know your thoughts! And don’t forget to subscribe, of course ❤

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My review/discussion video is now up!

My review/discussion on The Ladies’ Paradise is officially up. So far it is the longest video I’ve made (23 minutes), and it took a lot longer than usual to film and edit. But it was worth it though, it was nice to have to much time to express my thoughts on the subject. I’m rather pleased with the result as well – it’s a bit of a rant, I’ll admit that – but I did find a lot of things that bothered me so I couldn’t stop myself.

Feel free to have a look! Remember to drop a like if you enjoyed it! 🙂

What writers can learn from the classics

I recently finished reading The Ladies’ Paradise, written by Émile Zola, first published in 1883. To be fair, I hadn’t heard of this book before so I’m not sure how much of a cult classic it is, but I decided to give it a shot anyway.

I found it interesting, to say the least. There were a lot of issues of course, especially regarding the characters, and I will go through this in more detail in my upcoming review/discussion vlog that I’m filming today. I also had some issues with the pacing and such, but what I’d like to talk about here is that special little je ne sais quoi that this book has.

Firstly, it gives the reader an incredible insight into the inner workings of the 19th century Parisian department store. From a business perspective, it’s very interesting indeed. In a time before computers and digital currency, a business of this scale was like a clockwork of processes all depending on human diligence to function. I was very much intrigued by this.

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I always say that I don’t like it when historical fiction portrays a romanticised picture of the past – which brings me to my next point. As this is a Naturalist work of fiction, it is rather the opposite. The harsh reality of the 1800s is ever-present in this book. Most of the side characters, if not all of them, get unhappy or even tragic endings. The main character goes through some awful circumstances as well such as poverty and starvation. Never, not even once, is this portrayed as something romantic. It’s gritty and gruelling, and I absolutely love it.

Therefore, I find it difficult to say for sure what I thought about this book. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. I find that the plot and the characters are the most important elements of any good book – and in this case, it didn’t really have any of that. What it did have though was an amazing setting and some interesting prose (unless it went completely nuts, which happened quite a lot).

All in all, I would say that anyone who’s interested in learning more about the developments of business and capitalism in 1800s Paris will have a fairly nice read, whereas if you want a nice period love story, you might get disappointed. I suppose that’s where my biggest problem was; I went in expecting something entirely different than what I ended up getting.