Thursday, October 21, 2010

Once Again to Zelda

Once Again to Zelda by Marlene Wagman-Geller
Perigee, 2008
276 pages
3/5 stars

Source: Library

Summary: An examination in to some of the most famous and most puzzling dedications of books in order to gain insight into the lives of the writers.

Thoughts: The first dedication is for the novel Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.  It is to her father who wrote a biography of his wife and her mother Mary Wollstonecraft, published in 1798, which she says scandalized Victorian society. Do you see the error here? Victoria wasn't even born until 1819.  This was so blatant that it almost made me shut the book but I continued because I thought (and still think that it's a great concept).  And maybe I'm overreacting but that's a big error; the Victorians were far more prudish than Regency-era, if my reading of romance novels is accurate.

The writing itself had many awkward sentences (none of which I flagged so that I could report them to you) which made those passages unpleasant.  It was not well done and if good writing is important, then definitely skip this.

Sometimes I feel sad that I'm not a genius, whether in writing or music or writing or something.  But after reading these stories, I'm really happy that I'm not.  Many of these authors (most if not all arguably in the genius category) were violent, adulterous, and/or just plain selfish.  I'd much rather be me and try to be a good person and treat the people in my life right.

Overall: Interesting concept but serious flaws in the writing.

Cover: I like bright colors so it fails on that account but I enjoy the typeface.

1 comment:

  1. Hm, interesting, but lacking, it seems. I would borrow it from the library, I think.

    Some authors were really...nasty in real life, I agree. As for Victorian - that's a huge flaw, unless the book meant that the Georgian and Regency societies accepted "Frankenstein" (since the Gothic novel was all the rage back then) and when it was re-discovered by the (very) prudish Victorians, it was frowned upon. But it's probably just an error on the author's part.:) I think that a book about a dude made from several people's body parts might have shocked even the Regency population.:)


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