By Sybille Bedford
A Legacy is the story of 2 very diverse households, the Merzes and the Feldens. The Jewish Merzes are longstanding contributors of Berlin’s haute bourgeoisie who count number a pal of Goethe between their individual ancestors. no longer that this proud legacy capability a lot of whatever to them anymore. safe of their large city residence, they commit themselves to little greater than having fun with their comforts and making sure their wealth. The Feldens are landed aristocracy, well to do yet now not wealthy, from Germany’s Catholic south. After Julius von Felden marries Melanie Merz the fortunes of the 2 households can be unusually, certainly fatally, entwined.
Set through the run-up to global struggle I, a time of weirdly mingled complacency and angst, A Legacy is appealing, magnificently humorous, and profound, an unforgettable snapshot of a doomed lifestyle.
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Extra resources for A Legacy (New York Review Books Classics)
This position echoes the ideological stances of many formalists, yet Frye’s ability to move forward 36 A Critical Introduction without the dogmatism and shaky insecurity that characterize most formalist rants against other disciplinary approaches to literature distinguishes him and his work. Because Frye’s position incorporates a formalist aesthetic, but does not limit itself solely to the defense of that aesthetic, his criticism, while remaining distinct from other disciplines, does enter into conversation with those same disciplines.
The extremity of this assertion, of course, remains problematic, especially in the present moment when the idea that art might somehow be divorced from its context is met with great incredulity. Yet, as we examine the historical and cultural context for this desire to remove the art object from human limitations (cultural and historical influences) – a desire that leads to the act of close reading or the relentless call for an explication de texte – we can see clearly that this is at least in part a reaction to previous critical practice and cataclysmic cultural and historical change.
The texts that literary critics choose to work with, as well as the way they work with them, reveals that Frye’s assertion that literature somehow is different – a structure of words that revels in its own making as much as it revels in what it says – continues to impact on the pragmatic decisions of most critics in the academy. While some critics work with the popular narratives of a given culture and time – for example, the Horatio Alger stories that populated the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century landscape Formalist Criticism 35 of the United States – these very same critics seldom, if ever, make an argument for the artistic merit or credibility of those narratives.