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Book Title: Duchy i ludzie|
The author of the book: Edith Wharton
Date of issue: June 2008
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.28 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.4
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If you read about ghosts in order to be filled with dread, then Edith Wharton may not be your favorite supernatural author. On the other hand, if you are a fan of elegant realistic fiction but like a few chills from time to time, Wharton's ghost tales may belong at the top of your list. Each of her stories is a subtle exercise rooted in everyday reality, and the ghostly presences--such as they are--emerge from the nourishing soil that constitutes her finely crafted realism. Many of her stories touch on the cruelty of domestic power relations, not only between husbands and wives, but also between mistresses and their servants. Specters haunt those who once had the power to change things for the better but did not do so, and visit the living not only as a reproach for past sins, but also as a silent exhortation for redress.
All the stories here are worth reading, but when Wharton's seriousness of purpose and subtlety of style combine with genuine ghostly thrills, the result is a handful of first-rate ghost stories ("The Eyes, "Afterward," "Bewitched," "Kerfol, "The Pomegranate Seed") that should be on everybody's reading list. "Afterward" is not only the finest tale in this volume: it is also a masterpiece of the form that not only rivals the achievement of Henry James but also deepens and enriches the Jamesian theme of how a richer knowledge of evil often derives from young America's encounter with old Europe. In "Afterward," Wharton shows us that the ghosts that haunt Americans in Europe may not be the ancestral specters inhabiting ancient houses, but rather the embodiments of crimes committed by American businessmen in their "wild cat" days back in the States, crimes that cry out for expiation.
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Read information about the authorEdith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the age of eighteen she had written a novella, (as well as witty reviews of it) and published poetry in the Atlantic Monthly.
After a failed engagement, Edith married a wealthy sportsman, Edward Wharton. Despite similar backgrounds and a shared taste for travel, the marriage was not a success. Many of Wharton's novels chronicle unhappy marriages, in which the demands of love and vocation often conflict with the expectations of society. Wharton's first major novel, The House of Mirth, published in 1905, enjoyed considerable literary success. Ethan Frome appeared six years later, solidifying Wharton's reputation as an important novelist. Often in the company of her close friend, Henry James, Wharton mingled with some of the most famous writers and artists of the day, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, André Gide, Sinclair Lewis, Jean Cocteau, and Jack London.
In 1913 Edith divorced Edward. She lived mostly in France for the remainder of her life. When World War I broke out, she organized hostels for refugees, worked as a fund-raiser, and wrote for American publications from battlefield frontlines. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her courage and distinguished work.
The Age of Innocence, a novel about New York in the 1870s, earned Wharton the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1921 -- the first time the award had been bestowed upon a woman. Wharton traveled throughout Europe to encourage young authors. She also continued to write, lying in her bed every morning, as she had always done, dropping each newly penned page on the floor to be collected and arranged when she was finished. Wharton suffered a stroke and died on August 11, 1937. She is buried in the American Cemetery in Versailles, France.
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