Saturday, January 05, 2008

Five best works that explore marriage

Edward Mendelson, a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University and author of books including Early Auden and The Things That Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say About the Stages of Life, named a five best list of "works [that] explore marriage with uncommon clarity" for Opinion Journal.

One title on his list:
The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope (1876).

The fifth and best of Anthony Trollope's six "Palliser" novels is also his subtlest portrait of a marriage. Plantagenet Palliser and his wife, Lady Glencora, who have recently become the Duke and Duchess of Omnium, never resolve the conflict between her unscrupulous ambition and his belief that their marriage so thoroughly unites them that her actions are also his own, even if he disapproves of them. Without making any final judgments, Trollope explores the ways in which a marriage is not just a relation between two persons but also a relation between the married couple and the world around them.
Read more about Mendelson's list.

--Marshal Zeringue