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review 2017-08-28 21:28
Indiana - Sylvia Raphael,Naomi Schor,George Sand

‘You’ve been unbelievably imprudent!’ said Raymon, carefully closing the door behind him. ‘And my servants know you’re here! They’ve just told me.’

‘I made no secret of my presence,’ she replied coldly, ‘and, as for the word you use, I think it ill-chosen.’

‘I said imprudent; I ought to have said insane.’

‘I would have said courageous. But it doesn’t matter.'

No, no, it does matter, and I would like to get back to using the word insane. This novel was insane. Seriously, there was nothing sane amidst the high drama in this story. There was no sane person among the characters in this story. All of whom deserved to be slapped repeatedly by the way.


At some point when reading this I asked whether Sand wrote this as satire, but apparently she did not. This was, apparently, an earnest attempt at a story and at characters. 


I am really torn about this book, because I can't decide whether I liked it: plot, characters, and style, were all over the place. There were inconceivable and weird turns, there were high dramatics, there were tantrums, there was a lot of sentimentality. 


And, yet, at no point did I want to set the book aside. At no point did I want to DNF this.


I guess this is because the plot was so incredibly packed with moments that astonished me, that I just had to watch this train wreck of a novel until the end.


And what an end this was!



So, we get two of the characters on the way to fulfil a suicide pact.

They jump.

And yet they survive?

How did they miss the cliff?

Was this simply meant to be metaphorical?



(spoiler show)


I guess I should have written about how Indiana is Sand making a stand for women's rights, and the emancipation of women as individuals who are equal under law, and the general struggle of individuals of both sexes against the social constrictions of her time, but, oh boy, that would mean that I would have to take Indiana serious as a novel.

And that I just cannot do.


For all the courage, sass, and modernism that Sand stands for, I have to separate the author from this particular book. This particular book was insane!

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text 2017-08-27 15:42
Indiana - Progress update: I've read 34%.
Indiana - Sylvia Raphael,Naomi Schor,George Sand

Raymon is not only a creep, he's also a cad and a calculating jack-ass.


I hope Sand makes him suffer later in this novel, but something tells me he might get away with it all. 

Raymon felt that with a little skill he might deceive both these women simultaneously. ‘Madame,’ he said, going down on his knees before Indiana, ‘my presence here must seem an outrage to you; I am on my knees before you to beg forgiveness. Grant me a few moments in private, and I’ll explain . . .’

‘Say no more, Monsieur, and leave my room,’ cried Madame Delmare, recovering all the dignity of her position.

‘Go openly. Noun, open that door so that all the servants can see him and all the shame of such behaviour fall on him.’

Noun, thinking her situation had been discovered, fell to her knees beside Raymon.

Madame Delmare, saying nothing, looked at her with amazement. Raymon tried to grasp her hand, but she withdrew it indignantly. Red with anger, she got up and, pointing to the door, repeated:

‘Go; go, for your conduct is infamous. So that’s the means you wanted to use! You, Monsieur, hidden in my room like a thief! So it’s your habit to get into families like this. So that’s the pure attachment you were swearing to me yesterday evening!

That’s how you were to protect, respect, and defend me! That’s the way you worship me! You see a woman who has helped you with her own hands, who, to bring you back to life, has braved her husband’s anger. You deceive her with feigned gratitude, you swear to her a love worthy of her, and as a reward for her care, as a reward for her credulity, you want to surprise her in her sleep and hasten your success by some indescribable infamy. You bribe her maid, you almost sneak into her bed like an already accepted lover. You’re not afraid of letting her servants into the secret of an intimacy which doesn’t exist. . .

Go, Monsieur, you’ve taken care to open my eyes very quickly.

Leave, I say, don’t stay another moment in my house.

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text 2017-08-26 14:26
Indiana - Progress update: I've read 25%.
Indiana - Sylvia Raphael,Naomi Schor,George Sand

Is this satire? This must be satire. I have not yet met a single character who is not un-hinged in some way. Seriously, there is not an ounce of sense amongst them.


Sand has also just turned up the creep factor - a creep by the name of Raymon:

"Raymon came up to her, his dancing slippers making no sound on the thick, soft carpet. He saw her crying, and when she turned her head she found him at her feet, firmly grasping her hands which she strove vainly to withdraw. Then, I must admit, with ineffable joy she saw her plan of resistance fail.

She felt that she passionately loved this man, who was not deterred by obstacles and came to bring her happiness in spite of herself. She blessed heaven which rejected her sacrifice, and instead of scolding Raymon she almost thanked him.


As for him, he already knew he was loved. He did not need to see the happiness shining through her tears to understand that he was the master and could be daring. He did not give her time to question him and, assuming her role of interrogator, without explaining his unexpected presence, without trying to make himself less guilty than he was, he said: ‘Indiana, you’re crying . . . Why are you crying? . . . I want to know!’


She started at hearing herself called by her first name, but there was even more happiness in the surprise aroused by his boldness. ‘Why do you ask?’ she said. ‘I oughtn’t to tell you.’"


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text 2017-08-26 01:28
Indiana - Progress Update: I've read 15%.
Indiana - Sylvia Raphael,Naomi Schor,George Sand

So, it appears that I have chosen yet another work-commute audiobook that features a douchebag of a husband - Colonel Delamare.

‘Is this bitch then permanently installed in the drawing-room?’ said the Colonel, secretly pleased to find a reason for being in a bad mood as a distraction. ‘To the kennel, Ophelia! Out, you stupid beast!’

Had anyone then observed Madame Delmare closely, he might have guessed the painful secret of her whole life in this trivial, commonplace incident. A barely perceptible shudder went through her body, and her hands, which unthinkingly supported the favourite animal’s head, gripped its rough, hairy neck more firmly as if to hold and preserve it. M. Delmare, pulling his riding crop out of his jacket pocket, then advanced threateningly on poor Ophelia, who, closing her eyes and letting out yells of pain and fear in advance, lay down at his feet. Madame Delmare became even paler than usual; her breast heaved convulsively, and turning her big blue eyes towards her husband, she said, with an indefinable look of fear:

‘Have mercy, Monsieur, don’t kill her.’

These few words made the Colonel start. A feeling of sorrow gave way to his inclination to anger.

‘Madame, that’s a reproach that I understand very well and that you haven’t spared me since the day I killed your spaniel at the hunt in a moment of anger,’ he said. ‘Is that such a great loss? A dog that always rushed ahead and attacked the game! It would have worn out anyone’s patience. Besides, it’s only since his death that you’ve been so fond of him; before that you didn’t pay any attention to him, but now that it’s an

opportunity for you to blame me . . .’


However, from what I can tell from the various prefaces that Sand wrote for the book over the years, it appears that she was given a lot grief over writing this book, and she stood up to her critics in a truly badass fashion.


I think I'm going to enjoy this one.

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text 2017-08-02 13:03
As much as I am enjoying...
The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James,Patricia Crick
Vera - Elizabeth von Arnim
Indiana - Sylvia Raphael,Naomi Schor,George Sand

... my current reads, none of them are books I can enjoy when on the go or, indeed, on the commute.


So, I am looking for an audiobook to go play in the car on the way to and from work.


My shortlist of potential commuting reads are: The Moonstone, The Portrait of a Lady, Vera, or Indiana.


Does anyone have any thoughts on them?


I am looking to source them from Librivox, mostly because I can just leave the memory stick in the car and it will pick up at exactly the same location where I got to previously... the simple things...

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