Zuleika Dobson is a highly accomplished and superbly written book whose spirit is farcical," said E. M. Forster. "It is a great work--the most consistent achievement of fantasy in our time . . . so funny and charming, so iridescent yet so profound." Originally published in 1911, Max Beerbohm's... show more
Zuleika Dobson is a highly accomplished and superbly written book whose spirit is farcical," said E. M. Forster. "It is a great work--the most consistent achievement of fantasy in our time . . . so funny and charming, so iridescent yet so profound." Originally published in 1911, Max Beerbohm's sparklingly wicked satire concerns the unlikely events that occur when a femme fatale briefly enters the supremely privileged, all-male domain of Judas Col-lege, Oxford. A conjurer by profession, Zuleika Dobson can only love a man who is impervious to her considerable charms: a circumstance that proves fatal, as any number of love-smitten suitors are driven to suicide by the damsel's rejection. Laced with memorable one-liners ("Death cancels all engagements," utters the first casualty) and inspired throughout by Beerbohm's rococo imagination, this lyrical evocation of Edwardian undergraduate life at Oxford has, according to Forster, "a beauty unattainable by serious literature." "I read Zuleika Dobson with pleasure," recalled Bertrand Russell. "It represents the Oxford that the two World Wars have destroyed with a charm that is not likely to be reproduced anywhere in the world for the next thousand years."
Publish date: September 14th 1998
Publisher: Modern Library
Pages no: 252
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, British Literature
, Historical Fiction
, Literary Fiction
, Modern Classics
An exquisite Edwardian oddity – a sort of magic-realist proto-campus-novel about paranoid sexual fantasy, as related by Beau Brummel or Oscar Wilde. Our eponymous heroine is a personification of feminine desirability – ‘the toast of two hemispheres’, she has already, before the novel begins, ‘rang...
My, my, my, my, my.Not one for the casual reader.Briefly: My, my, my, my, my.Less briefly: A tale told in high register, of arrogance and honor, the fine lines between conflicting emotions, irony, Oxford University, the righteous and the self-righteous, the femme fatale, fantasy meeting reality, ant...
WHY I WANT TO READ IT: I haven't read much Beerbohm, except for the odd essay here and there, and as this is his only novel, I want to try it. The premise sounds kind of dumb, but perhaps the writing will make up for it, or it'll be funnier than it sounds.
I understand this work was to have been a satire on university life in the Edwardian era, or perhaps a satire of upper class, but I found it a bit silly. Zuleika isn't much of a character to speak of, but maybe that was the point. At any rate, this is a requirement on the Modern Library Top 100, so ...
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