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What Maisie Knew (1897)

de Henry James

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2,124427,611 (3.4)195
Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Maisie's parents go through an acrimonious divorce when she is very young, and the court decrees that she will travel between them, spending time with each. They do not hesitate to use her in their war against each other, and she is neglected and abandoned by them as they each remarry and then take further lovers. The story follows her to maturity, when she is able to decide her own fate.

.… (mais)
  1. 00
    The Death of the Heart de Elizabeth Bowen (WSB7, Nickelini)
    WSB7: Striking contrast in the perspicasity and development of the central characters.
  2. 00
    The Children de Edith Wharton (shaunie)
    shaunie: Similar subject matter (child/children being appallingly treated by their thoughtless parents) - Wharton's book is much more readable and entertaining.
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Inglês (38)  Francês (2)  Holandês (1)  Espanhol (1)  Todos os idiomas (42)
Mostrando 1-5 de 42 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
I found it interesting reading about parents as messed up as my own, and thanks to my own screwy family, I could relate to Maisie's plight very well. She and I have a lot in common. But, while I could relate to the story, I couldn't always precisely follow the story. In this book, Henry James uses so much current slang and pretentious, overly verbose language that it is a chore keeping up with what is going on in this book. In addition, while I sympathize with poor, dear Maisie, I must point out that she lives a very fancy,comfortable life despite the terrible misery James seems to be trying to describe. For readers in the 1900's or 1920's, especially well-to-do readers from conservative backgrounds, I am sure this book made a lot more sense. For me, as a modern 2014 reader who grew up in similar circumstances to the main character's, the choices Maisie makes and the circumstances for them come across a bit differently. I do think that Maisie did well in choosing as she did, because the possibility of her being drawn into a romance of her own, if she had chosen the other option she was given, would have been very awkward and jarring even to my modern moral sense.

Did I like this book? Not exactly. But, I do think it would make a great book to read and discuss in a class or a book club setting. There would be plenty to discuss. ( )
  JBarringer | Dec 15, 2023 |
“She still had room for wonder at what Maisie knew.” Er zijn er nog, maar ze zijn zeldzaam: romans waarvan de laatste zin de belangrijkste is, niet in de zin van de ontknoping van een spannend verhaal (want dat doet deze in dit verhaal helemaal niet), maar in de zin dat het de sleutel biedt om al wat voorafgaat te lezen. Henry James onthult hier zelf hoe we deze roman in eerste instantie moeten bekijken: door de ogen van een klein meisje (Maisie) die zelf amper doorheeft wat er rond haar gebeurt, die met grote ogen registreert (vooral de leugens en de hypocrisie van de volwassenen), die erg beïnvloedbaar is en voortdurend haar loyauteit verlegt naargelang de persoon die ze voor zich heeft, die zich geleidelijk bewust wordt van haar capaciteit om mensen met haar charmes een beetje naar haar hand te zetten, maar die net als iedereen vooral wat aandacht, geborgenheid en liefde vraagt.
Juist omdat Maisie (als kind) een onbetrouwbare verteller is, slaagt James er in de voortdurend twists in het verhaal tot een goed einde te brengen. In mijn editie stond een inleiding die kort opsomt wat er allemaal gebeurt, en ik moet zeggen dat het al meteen begon te duizelen, het leek wel een soap-verhaal. En dat is het natuurlijk ook, en misschien zelfs een vermakelijke soap, tenminste als je vergeet dat het hier om een kind gaat dat het slachtoffer is van wat we nu een vechtscheiding noemen. Ik ben niet de eerste om de verwantschap te zien met dat volgende werk van James, The Turn of the Screw (1898): ook hier hebben we te maken met een onbetrouwbare verteller (weliswaar een wat oudere dame) die ons voortdurend op het verkeerde been lijkt te zetten. Maisie lijkt veel onschuldiger, al begin je ook daaraan, naarmate het verhaal vordert te twijfelen. In die zin is ook ‘What Maisie Knew’ een meesterlijke oefening in ‘turning’.
Maar dan is er de stijl van James, en ook hier moet ik helaas niet origineel zijn: die is zo maniëristisch, zo opzettelijk gekunsteld, dat je er tureluurs van wordt. Ik moet toegeven dat ik me dikwijls geërgerd heb aan de ingewikkelde zinsconstructies en de hoogdravende stijl. Maar tegelijk zie ik ook het technisch meesterschap van James: de park-scène in het midden van de roman bijvoorbeeld is werkelijk ingenieus in beeld gebracht. ( )
  bookomaniac | Dec 1, 2023 |
This books astounded me. Written 125 years ago by someone who never had kids, this brilliant thinking and novelist wrote the story of a young girl who was pushed & pulled by her divorcing parents, both of whom acknowledged they were using her to hurt the other parent. Then both parents married others, so she had 4 parents, and her natural parents drew further away from her. BUT ... Maisie knew what was going on, as the book goes from her being 8 to being 10. She is very perceptive and very sharp. The book is remarkable for having built this theme so long ago when divorce was quite rare. I love this book. Maisie is a character I expect to remember for a long time. ( )
  RickGeissal | Aug 16, 2023 |
Lo que Maisie sabia gira en torno a la vida de una niña cuyos padres acaban de divorciarse y a los que se les impone la custodia repartida de la hija; lo que acontece es un reparto con reminiscencias salomonicas. Maisie rebota de casa en casa cada seis meses primero para, después, no solo tener dos padres (separados) sino cuatro (en permanente unión y desunión). Entre madre, padre, madrastra, padrastro, institutrices y niñeras Maisie trata de aprender a sentir lo que es un hogar y una familia.
  Natt90 | Feb 24, 2023 |
Sad story about a girl and her divorced parents. ( )
  autumnesf | Jan 18, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 42 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
Henry James’s What Maisie Knew is a perfect comedy, a riotous and delightful piece of Olympian foolery—and happily free from Mr. James’s more recondite snarls of speech. It is worth a dozen best-sellers of the current crop. It has more good fun in it, and more shrewdness, and more civilized entertainment than all the masterworks of the Athertons and Sinclairs, the Herricks and Frank Danbys, the Phillpottses and Mrs. Humphry Wards, taken together. It is a first rate piece of writing by a first rate man.
adicionado por SnootyBaronet | editarThe Smart Set, H. L. Mencken
 

» Adicionar outros autores (17 possíveis)

Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
James, Henryautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Dorsman-Vos, W.A.Tradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Gorey, EdwardDesigner da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Ricks, ChristopherEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Theroux, PaulEditorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The litigation seemed interminable and had in fact been complicated; but by the decision on the appeal the judgement of the divorce-court was confirmed as to the assignment of the child.
I recognise again, for the first of these three Tales, another instance of the growth of the "great oak" from the little acorn; since What Maisie Knew is at least a tree that spreads beyond any provision its small germ might on a first handling have appeared likely to make for it. (Preface)

The New York edition of James' works, from which this edition of What Maisie Knew has been set, included prefaces by James for each volume. This preface is taken from James' preface to Volume 11, which included two short stories as well as What Maisie Knew. The references to the two stories have been deleted.
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Classic Literature. Fiction. HTML:

Maisie's parents go through an acrimonious divorce when she is very young, and the court decrees that she will travel between them, spending time with each. They do not hesitate to use her in their war against each other, and she is neglected and abandoned by them as they each remarry and then take further lovers. The story follows her to maturity, when she is able to decide her own fate.

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