Parades End: Book 2 - No More Parades
The character of Christopher Tietjens dominates the first novel of Ford's Parade's End sequence about the effects of the First World War as he does all four. His central place is because he represents much of the decent side of the old gentlemanly world destroyed in that conflict.
Strangely enough, in Some Do Not This is what starts Originally published on my blog here in September This is what starts to unravel the genteel world in which the novel is set. At the beginning of the novel, Tietjens is travelling to Rye to cross to the continent to bring Sylvia back to him. She has run off with another man, and we soon discover that the paternity of their son of whom Christopher is extremely fond is doubtful.
Sylvia is distinctly nasty to her decent, forgiving husband probably because he is like this , and goes to the lengths of spreading rumours that he is secretly supporting a child by a mistress. The relationship between Christopher and Sylvia Tietjens, and their relationships with those around them are the main themes of Some Do Not Since Tietjens has symbolic importance, these relationships are used to show that the seeds of the downfall of Victorian society lay within itself; the destructive war was the immediate but not the fundamental cause.
Despite the importance of the symbolic side of Christopher Tietjens, Ford has made him as real as possible. This is perhaps best seen in the transition between the first and second parts of the novel. This is an offstage period of active service, and the changes this has made to his character are cleverly portrayed. Depite admiration for Ford's cleverness, it is impossible to read the novel without occasionally feeling it was rather slow; there are some dull patches. May 19, Chelsea rated it it was amazing Shelves: classics , literary-fiction. This is the first installment of Ford Madox Ford's Quadrilogy, Parade's End, which is one of my more ambitious summer reading selections.
The book's narration moves fluidly back and forth through time and follows protagonist, Christopher Tietjens, a man struggling with a set of old-fashioned English gentleman values in a rapidly modernizing world.
Tietjens describes the first World War as a war between the 18th century and the 20th century. In this environment old-fashioned morals and social res This is the first installment of Ford Madox Ford's Quadrilogy, Parade's End, which is one of my more ambitious summer reading selections. In this environment old-fashioned morals and social restrictions still govern Christopher's life but are increasingly questioned. Christopher is a man so selfless and of such high morals as to accept back a wife who has eloped with another man while denying his own passion for another woman. Tietjens, a brilliant mathematician whose mind is incapacitated by shell shock, wrestles with his morals and his desires as he prepared to return to the front line.
This book is one that encourages the reader to move slowly forward at the risk of missing important details. Ford's beautiful language and startling attention to detail make this book a lurid, sensory experience. My intention is to intersperse the books of Parade's End with other books throughout this summer--but I'm not sure how successful that plan will prove as this seems like the kind of work that one does not recover from easily. Oct 22, Kristin rated it it was amazing. This had a lot in common with War and Peace, the whole saga-like atmosphere focusing on a few related characters and their lives as they take place during wartime or leading up to it.
I really enjoyed the segues back into time that, according to the introduction to my copy of the volume, are supposed to show how a mind is confused after being at war and also how it shows how events interrelate and remind one of other events in one's life. I look forward to reading the other three volumes, esp. I'm curious to compare. I am also impressed at how different a novel is from The Good Soldier. It has the time-shifts and a few ruthless central characters, but otherwise it is life on a grand scale and much kinder to the human condition, again like Tolstoy.
I guess the optimistic view of humanity is where I fall in, or at least what I like in my reading material. Mar 22, Terri rated it liked it. It took lots of time to read this book and many times I had to put it down and pick up another book. The book is actually four books with several parts in each book. The characters' thoughts and feelings before, during and after the World War I were provided in detail.
Ford also gave us differing points of view of the soldier on the front lines and the folks back home. The author described the public opinions about war and relationships, along with the changes in views after the war. The story w It took lots of time to read this book and many times I had to put it down and pick up another book.
The story was based around Christopher, his wife Sylvia, the wife's exploits, and on Christopher's true love. The last installment, The Last Post, I think was written to let everyone know how things turned out, a conclusion. This part was not a quick read but I am glad I slugged through it. If you want to tackle this series I would recommend reading one part at a time and treat it as a series where you need to wait for the next installment.
Jan 29, Therese Noble rated it liked it. A difficult novel to read for two reasons: Ford's structure took some adjusting to and when I eventually figured out that he would drop in a new part of the story which he wouldn't elaborate until 50 to pages later, I settled into it. However, that didn't make it any more enjoyable. Secondly, Christopher Tietjens sense of honour as an English gentleman of a very elite class, and as a husband and son in this narrow world, just became annoying. Having persisted for just over pages, it was fr A difficult novel to read for two reasons: Ford's structure took some adjusting to and when I eventually figured out that he would drop in a new part of the story which he wouldn't elaborate until 50 to pages later, I settled into it.
Having persisted for just over pages, it was frustrating to me that Ford couldn't have written one or two more pages. What a complex, not wholly evil, woman she is! These are extraordinary books. I first read them about 25 years ago and was very impressed. I have yet to read the fourth one and am interested to see whether some of the scenes in the Stoppard screenplay come up in the final book. The three books are beautifully constructed, with dramatic flashbacks and changes of pace. The characters are so deeply portrayed - they are real human beings: even the dreadful Sylvia is not whol These are extraordinary books.
The characters are so deeply portrayed - they are real human beings: even the dreadful Sylvia is not wholly bad and the saintly Tietjens is not wholly good. The development of Macmaster from a decent ish chap to a monster is particularly fine. Sep 12, Yeemay rated it really liked it. I found it very funny in parts but then wondered if it was meant to be ironic?
The streams of consciousness was so modern, the ideas and the mores examined complex and multilayered. Definitely rereading again just for the joy of the language. Love the main characters, too: Christopher saint or annoyng anachronism? Sylvie: banshee or just thwarted woman who supposedly can have evyrthing except what she wants? It made me spend lots of time thinking about what I'd read after I read it which hasn't happened for ages.
Parade's End: Book 2 - No More Parades by Ford Ford, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
Oct 07, Te rated it it was amazing. So very heart-aching. So, very, very interior - a painstakingly drawn - and thus occasionally painful to read! Deciding between his unfaithful wife and devoted mistress-in-waiting, and set against the First World War, Christopher Tietjens strives in a picture of crumbling certainties in a changing world. Yeah, this book really upset me. Oct 05, John rated it really liked it. Beautifully written and a compulsive read. The characters are wonderfully drawn.
I learnt so much about how British society worked in the run up to, and during, World War One. The "Old Order" was destroyed forever, dramatically and, for many individuals, devastatingly. There is a fourth volume, which I believe is more of a sequel than it is a novel to complete a tetralogy. Ford Madox Ford continues, otherwise, to draw vivid descriptions of the behaviour, thoughts and motives of his main characters and elaborates upon on how British society, and its attitudes, changed irrevocably during World War One.
Mar 15, Ian Hartley rated it really liked it. Watched BBC adaptation and then bought the book. I had a holiday and it took a week to read but it was excellent. The characters are complex and rounded and the portrayal of the Great War is funny and heartbreaking by turns. The BBC series is a fabulous adaptation with great production values - just a bit too condensed!
Jan 25, Jane rated it it was amazing. Wonderful - the last parts of Parade's End, Ford's brilliant books about a man out of touch with his times. The protagonist holds on to his old-school values in a Britain that's rapidly changing after World War I. Sometimes you admire him for his tenacity; at other times you want to kick some sense into him. This book deals with Teitjen's time as a captain at a supplies depot, close to the Front during World War One. He has left Valentine and England behind, but Sylvia, on the war-path, follows him to France and stirs up a world of trouble in the process.
Oct 03, MyBookAffair rated it it was amazing Shelves: blooming-brilliant. If the measure of a book is how easily it transports you to another place, then Ford Maddox Ford's novel, 'Some Do Not', is certainly a masterpiece. May 16, Kitty rated it it was amazing. The sense of understanding every permutation of a character's psychology, even in the midst of a situation as unimaginably awful as the trenches of the First World War, is so intense that I am now missing this book very much and wishing I hadn't finished it.
Jan 11, Martha Hunter rated it liked it. Extremely elliptical - not quite The Good Soldier.
Apr 04, Marcia rated it it was ok. Finding it impossible to finish Apr 14, Patrick marked it as to-read Shelves: started , brit-war-fiction , did-not-finish. Had the Vintage paperback for well nigh on twenty years. Should be in my line but could never quite get a hold of it somehow. Still, try again someday I expect. Aug 20, Alice rated it it was amazing. I think my heart is broken.
Jan 30, pedro added it. Chasing Shakespeare. Oct 15, Helen Stanton rated it really liked it. While posted on the trenches of Northern France, the main character Tietjens hears a musical piece from the seventeenth-century being played by a key-bugle. Herrick and Purcell!
The choice of these figures is of course meaningful: Tietjens mentions metaphysical poets who were almost all fervent Anglicans, and were politically active under James I in order to build and preserve a specifically English identity that would resist continental influence. The evocation of these paragons of Englishness is followed by a wider nostalgic meditation on Englishness and on its meagre chances of surviving the war:.
The only satisfactory age in England! Yet what chance had it to-day. Or, still more, to-morrow. What chance had quiet fields, Anglican sainthood, accuracy of thought, heavy-leaved, timbered hedge-rows, slowly creeping plough-lands moving up the slopes? Sweet-williams along the path.
Light filtered by boughs. Gleams in the little window-panes. Wallstones all lichen. In both cases, what is regarded as quintessentially English is rendered in a markedly poetic manner. The highly visual details in both passages generate a vignette of England, or might even be read as ekphrases of paintings by the canonical English painter Constable. Here is how Eagleton describes the effect of the beautiful on a community:.
Parade's End: Book 2 - No More Parades
Certain objects stand out in a sort of perfection dimly akin to reason, and these are known as the beautiful. Because these are objects which we can agree to be beautiful, not by arguing or analysing but just by looking and seeing, a spontaneous consensus is brought to birth. Eagleton Englishness in these novels is, predictably, embodied by the gentleman.
Yet gentlemen are first and foremost defined by what they are not, and do not do. They exist. The pendant to this underlying negativity of Englishness is the necessity to uphold a constant parade. Englishness implies publicity. Eagleton also emphasizes the importance of the public sphere in maintaining national ideology:. This also matches the analysis of Englishness from the outside, by a foreign character in the novels.
He was the English Milor with le Spleen. He represented the England that the Continent applauded—the only England that the Continent applauded. Silent, obstinate, inscrutable, insolent, but immensely wealthy and uncontrollably generous. This is illustrated most clearly—and scathingly—through the Duchemin-Macmaster couple. Hobsbawm underlines the fact that traditions are being invented at the very time when the continuity with the past is broken:.
Such movements, common among intellectuals since the Romantics, can never develop or even preserve a living past. Where the old ways are alive, traditions need neither be revived nor invented. What knits society together for Burke, as with Hume, is the aesthetic phenomenon of mimesis, which is a matter more of custom than of law. The only problem is where all this imitating ends: social life for Burke would appear a kind of infinite chain of representations of representations, without ground or origin.
If we do as others do, who do the same, then all of these copies would seem to lack a transcendental original, and society is shattered to a wilderness of mirrors.