joi, 14 iulie 2011
"The Age of Innocence" Edith Warthon
From the beginning, I can give you one important clue: don't be fooled by the title. It isn't a story due to which you would cry your eyes out after reading it, but it may feed your romantic appetite at some point... Any down to earth analysis should begin with some questions, to which I don't pretend to have all the answers, but I'll try to give those which I consider to be fit.
Was there indeed an Age of Innocence? How could it have been to have lived in that period? How where the people like? And what made them so "innocent"? The novel describes the late period of the 19th century. The author, Edith Warton, choses this label: "Age of Innocence" for the same period, that we, the Europeans, call: "Belle epoque".
In the history of humanity "Age of Innocence" or "Belle epoque" was the last time span in which people lived leisurely, common sense was the word of the day and people knew how to enjoy life in earnest. Let's rememeber that this was the period before the two Wolrd Wars and after the romantic revolutions.
The "Age of Innocents" represents a small period of a few decades in which the world seemed to have forgotten it's bloody history, it didn't care about the future and seemed to be preocupied only by the present with all it's idiosyncrasies.
From another point of view this "Innocence" could be accounted for fickleness, immaturity or a sweet inability to see life through grey and sober lens. Many nostalgic people fancy about the world in that epoch. Some, like myself, would give a fortune to have the opportunity to breathe the thin air of the carelessness and enthusiasm of those days.