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Parade's End (1925)

par Ford Madox Ford

Autres auteurs: Voir la section autres auteur(e)s.

Séries: Parade's End (1-4)

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1,784269,817 (3.81)175
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) Introduction by Malcolm Bradbury
  1. 00
    The Sword of Honour Trilogy par Evelyn Waugh (thorold)
    thorold: Two rather different writers each identifying his particular war as the end of everything that was good and decent and Toryish about the England of his youth.
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» Voir aussi les 175 mentions

Affichage de 1-5 de 26 (suivant | tout afficher)
Reason read: 1001 Q1 read 2023
This is a story of the breakdown of a culture and the emergence of a new world and new values. It is told through a love triangle; but there are no passion scenes. It is a war story without a battle and tragedy without denouement. The result of war on participants and society. It chronicles the life ofa member of English gentry before, during and after WWI. Characters are well developed and it is mostly a character study. A parade is a line of people/vehicle moving through a public place to celebrate a day or event.
Christopher Teetjens is the last Tory
Sylvia is a flippant, promiscuous, mean hearted woman
Valentine is a pacifist, suffraget ( )
  Kristelh | Mar 5, 2023 |
Justo antes de que caiga la era eduardiana, en los albores de la I Guerra Mundial, toma lugar esta historia de traición, romance y el horror de las trincheras. En el centro de la narración está la escandalosa separación de Christopher Tietjens, un clásico caballero inglés, conservador y convencional, e impecable súbdito de la corona inglesa, y su esposa Sylvia, una mujer bella, arrogante, contestataria y símbolo de los nuevos tiempos. Christopher ve cómo su matrimonio se desborona mientras Europa es consumida por la tragedia.
  Natt90 | Aug 1, 2022 |
I was looking forward to reading this book, but I never got into it properly: it felt like I was witnessing these people living completely useless lives and failing to make anything out of themselves. ( )
  mari_reads | Nov 5, 2019 |
I found this book quite dense and hard work. I think it was probably worth it in the end. Tietjens and Sylvia are both quite maddening characters in their way, and it's hard to imagine what Valentine sees in Tietjens really. A lot of the nuance is probably lost to me as a modern reader lacking knowledge of the social mores of the time etc. But still, it's a wide ranging, emotional and intense book. The fourth part is very odd, I didn't know what to make of it at all - mainly from the point of view of Tietjens brother who seems to have stopped speaking and be living in a field? ( )
  AlisonSakai | Aug 25, 2019 |
"Parade’s End" is a tetralogy focused around World War I. The first book in the collection of four, titled "Some Do Not" explores the cultural and social climate in England prior to the onset of war. The protagonist- wealthy gentleman Christopher Tietjens- finds himself in an awkward situation when a one-night encounter with a beautiful and promiscuous woman (Sylvia) leads to accusations that he is responsible for her pregnancy. Chris does the honorable thing and marries her, but Sylvia despises his stoic integrity and uncompromising principles. Mostly she despises the fact that he is only marrying her only to do the right thing, and has no physical or emotional feelings for her. Thus, she becomes an “evil bitch” determined to bring him down to her own level and she is obsessed throughout the series with ruining his life. For Chris, the inner conflict is that he isn’t even sure the child is his.

"Some Do Not" illustrates a vivid picture of social mores and customs in England in the early 1900s. For instance- educated well-connected gentlemen get cushy office jobs or deferments from serving on the war front. And respectable men often live off their inheritance and rarely perform real work. For those who are not wealthy landowners but seeking wealth through a career (like Chris’s best friend Scot)- no matter how much money they accumulate they will always be in a lower social-strata. But the general idea is to make good connections and avoid disasters and they are warned, “disasters come to men through drink, bankruptcy, and women.”

Regarding divorce - it’s ok if religion permits - but of course Catholics are not allowed to divorce. So, for many people marriage really is “till death do us part”.

The number one rule regarding social life is never ever create a scene in public.

Regarding the war - many people in England are German sympathizers. Others are merely pacifists and see no reason for England to fight. And the gentleman that does end up on the war front will inevitably be taking orders from someone from the lower classes which causes dissension and mistrust.

As "Some Do Not" ends, Chris is just beginning to fall in love with another woman- Valentine Wannop- and he is leaving England to serve his country in the war.

Books 2 and 3 - "No More Parades" and "A Man Could Stand Up" take place during the war, shifting back and forth from the war front to Sylvia’s ongoing narcissistic sociopathic destructive behavior. And when the war ends- Chris reconnects with both Sylvia and Valentine. Both books are narrated in a state of mental anguish describing the horrors and chaos of trench warfare, the guilt and pain of losing comrades, the fear of death, and the irrationality of life.

It becomes clear, even before the war ends, that life has been altered forever… for everyone. The age of innocence and “parades” of glorious pompous shows are over. Reality has set in. The word “Parade” is used many times with-in the first 3 books. Needless to say, there are no more references to the word in the final book.

Book 4 is titled "The Last Post". 'The Last Post' is the name of the military bugle song that is equivalent to America’s ‘Taps’. Everyone that survived in battle is returning home from war to resume a normal domestic life, only to find out normal life no longer exists. Everything has changed. Book 4 recaps some of the previous events, revealing missing details, and bringing the series to a satisfactory conclusion.

"Parade’s End" is No. 57 on the Modern Library list of best fictional books of all time. Granted, Ford Madox Ford was a good storyteller. He creates an aura of mystery to his characters and loads of suspense to the story line, but his vocabulary is outdated and the entire series is riddled with bloated highbrow side stories and descriptions that are irrelevant to the plot, thus creating a slow tedious reading experience. Perhaps back in 1920s when the series was written it received higher praise. ( )
1 voter LadyLo | Jul 26, 2019 |
Affichage de 1-5 de 26 (suivant | tout afficher)
I think it could be argued that Last Post was more than a mistake – it was a disaster, a disaster which has delayed a full critical appreciation of Parade’s End. The sentimentality which sometimes lurks in the shadow of Christopher Tietjens, the last Tory (Ford sometimes seems to be writing about ‘the last English gentleman’), emerged there unashamed... This is a better book, a thousand times, when it ends in the confusion of Armistice Night 1918 – the two lovers united, it is true, but with no absolute certainties about the past so deformed by Sylvia’s lies (if they are lies) or about the future with that witch-wife still awaiting them there...

Parade’s End is not a war-book in the ordinary sense of the term; true, it was produced from the experiences of 1914-18, but while a novel like All Quiet on the Western Front confined its horror to the physical, to the terrors of the trenches, so that it is even possible to think of such physical terrors as an escape for some from the burden of thought and mental pain, Ford turned the screw. Here there was no escape from the private life.
ajouté par SnootyBaronet | modifierObserver, Graham Greene
 
Many critics down the years have pointed out that almost all anti-war novels and movies are in fact pro-war. Blood and mud and terror and rape and an all-pervading anxiety are precisely what is attractive about war — in the safety of fiction — to those who, in our overprotected lives, are suffering from tedium vitae and human self-alienation. In Parade’s End Ford makes war nasty, even to the most perverse and idle...

Graham Greene once said of Parade’s End that it was the only adult novel dealing with the sexual life that has been written in English. This is a startling superlative, but it may well be true. Certainly the book has a scope and depth, a power and complexity quite unlike anything in modern fiction, and still more unusual, it is about mature people in grown-up situations, written by a thoroughly adult man.
ajouté par SnootyBaronet | modifierSaturday Review, Kenneth Rexroth
 
Parades End has been called the last Victorian novel. And I suppose it is. So much that is Victorian is in this book, and yet… there is something of the lost generation in here also. It is in my mind a transitional novel, the last hurrah of the Victorian and a first tentative peek at the modern. Or more properly perhaps, the first description of the Modern by a Victorian: “No more hope, no more glory, not for the nation, not for the world I dare say, no more parades.”

Those who have read The Good Soldier will recognize some familiar themes, but in Parade’ End will enjoy Ford at his most expansive. Why Ford has fallen so out of favor, and this novel in particular has been all but forgotten, is one of those peculiarities of taste and time.

Ford himself once said, “Only two classes of books are of universal appeal; the very best and the very worst.” It is certain that Parade’s End belongs in the former class. Certainly it will again be “rediscovered” by some generation of writers. It’s quality and execution demand it.
 

» Ajouter d'autres auteur(e)s (27 possibles)

Nom de l'auteurRôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Ford, Ford MadoxAuteurauteur principaltoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Barnes, JulianIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Bradbury, MalcolmIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
Macauley, RobieIntroductionauteur secondairequelques éditionsconfirmé
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'That's women!' he said with the apparently imbecile enigmaticality of the old and hardened. 'Some do!' He spat into the grass; said: 'Ah!' then added: 'Some do not!'
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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) Introduction by Malcolm Bradbury

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