Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Rec. #96: Zuleika Dobson
What: Max Beerbohm, otherwise known as "the incomparable Max," was a satirist and caricaturist of the early twentieth century, and Zuleika Dobson is one of his most delightful creations. The premise: A young, beautiful woman arrives at the all-male Oxford campus and wreaks havoc. By "havoc," I mean that all the undergraduates fall in love with her at first sight and end up taking drastic measures to prove their devotion. Very drastic.
Comparable to: As if Rose Macaulay and Jerome K. Jerome teamed up to re-imagine Chronicle of a Death Foretold with some visual inspiration from Edward Gorey.
Representative quote: "The Duke had an intense horror of unmarried girls. All his vacations were spent eluding them and their chaperons. That he should be confronted with one of them in Oxford seemed to him sheer violation of sanctuary."
You might not like it if: The payoff of the satire is a little too macabre for you. Or maybe the path to the payoff is too flowery (remember it's a satire).
How to get it: Not only is it in print, it's also in the public domain. (Hint: That means you can download it to your Kindle for free.)
Connections to previous Wreckage: Not quite sure what I'm on about, with my "Rose Macaulay"s, my "Jerome K. Jerome"s, and my "Chronicle of a Death Foretold"s? Crewe Train, by Rose Macaulay, was Rec. #84. Rec. #64 was Chronicle of a Death Foretold. We haven't gotten to Mr. Jerome yet, but we will.