April 12th, 2012

monkey pirate

"Snobs" by Julian Fellowes

Are you, like me, a big Gosford Park and Downton Abbey fan? Then you are, like me, a big fan of Julian Fellowes, who wrote them both, and also an insightful, interesting novel called "Snobs" about the lives of the aristocracy in England today. It's replete with incisive commentary on people of every class, but especially the insular "upper" class of England. Fellowes is one of them, a life peer and married to a handmaiden to the royals, he has been before an actor and writer, an aristocrat. His portrait of them is forgiving but also uncompromising; he sees the best of his class but is not blind to their faults, and to what it is about them that is to the other classes so aggravating.

But it's full of little Nabokovian gems of insight like, “How little Americans know when they disparage acquaintanceship in favour of real, true friendship. It is in acquaintanceship, bringing wiht it as it does delicious dinners, comfortable weekends, gossip shared in picturesque surroundings, but no real intimacy, no responsibility, that the greatest charm of social intercourse lies.”

As a piece of literature, this was a joy to read. As research for new and exciting project, invaluable. And as insight into another world, entirely revealing.
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