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Two Serious Ladies Tekijä: Jane Bowles
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Two Serious Ladies (alkuperäinen julkaisuvuosi 1943; vuoden 2022 painos)

Tekijä: Jane Bowles (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
8111127,776 (3.41)68
"Christina Goering, eccentric and adventurous, and Frieda Copperfield, anxious but enterprising, are two serious ladies who want to live outside of themselves. Old friends, each will take a surprising path in search of salvation: during a visit to Panama, Mrs. Copperfield abandons her husband, finding solace in a relationship with a teenage prostitute; while Miss Goering, a wealthy spinster, pursues sainthood via sordid encounters with the basest of men. At the end the two women meet again, each radically altered by her experience"--Provided by publisher.… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:AnnetteFreeman
Teoksen nimi:Two Serious Ladies
Kirjailijat:Jane Bowles (Tekijä)
Info:W&N (2022), 272 pages
Kokoelmat:Cultural Studies, Oma kirjasto
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Kaksi vakavaa naista (tekijä: Jane Bowles) (1943)

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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 11) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
These [b:Two Serious Ladies|215262|Two Serious Ladies|Jane Bowles|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1172774282l/215262._SY75_.jpg|208395], Miss Goering and Mrs. Copperfield pursue their serious goals of depredation and radical change in their lives. Both are wealthy and can afford the distractions they undertake, Mrs. Copperfield leaves her husband to live with a Panamanian prostitute named Pacifica and Christina Goering abandons the hangers-on who live with her (Arnold's only appeal to me was when he said "books are a great solace to me." ) to pursue several men she meets in a dive bar. Old men play a role, I think sympathetic, in the book and comedic. But, on the whole, the male characters are largely ineffective and without resources.
Emotional need is shameful, according to the novel, Goering is a chillier temperament and more calculating than Mrs. Copperfield. "I really have no sense of shame," said Miss Goering "and I think your own sense of shame is terribly exaggerated besides being a terrific sap on your energies," she says to Andy as she leaves him for Ben who isn't fond of talking.
There is a religious aspect to the novel in that it is bookended by baptisms, at first when Goering was a child and she baptizes her sister's friend and the other when Mrs. Copperfield is held in the ocean by Pacifica who is teaching her to swim. Both ladies are afraid of water. No shame says the novel. We know very little of Goering, where she got her money, what motivates her other than a need to overcome her fear. Nor do we have any background on Mrs. Copperfield or her marriage, but she points out "I hate religion in other people" and bellies up to the bar.
In the final pages, when the two ladies, old friends, reunite they no longer admire each other.
"Certainly, I am nearer to becoming a saint," reflected Miss Goering," but is it possible that a part of me hidden from my sight is piling sin upon sin as fast as Mrs. Copperfield?" The final line, "this latter possibility Miss Goering thought to be of considerable interest but of no great importance." She doesn't care because her interest is not sin, not shame, but overcoming her own fears. Otherwise, her actions are meaningless.
The writing is skilled, full of surprises, many of the conversations unexpected and the characters original and singular but always the story spurred me forward to find out what was next. Except for some short stories and a play, this is the only book Bowles, married to the composer/writer Paul Bowles, wrote before her early death from cancer at 56.
( )
  featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
A story of two women which is touted as witty and humorous. I found the two characters to be impulsive self-absorbed users of others that I could not empathize with. Essentially all of the characters seemed pathetic. ( )
  snash | Jan 9, 2023 |
Amazing! So loved reading this book- i read it at lunch at work and i looked forward to going back to work so i could read for another half hour (i know i could have taken it home, but that isn't my way). The two ladies are: Ms. Goering and Mrs. Copperfield. Their stories barely touch and barely come together at the end, leaving one (that is, me) a bit lost at the "big picture" but who cares- we go with it and such a pleasant journey. Ms. Goering is introduced as an oddball, religious 10 year old- we next see her when she is in her 20s and another lady (Ms. Gamelon) who has heard of Ms. Goering comes to visit - and, of course, she stays with her after that. Ms. Goering goes to a party one day and meets an oddball dandy-ish man and goes home with him (in her spirit of adventure or religious trial?) and meets up with the father and she charms them both (father and son). Later, she leads them both (sort of) to an isolated island and a barren freezing cold house to .... suffer? i'm not really sure. Ms. Gamelon, the father and son and Ms. Goering. She decides to visit the town (via the train and ferry) and slums around with a couple of losers from the bar there. Finally Ms. Gamelon shacks up with the son and the father goes back to the wife. O well. Mrs. Copperfield was at the party with Ms. Goering earlier and then she goes off to Panama for a vacation with her spouse. She quickly diverts to a lowlife bar and becomes completely enamored of a local prostitute and a slum lord hotel keep lady. She loves it there and tells her spouse that she'll be staying but eventually they return back to NYC (i guess?) - Mrs. Copperfield with the young gal. We did get to have Mrs. C. and Ms. G meet near the end which is nice. So- what's so great? The spirit, the language, the way the sentences and scenes roll together like a happy, but drunken and wind rocked boat ... I know (because i am told) the book is all about lesbianism and women finding their freedom. That's fine and no doubt true, but i think it is limiting to focus on that. It is about a rolling freedom and openness to life - the desire to step out of preset molds and live. Yes, a bit much, i know- but i loved this book and i wish there were move of it - and more like them. ( )
  apende | Jul 12, 2022 |
77/2021. Two Serious Ladies, by Jane Bowles, 1943, is a batshit novel about terrible people and their alternately batshit and terrible lives. Bowles appears to be trying to render the banal as interesting and the interesting as banal, which didn't work for me. But this doesn't mean I didn't enjoy reading the book.

So 3.5 for fun and 2.5 for style = 3* ( )
  spiralsheep | May 9, 2021 |
Quirkiness Overstays Its Welcome
Review of the Ecco paperback reissue (2014) of the original Knopf hardcover "Two Serious Ladies" (1943)
Do you think the rich mind? They never get enough of it. They want to be liked for their money too, and not only for themselves. - Jane Bowles, Two Serious Ladies.
There are many quirky and entertaining one-liners and dialogues in this one novel by Jane Bowles and you can certainly see it as an inspiration and a precursor to later writers (including her own husband Paul Bowles) who would diverge from the standard path of writing about conventional individuals and relationships. The ‘two serious ladies’ of the title are Miss Goering and Mrs. Copperfield who both step aside from conventional lifestyles and/or marriage. Miss Goering is seeking her supposed “salvation” through lowering her circumstances and partnerships. Mrs. Copperfield searches for new life experiences by gradually easing herself away from her husband while travelling in Panama.

The dialogue is very affected and theatrical. It often reminded me of the absurdist plays of Harold Pinter, where characters are talking past each other and not directly answering each other’s questions, but are instead simply stating their unfiltered thoughts.

It was entertaining in the short term, but the extended sequence towards the end of Miss Goering constantly changing her partners and accommodations became repetitive and uninteresting. From reading various online sources, I discovered that the final published text was trimmed down from a draft original of Three Serious Ladies and some of the deleted portions later became individual short stories such as A Guatemalan Idyll and A Day in the Open.

An apparent dedication: “To Paul, Mother, and Helvetia” in the original 1943 edition was not reproduced in this Ecco paperback.

I read Two Serious Ladies as part of my 2020 subscription to Parisian independent bookstore Shakespeare and Company's Year of Reading Lost Treasures which has made an excellent variety of curated choices, many of which have been new to me.

True Confessions: I have never previously read anything by either Jane or Paul Bowles, so this was my first excursion into Bowlesiana.

Trivia and Links
A review of a 2012 reissue of Jane Bowles’ [book:Everything Is Nice: Collected Stories, Fragments and Plays|16694840] (1989) If You’re Not a Lesbian Get the Hell Out by Lidija Haas in the London Review of Books, April 25, 2013.
A biographical article with many references to “Two Serious Ladies” can be read at The Madness of Queen Jane by Negar Azimi in The New Yorker, June 12, 2014. ( )
  alanteder | Aug 15, 2020 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 11) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Bowles's spare, elliptical prose has a hallucinatory quality, pierced by moments of startling clarity and wit. Her characters retain a sphinx-like opacity, as unsettling as it is engrossing; "If you are only interested in a bearable life, perhaps this does not concern you," one of them writes. It is this challenge that lies at the heart of Bowles's novel.
 

» Lisää muita tekijöitä (13 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Jane Bowlesensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetlaskettu
Capote, TrumanJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Gray, Francine du PlessixJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Laurencin, MarieKansikuvataiteilijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Messud, ClaireJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Sage, LornaJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
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To Paul, Mother and Helvetia
Ensimmäiset sanat
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Christina Goering's father was an American industrialist of German parentage and her mother was a New York lady of a very distinguished family.
'I can't live without her, not for a minute,' a heroine of Jane Bowles's Two Serious Ladies says about the teen-age whore she has taken as a companion. (Introduction)
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia (1)

"Christina Goering, eccentric and adventurous, and Frieda Copperfield, anxious but enterprising, are two serious ladies who want to live outside of themselves. Old friends, each will take a surprising path in search of salvation: during a visit to Panama, Mrs. Copperfield abandons her husband, finding solace in a relationship with a teenage prostitute; while Miss Goering, a wealthy spinster, pursues sainthood via sordid encounters with the basest of men. At the end the two women meet again, each radically altered by her experience"--Provided by publisher.

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