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Thread: How can a modern reader engage this text?

  1. #1
    biting writer
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    How can a modern reader engage this text?

    I opened Carlyle's The French Revolution last evening after I finally finished up Vonnegut, and exclaimed "Hey what?" Archived it, and then later changed my mind and reloaded it, but I was wondering if there is anyone out there, perhaps kiki?, who can advise me how to approach this text.

    He opens with an epigram in mid-sentence and litters the first page with names of people I don't know, and yes, I can Google everything and put as many footnotes in the text as I like, but a body can't read a book that way. Does he at any time clarify what he's talking about? Should I foot note and Google every Tom Dick and Harry?

  2. #2
    Of Subatomic Importance Quark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozanny View Post
    I opened Carlyle's The French Revolution last evening
    First of all, why? Are you reading this for professional reasons, or is this just something you're doing in your leisure?
    "Par instants je suis le Pauvre Navire
    [...] Par instants je meurs la mort du Pecheur
    [...] O mais! par instants"

    --"Birds in the Night" by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896). Join the discussion here:
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  3. #3
    biting writer
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    Well, one, I am more of a latent Francophile than kiki might suppose, one, and two, I do not mind abandoning novels, even poetry, but I want to do a few scholarly things in my old age, and that means not abandoning source texts, although I have to say Carlyle's opening is sloppy. His readers might have been shocked by the bloodlust of The French Revolution, but if he was such a gifted student, he should have had the foresight to reference these individuals in some way.

    I just discovered part of the problem is where the kindle opens, and that I had to go to the cover, but still, between page 1 and 3 he mentions a *President, Dubarry, a Duke, a Madame someone, and it is confusing.

    *President Henault is actually an 18th century historian and not a political leader.
    Last edited by Jozanny; 03-12-2010 at 12:52 AM. Reason: note

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