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Cassandra at the Wedding (Anglais) Broché – 21 août 2012


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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“Knowing, wise and a cracking read.” —Irish Independent

“An important achievement…intoxicating fun.” — Lillian Smith
 
“[Baker’s] ear for dialogue is acute, her prose immaculate…this is a novel of exceptional quality.” — Times Literary Supplement
 
“I—whose usual bed time is ten o’clock—stayed up all night reading that exquisite Cassandra at the Wedding—dazzled by the pyrotechnics of such an artist. I can only think back to Young Man with a Horn, and be overwhelmed by Dorothy Baker’s continuing brilliance.” — Carson McCullers
 
“Dorothy Baker’s Cassandra at the Wedding (New York Review Books, 2004) is another novel in which it’s hard not to be caught up from the very first page by the first—person voice of the speaker. Originally published in 1962, this is the compulsively readable story of Cassandra’s unwilling trip home to attend (or prevent) her twin sister Judith’s wedding. She’s one of those neurotic, intellegent women, trying to understand the direction her life has taken. Long out of print, this is just one of the wonderful titles (both fiction and non—fiction) brought back to life by a publishing company whose mission, according to editor Edwin Frank, is to rescue some of the many truly remarkable works of literature that have had the misfortune of falling out of print.” -- Nancy Pearl, The Beat, KUOW 94.9 FM Seattle NPR
 
“Belongs with Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and McCullers’s Member of the Wedding as a modern American classic.” – Georgia Hammick
 
“A brilliantly told story…remarkably subtle…inexporably lucid.” – The New York Times
 

Présentation de l'éditeur

Cassandra Edwards is a graduate student at Berkeley: gay, brilliant, nerve-racked, miserable. At the beginning of this novel, she drives back to her family ranch in the foothills of the Sierras to attend the wedding of her identical twin, Judith, to a nice young doctor from Connecticut. Cassandra, however, is hell-bent on sabotaging the wedding.
 
Dorothy Baker’s entrancing tragicomic novella follows an unpredictable course of events in which her heroine appears variously as conniving, self-aware, pitiful, frenzied, absurd, and heartbroken—at once utterly impossible and tremendously sympathetic. As she struggles to come to terms with the only life she has, Cassandra reckons with her complicated feelings about the sister who she feels owes it to her to be her alter ego; with her father, a brandy-soaked retired professor of philosophy; and with the ghost of her dead mother.
 
First published in 1962, Cassandra at the Wedding is a book of enduring freshness, insight, and verve. Like the fiction of Jeffrey Eugenides and Jhumpa Lahiri, it is the work of a master stylist with a profound understanding of the complexities of the heart and mind.


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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 256 pages
  • Editeur : NYRB Classics; Édition : Reprint (21 août 2012)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1590176014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590176016
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,1 x 1,4 x 20,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 75.604 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Par D. Legare TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURSVOIX VINE sur 21 octobre 2012
Format: Broché
Cassandra quitte son université de Berkeley pour se rendre au mariage de sa soeur Judith qu'elle n'a pas vu depuis un an. Elle s'arrête en route pour boire un ou deux verres et on comprend alors qu'il n'est pas inhabituel chez elle de mettre ainsi une barrière d'alcool entre elle et la réalité. Arrivée au ranch familial et alors qu'on sentait chez elle une grande impatience de revoir sa saeur, elle repousse autant que possible moment de la voir en tête à tête, ce qu'elle finit par faire après avoir bu encore quelques verres avec son père. Et c'est alors que l'on comprend ce qui la ronge : sa saeur Judith, est sa jumelle identique et Cassandra vit son mariage comme un déchirement, presque l'ablation d'une partie d'elle-même. A plusieurs milliers de kilomètres d'écart, la future mariée et sa saeur ont d'ailleurs choisi exactement la même robe....

Ce sont les 48 heures qui précèdent le mariage dont il sera question dans ce roman sensible et intelligent, de ce jeu d'amour et de répulsion entre les deux saeurs. Dans un style simple et fluide Dorothy Baker nous livre des lignes pleines d'une douleur sourde sur cette séparation difficile, et peut-être impossible. Le thème de la gémellité a déjà été abordé dans les romans, mais Dorothy Baker fait ici une analyse très fine de la personnalité trouble de Cassandra qui ne se révèle que lentement, car c'est elle le premier narrateur du roman et elle aime à brouiller les pistes et à nous manipuler.

Selon Wikipedia l'auteur se serait d'ailleurs inspirée de ses propres filles pour écrire ce roman.
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Amazon.com: 15 commentaires
40 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Baker's crafting of an "unreliable narrator" is worthy of greater notice 19 novembre 2005
Par T. M. Teale - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The novel, Cassandra at the Wedding (first published in 1962), starts out simply enough; the first-person narrator, Cassandra Edwards, tells us that the spring semester has ended at Berkeley, California, where she is writing an M.A. thesis on the contemporary French novel; and she's packing a bag to drive to her parents' ranch near Tipton to attend her sister Judith's marriage to a truly lovable man. Not only is Cassandra a budding scholar, she's a talented pianist, and competitive swimmer, and she loves her sister more than anyone--even more than her sister's fiancee--so Cassie thinks. For this is the point: Cassie cannot bear to part with her nearly identical twin sister and will do almost anything to stop their wedding. As Cassie lets us deeper into her thought processes, the reader will find that--as learned and cultured as she is--Cassie isn't aware of the effects she has on others and on herself: Cassie is often cynical, passive aggressive, and wantonly perverse in her refusal to "get it," i.e., to love and let love. Her insolence towards the people she says she loves is an astonishing dismissal of their emotional lives. The fact that Dorothy Dodds Baker makes it easy for us to see Cassie without Cassie seeing herself is testament to the author's mastery of irony and understatement. Without a doubt Baker has created a character who is both infuriating and heroic. In fact, it's Cassie's youth and intelligence that makes her inability to let her sister go such a riveting contemporary drama. Also of note: The NYRB book cover is an appropriate painting by David Park; Deborah Eisenberg's "Afterward" is informative.
28 internautes sur 30 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
a stunning rebuke to shallow-as-glass chick lit 15 juin 2008
Par Jesse Kornbluth - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
You're a twin --- so close to your sister that she moved across the country.

Now she's getting married to a man you've never met and cutting the cord for good.

And you're her only bridesmaid.

In the universe we now inhabit --- the urban chickscape of "Sex and the City" --- Cassandra Edwards would have a posse of smart-talking, Chardonnay-swilling pals to help her through this overwrought moment. They'd gab for hours about her choice of a bridesmaid's dress. They'd speculate about the groom's endowment. And they'd tease Cassandra for her ambivalence about catching the bouquet.

"Cassandra at the Wedding" is a stunning rebuke to that shallow-as-glass sensibility.

More to the point, it's a smart, stylish, disturbing novel --- a book much too good to languish at an Amazon.com ranking of 1,000,000.

But then, Dorothy Baker is not exactly a household name. Young Man with a Horn --- her fictionalized account of the doomed jazz great Bix Beiderbecke --- was published in 1938. It's pure pleasure; I've read it a dozen times since discovering it as a kid. I thought it was her only novel until a Butler reader tipped me to "Cassandra at the Wedding", the last of what turn out to be Baker's three novels.

Like "Young Man with a Horn," this novel begins effortlessly: "I told them I could be free by the twenty-first, and that I'd come home the twenty-second." That makes Cassandra seem chatty and friendly. Well, it doesn't take long for her bitchy side to surface. Example: Her twin's beloved is John Thomas Finch. Cassandra's comment: "Where'd she meet him --- Birdland?"

Soon we see that Cassandra is an inventory of neurosis. She's writing a thesis about French writers rather than be a writer --- her mother wrote plays and novels --- but she's stumbling even in her academic writing. Her biggest issue, naturally, is her twin. She's just obsessed. And with every detail of their lives. She was, she notes, born "two ounces heavier and eleven minutes older than the one named Judith."

As children, they lived on the Northern California ranch where Judith will be married. They came right home after school: "We didn't need people." Now, even though separated, they're so in tune with one another that they have both bought the same dress to wear at the wedding.

To Cassandra, that's one more metaphor for all that's wrong about Judith's wedding --- one more reason she must stop it. She explains this to us at great length, and some readers, wading through these pages, will think this book is just talk talk talk. It's not. Baker is doing something far more subtle and accomplished --- she's presenting a close account of an unraveling personality.

On the wedding day, there's an event. No spoilers here, but it's not the wedding, and it is a shocker. And it leads to more. And, in the end, you feel you've come to know some people at least as complex as you are and as twisted as some people you know.

Oh, there's a twitch I've failed to mention. "With men I feel like a bird in the clutch of a cat, terrified, caught in a nightmare of confinement, wanting nothing but to get free and take a shower," Cassandra tells us. Translation: She's gay. Context: "Cassandra" was published in 1962, so at no point is this ever made explicit. But you can read the entire book without being aware of her sexuality. For me, that's the mark of good writing.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Astonishing Novel 17 avril 2011
Par A Common Reader - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I don't understand how this book could have sunk into obscurity: it's a powerful and beautiful novel, intense and absorbing, deeply layered--the kind that you want to re-read the moment you reach the last page, and one that you know you will return to regularly throughout your life. You'll have gained an idea of what the novel is about from synopses and other reviews, so I won't go into that except to say that, for me, it's most deeply about growing up, how there's really no end to the struggle to come into one's own true self--no end to the pain of it, nor the exhilaration of it.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Here comes the bride, her sister and a lot of trouble 18 octobre 2009
Par A. T. A. Oliveira - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Dorothy Baker's beautiful "Cassandra at the Wedding" maybe the grandmommy of all wedding related dysfunctional family genre - which more recently includes two brilliant movies "Margot at the Wedding" and "Rachel Getting Married". All these stories features a homecoming, a problematic sister and the coming to terms with we will never be able to get rid of our families - no matter how problematic they are.

This novel in centered on Cassandra and her twin sister, Judith, who is about to get married. The protagonist's homecoming brings along some past reminisces and trouble, such as a difficult relationship between siblings. Baker, however, is more interested in plot development throughout character development. The narrative moves on as the lives of people who populate the book move forward. It is a interesting device that the writer explores with brilliancy.

Divided into three parts, the narrative is opened and closed by Cassandra - with a Judith's intermission in between. Through their eyes we see the world in different colors and shapes. Despite being twins with the same appearance, the two sisters approach the world, life, family and Judith's wedding in different forms. Baker is very able to make two different narrators, each with her own voice and plausibility.

In "Cassandra at the wedding" , just like life, we smile, we cry, we feel happy, sad and overcome problems and find new ones. With her accurate prose, Baker is capable of capture these with their nuances, beauty and sadness.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An entertaining, witty, and insightful novel about losing and recovering 2 juillet 2013
Par C. B Collins Jr. - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I read this novel in two days and found that once I got past the first 30% that it was almost impossible to put down. The dark dry wit reminded me of J.D. Salinger in Catcher in the Rye, the endearing portraits of the characters, especially the well-meaning grandmother, reminded me of the examination of social propriety that is evident in Jane Austin's work. The minimalism and sense of California reminded me of Joan Didion. The stripped down narrative flow reminded me of Hemmingway. The references to classical philosophy and antiquity reminded me of John Banville. This is a highly accomplished work of literature but it is also a highly entertaining tale.
This is a superb almost perfect novel, full of wit and insight. It is precisely proportioned in that there are a minimal amount of characters, Cassandra, her twin sister Judith, their philosophy professor father, their wealthy grandmother, Judith's medical resident fiancée, and Cassandra's psychiatrist. All the characters are painted but the character of Cassandra, struggling with her separation from her sister Judith, is full of intelligence, cunning, despair, sarcasm, and insight. Grandmother Rowena Abbott, the orange juice heiress, is concerned about social propriety and appearances but she is loving and concerned. Judith is pulled in two directions, toward her loyalty to her twin sister and to her intelligent, supportive, wise medical resident fiancée. Baker is an economic writer, creating drama and tension with a minimal amount of characters and concentrating on one key event, the upcoming marriage of Judith and Jack Finch. This was one of the best books I have read this year and it is highly recommended.
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