Friday, December 4, 2009

Timely and topical adaptations of Wharton masterpieces

One of Edith Wharton's greatest gifts as a writer was her ability to sum up an entire life in one succinct moment. Your blogger's favorite example is from The Age of Innocence, when Newland Archer is dining at the home of his employer, Mr. Letterblair: "On the sideboard, between fluted Sheraton knife-cases, stood a decanter of Haut Brion, and another of the old Lanning port (the gift of a client), which the wastrel Tom Lanning had sold off a year or two before his mysterious and discreditable death in San Francisco--an incident less publicly humiliating to the family than the sale of the cellar."

However, Mrs. Wharton's own "nutshelling" abilities are left in the dust when one contemplates John Crace's recent treatment of the novel in the Guardian. To get the most from this "Digested Classic" click on the audio link.

A more timely "adaptation" is suggested in the Huffington Post. Although not intended seriously, we here at The Mount think that "The Real Housewives of Mirth" has legs, so as soon as we find a backer with sufficient capital, casting could begin! After all, Edith Wharton has conquered the world of prime-time drama with Gossip Girl, why should the world of "reality tv" be left behind?