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Book Title: Juggling|
The author of the book: Barbara Trapido
ISBN 13: 9780140236040
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 12.19 MB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1977 times
Reader ratings: 7.4
Edition: Penguin Books Ltd
Date of issue: June 7th 1995
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I wasn’t sure about this one as I haven’t read any Barbara Trapido before; but it was actually rather good. It is a sequel apparently, but works as a standalone very well. This is all about Shakespearean comedy; which is to say it’s all rather tragic; in a light and comedic sort of way.
Trapido serves up twins separated at birth, a defrocked priest, misplaced siblings, coincidences that are Shakespearean in concept, switched and transposed parents, blurred genders, rape, incest, religion, English public schools, fathers and daughters/sons, finding your mum snogging your English tutor’s wife and Trapido juggles all these balls and more in a very adept way.
Juggling in this context has the Elizabethan meaning of to play tricks or deceive; a sort of sleight of hand. In the middle of a book one of the characters writes an essay on Shakespearean comedies which is reproduced in full and is brilliant: the point being;
“The Tragedies are Tragedies and the Comedies are Tragedies. The Comedies are a better sort of tragedy because they make us laugh and because the characters stay alive.”
“In the conflict of gender, the women win the war of words, but the men will win the battle. The women win on points, but the men are the people who have the points. They have the last weapon against the last word. They have kisses and penetration.
Peace, I will stop your mouth
Women are made to bear and so are you.
The tragedy of the Comedies is that while sex draws men and women together, gender draws them apart. This is the terrible contradiction.”
Trapido’s plots plays brilliantly with all of this in what is essentially a coming of age tale. The plot is really too complex to try to explain, but is simply told and easily followed. It does help to have something of a grasp of Shakespeare’s Comedies because there are so many references and parallels.
I don’t really understand why Trapido is not better known; this is good stuff.
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