The Oxford Paragraphs:
Ford Madox Ford
The Good Soldier

Books  Writing in the literary appropriation of impressionism pioneered by his erstwhile friend Joseph Conrad, Ford Madox Ford’s modernist narrative is an enemy of structure and coherence as it mimics his American narrator Dowell’s memory of his obsessive psycho-sexual relationships with his suicidal wife Florence, British stick Edward and his wife Leonora, chronology rolling in on itself over and again. When, at beginning of its fourth part, Dowell apologises for having told the story “in a very rambling way” because “it may be difficult for anyone to find their way through what may be a sort of maze”, well, reader, I sighed. Yet this is still engrossing thanks to its thick atmosphere steeped in turn of the last century continental privilege, and some beautifully rendered characterisation, especially Leonora, a passive aggressive viper who can ruin a man by simply giving him some of her attention. And knows it. And does.

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