I can’t believe I’ve read “The Descent Of Man And Other Stories” before. This was the first impression I had when I read the “Quicksand” and “The Mission of Jane”. I remember where I read the “Quicksand”–in an online Wharton fan site, where the short story is truncated and the last chapter is not included. In another audible book about short stories of female writers, I listened to “The Mission of Jane”. I did re-read both stories, and my reread only made me like the stories more. To me, Wharton always represents the best crafty language in an author and I probably would never be able to write this way even if I try. In addition, in both stories, women are not restricted to the traditional role and the plots provide several surprises as the stories move forward. I only wish there could be heated arguments between Hope Fenno and Alan, a full display of the anguished emotions, one or two detailed publishing stories of the “Radiator”, and a more hopeful ending. The same kind of wish can be applied to “The Mission of Jane”. If Jane want to be a modern woman, there probably would be some description of her modern ways towards the relationship. Overall, I really like these stories.
I don’t like “The Other Two” and it is a little too conservative for me. What is described in the book is considered to be rare and nervous and unfortunate at the time, but it cannot be more normal nowadays. How life has changed.
What really frustrates me is the fact that I’ve read “The Dilettante”, “The Reckoning”, “Expiation”, “The Lady’s Maid’s Bell” before but I couldn’t recall much of the content anymore. Still, my highlight is conspicuous in my kindle and there’s no denying that at one point I did read them, but only a very faint memory is still in my mind. I wonder what the story will be like if “The Dilettante” is written from the women point of view.
I didn’t finish the last two stories, one about a night’s entertainment in Venice and another about a letter written during a battle in Italy in the beginning of last century. Whenever the author writes about Italy, her writing style changes. I wonder why.