Fanny Herself - Edna Ferber - Страница 1 из 373
By Edna Ferber
TO WILLIAM ALLEN WHITE
It has become the fashion among novelists to introduce their hero in
knee pants, their heroine in pinafore and pigtails. Time was when we
were rushed up to a stalwart young man of twenty-four, who was presented
as the pivot about whom the plot would revolve. Now we are led,
protesting, up to a grubby urchin of five and are invited to watch him
through twenty years of intimate minutiae. In extreme cases we have been
obliged to witness his evolution from swaddling clothes to dresses, from
dresses to shorts (he is so often English), from shorts to Etons.
The thrill we get for our pains is when, at twenty-five, he jumps over
the traces and marries the young lady we met in her cradle on page two.
The process is known as a psychological study. A publisher's note on
page five hundred and seventy-three assures us that the author is now at
work on Volume Two, dealing with the hero's adult life. A third volume
will present his pleasing senility. The whole is known as a trilogy.
If the chief character is of the other sex we are dragged through her
dreamy girlhood, or hoydenish. We see her in her graduation white, in
her bridal finery. By the time she is twenty we know her better than her
mother ever will, and are infinitely more bored by her.
Yet who would exchange one page in the life of the boy, David
Copperfield, for whole chapters dealing with Trotwood Copperfield, the
man? Who would relinquish the button-bursting Peggotty for the saintly
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