Wednesday, April 04, 2007

How are we to understand Sylvia Tietjens?

-Most problematic and difficult to understand
-Presented herself to Ford's imagination as a pagan goddess.
-In Some Do Not-Sylvia is compared to Mythological Astarte, Phoenician goddess of love and fertility, and Lamia, in greek stories the witch who sucked human blood.
-Sylvia is neither of these.
-Never reducible to a single fixed aspect.
-"To be seductive and to be chaste" is the condition she aspires to.
-Ford uses the verb coil in connection with Sylvia to suggest a snake, the imagery is connected with her suffering.
-She loves Christopher for his mind but hates his ideas.

(Source: Sondra Stang. Critical Essays on Ford Madox Ford.G.K Hall & Co.Boston, Massachusetts)

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