Daniel Deronda to the Third Power

I do believe I have become a groupie–for a book.  I seem to have a bit of a book crush on Daniel Deronda. I first bought a Barnes & Noble edition of the book because, well, it was cheap and I wanted to read it.  Then I bought the Oxford University Press edition for a class I ended up dropping (because I thought I was going back to my ph.d. program and I like to make my life as messy as possible).  The Oxford edition is the one I read over the holidays last winter.  But because I was reading for “fun” I didn’t pay too much attention to the notes in the back…which don’t seem as helpful as they could be as I pick up the book for a second time around.  What’s a girl to do?  Why, order yet another edition of course!  No guarantee that it will be any more helpful, but hell, I can use all the help I can get.

Daniel arrives today (yes, I’m on a first name basis).  I think I need to join a support group.


12 responses to this post.

  1. That’s interesting that the Oxford notes weren’t that good. I suppose it depends on the editor. I’ll be interested to hear how the Penguin compares.

    You’re already in the support group, and we support you buying any editiions of DD you like!


  2. I have the B&N edition. I love the pink colour! I tend to avoid the notes in classics anyway. I’m starting this one tomorrow, and I’m so excited to be reading with the group!


  3. Sylvia: Hooray for support groups! The Oxford edition notes are ok, but a lot of them deal with changes that were made in the text during and after publication, which doesn’t interest me as much as the contemporary political allusions, etc. The Penguin seems a bit better on that front so far, and it has a chart in the back re: changes made.


  4. Eva: I like the B&N versions (and their notes aren’t half bad). But with this one–I’m writing a paper on it, and I need all the help I can get from the notes to make sure I know who she was drawing on, what political issues she was specifically weighing in on, etc. Oh, and if you like the pink, I highly recommend Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters in the B&N version. It’s shocking, it’s so pink–but I like how it stands out on my bookcase! 🙂


  5. I follow your logic completely — of course you needed another edition! Have fun reading the book — I think it’s fabulous.


  6. Dorothy: I’m really looking forward to diving into it again. And I’m glad someone thinks my decision was logical–my husband is still skeptical on that score! 🙂


  7. I have the B&N version, too. I still have a major grudge against the Penguin Classics since one of their footnotes completely gave away the ending to North and South halfway through the book.


  8. Staci: I feel your pain. As a freshman in college I was taking my first Russian literature course and one of the students gave away the ending to Anna Karenina. I’m not sure I can say that I’ve ever really forgiven him for that.


  9. Oh, no. At least I had a feeling where North and South was headed, but giving away the ending to Anna Karenina is much worse!


  10. I have the B&N edition, too. So far it’s working for me–the notes are helpful, but I don’t actually always read them. Besides, this is for pleasure in my case–no worries about writing a paper! 🙂 Good luck on finding a good edition with helpful footnotes!


  11. Danielle: I have a feeling that I will use the notes from all three versions. Although my cat Meshuggenah has given the Penguin edition her stamp of approval (she bit through the cover). 🙂


  12. Some very good advice from Daniel Deronda:

    For in general mortals have a great power of being astonished at the presence of an effect towards which they have done everything, and at the absence of an effect towards which they have done nothing but desire it. Parents are astonished at the ignorance of their sons, though they have used the most time-honoured and expensive means of securing it; husbands and wives are mutually astonished at the loss of affection which they have taken no pains to keep; and all of us in our turn are apt to be astonished that our neighbours do not admire us. In this way it happens that the truth seems highly improbable. The truth is something different from the habitual lazy combinations begotten by our wishes.


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