Futility Hailed by his famous contemporaries including Edith Wharton H G Wells Katherine Mansfield Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh who called him a genius William Gerhardi is one of the twentieth century

  • Title: Futility
  • Author: William Gerhardie Edith Wharton
  • ISBN: -
  • Page: 138
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Hailed by his famous contemporaries including Edith Wharton, H.G Wells, Katherine Mansfield, Graham Greene, and Evelyn Waugh, who called him a genius, William Gerhardi is one of the twentieth century s forgotten masters, and his lovely comedy Futility one of the century s neglected masterpieces It tells the story of someone very similar to Gerhardi himself a young EngHailed by his famous contemporaries including Edith Wharton, H.G Wells, Katherine Mansfield, Graham Greene, and Evelyn Waugh, who called him a genius, William Gerhardi is one of the twentieth century s forgotten masters, and his lovely comedy Futility one of the century s neglected masterpieces It tells the story of someone very similar to Gerhardi himself a young Englishman raised in Russia who returns to St Petersburg and falls in love with the daughter of a hilariously dysfunctional family all played out with the armies of the Russian Revolution marching back and forth outside the parlor window.Part British romantic comedy, part Russian social realism, and with a large cast of memorable characters, this astoundingly funny and poignant novel is the tale of people persisting in love and hope despite the odds.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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    About "William Gerhardie Edith Wharton"

    1. William Gerhardie Edith Wharton

      William Alexander Gerhardie 21 November 1895 15 July 1977 1 was a British Anglo Russian novelist and playwright.William Gerhardie by Norman Ivor Lancashire 1927 2004 Photograph by Stella HarpleyGerhardie or Gerhardi he added the e in later years as an affectation was one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists of the 1920s Evelyn Waugh told him I have talent, but you have genius H.G Wells also championed his work His first novel, Futility, was written while he was at Worcester College, Oxford and drew on his experiences in Russia fighting or attempting to fight the Bolsheviks, along with his childhood experiences visiting pre revolutionary Russia Some say that it was the first work in English to fully explore the theme of waiting later made famous by Samuel Beckett in Waiting for Godot, but it is probably apt to recognize a common comic nihilism between those two figures His next novel, The Polyglots, is probably his masterpiece although some argue for Doom Again it deals with Russia Gerhardie was strongly influenced by the tragi comic style of Russian writers such as Chekhov about whom he wrote a study while in College.He collaborated with Hugh Kingsmill on the biography The Casanova Fable, his friendship with Kingsmill being both a source of conflict over women and a great intellectual stimulus.After World War II Gerhardie s star waned, and he became unfashionable Although he continued to write, he published no new work after 1939 After a period of poverty stricken oblivion, he lived to see two definitive collected works published by Macdonald in 1947 49 and then revised again in 1970 74 An idiosyncratic study of world history between 1890 and 1940 God s Fifth Column was discovered among his papers and published posthumously More recently, both Prion and New Directions Press have been reissuing his works.


    1. Scoprire il più russo degli scrittori inglesiWilliam Gerhardie è stato un autore molto noto in Gran Bretagna nel periodo tra le due guerre. Il suo primo romanzo, Futilità, è del 1922, e venne salutato come una delle opere letterarie più importanti di quell'epoca (è da notare, al proposito, che nello stesso anno furono pubblicati l'Ulisse di Joyce e Terra desolata di T.S. Eliot): dopo una produzione letteraria piuttosto intensa, nel 1939 si isolò dal mondo, affetto da depressione, per la s [...]

    2. This is an old reader's report on Gerhardie from my long ago publishing days.I'm sure Sonny never got past the first paragraph. So glad to see Melville House has pursued! July 19, 1990Sonny, I have now read three William Gerhardie books, Futility, The Polyglots, and Memoirs of A Polyglot. On the assumption that you have no idea why I am telling you this, I will remind you that over a month ago I showed you a review in the TLS by Julian Symons of a biography of Gerhardie written by Dido Davies (O [...]

    3. Life in Russia before, during, and after the Revolution, seen through the eyes of a rather self-absorbed young Anglo gent. The chaotic nature of the "White" cause in the Civil War (endless splits and coups and a plethora of "All Russia" governments competing) is portrayed, and the general uselessness of the forces available to it. What is striking for a modern reader is to realise that the half-hearted, complacent and incompetent Allied "Intervention" is the model for the later American-lead deb [...]

    4. Futility, first published in 1898. This story features an enormous British passenger liner called the SS Titan, which, deemed to be unsinkable, carries an insufficient number of lifeboats. On a voyage in the month of April, the Titan hits an iceberg and sinks in the North Atlantic, resulting in the loss of almost everyone on board. There are some similarities to the real-life disaster of the RMS Titanic. The book was published fourteen years before the actual Titanic, carrying an insufficient nu [...]

    5. “’How long ago it seems,’ she said at last. ‘To think how long ago!d we are still the same. Nothing has changedLife drags on: a series of compromises. And we drag along, and try to patch it upbut it won’t. And it won’t break. And nothing happens. Nothing ever happens. Nothing happens’ ’Yes,’ she said, pursuing her own thought. ‘Nothing happens. Nothing’”Poor Fanny. She takes some small comfort from living her life as a life, not like a character in a novel, but wicked old [...]

    6. Великолепный около-модерновый «роман на русские темы», совершенно, впрочем, в России неведомый. Что странно, поскольку вышел в 1922-м и не полюбил его только ленивый, ибо в числе поклонников «Тщеты» — Кэтрин Мэнсфилд, Эдит Уортон, Бернард Шо, Грэм Грин, Ивлин Уо, Ч. П. Сноу, Херб [...]

    7. I picked up _Futility_ at a library sale - a book by an unknown (to me) author with a glowing preface by Edith Wharton. What tremendous luck - I'm utterly in love. This wonderful, warm, dazzling book reminds me so much of another little gem that takes place in revolutionary Russia, Penelope Fitzgerald's_ The Beginning of Spring_. Unlike Fitzgerald, who somehow managed to "get" Russia without having been there, Gerhardie is an Englishman who grew up there, one of those weird cosmopolitan creature [...]

    8. "There are honest men in Russia, and there are clever men in Russia; but there are no honest clever men in Russia. And if there are, they're probably heavy drinkers."

    9. "It is a consolation to think there are other useless people in the world besides ourselves."Bah! Found no interest in any of the characters. And as for this being funny in any way ugh. That appears to get repeated in reviews, but I just don't see it.

    10. Nothing worthwhile seems to have been written about the Russian character that was not funny. One of the interesting things about this novel is how well the comic vignettes and the lyrical passages fit together - perhaps because there is no real flow to the narrative and no sense of composition. In some ways, Futility reads like an amateurish work. I have always suspected that Waugh's ubiquitous quote about Gerhardie was spurious (for one thing, one can't imagine Waugh being so pompous). On the [...]

    11. Futility'yle, güvendiğimiz bir yayınevi olan Melville House'un The Neversink Library adlı dizisi sayesinde tanşıtık. Edith Wharton, Katherine Mansfield, H.G. Wells ve Graham Greene gibi isimlerin övgüleriyle dolu bir kitabı, Evelyn Waugh'nun "Ben yetenekliyim ama o bir dahi," dediği yazarı insan ister istemez merak ediyor tabii. William Gerhardie Rusya'da doğup büyüyen, 20'lerinde üniversite için İngiltere'ye gidip savaş sırasında Rusya'da görev yapan bir İngiliz. Futility [...]

    12. A neglected novel that manages to combine Russian comic absurdity, with British irony. Our hero, Andrei, is a British-Russian who meets three sisters in St Petersburg, before the First World War. He falls in love with one of the sisters, Nina, and in doing so, becomes involved with the fraught domestic arrangements of Nina's father, Nikolai. Nikolai owns gold mines in Siberia. The mines distinguish themselves by not producing much, if any, gold. However, the mere existence of the mines, supports [...]

    13. Amusing summary of and homage to Russian literature and Russian life, set right at the turning point of 1917 - feels like a translation, until you realize it was written in English, by an Englishman, though one who was raised in Russia (and is probably of German descent). Despite his assertion that "the 'I' of this book is not me", it seems likely he shared the sensation of being divided between cultures that the narrator describes. His view of Russian life is not that of an outsider, but that o [...]

    14. Had higher hopes for this--a sort of lampoon of Chekhov. At times very funny indeed, but the punch lines around the story and characters (basically of the slow dissolving of a middle-class Russian family's fortunes in the run-up of the revolution) repeated and grew tedious. The details of that era (gramophones, fox trots, sumptuous locomotive interiors, port wine) and the parody of Slavic bluntness were enough to keep me slogging through the bits of literary Siberia Gerhardie wanders into. Makes [...]

    15. Satire and observations on Russia during the revolution by an Englishman who was stationed there with the British Military Mission. Early humor involving an assortment of characters who all depend on a man waiting for his mine to come in gives way to darker reporting on waves of Russian Army disasters around Vladivostok. Intermittently very funny, but not as satisfying in the last third, where his never-resolved love story mimics the never-resolved story of the patriarch waiting for someone to s [...]

    16. Written just a few years after the events recounted, Futility is able to deal with the classes an issues involved in the Russian civil war with insight and humor that would soon become rare. The tragic fate of the overthrown nobility had not, in 1922, yet fully unfold d, nor had the tragic end of the revolutionary euphoria on the other side. Perhaps for these reasons, reading the book now makes it poignant in ways the author had not intended.

    17. una famiglia russa vista attraverso gli occhi di un amico- la rivoluzione, tre sorelle bellissime, la siberia (non da deportati), il parassitismo e i mille espedienti per vivere. la futilità, per l'appunto- nonostante l'incalzare della storia. vorticoso e frivolo.

    18. Tiene un puñado de frases para el bronce. El resto: Algunos momentos divertidos, una trama confusa, diálogos mal hilvanados, un fallido homenaje a la mejor literatura rusa.

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