The Magnificent Ambersons
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize when it was first published in 1918, The Magnificent Ambersons chronicles the changing fortunes of three generations of an American dynasty. The protagonist of Booth Tarkington's great historical drama is George Amberson Minafer, the spoiled and arrogant grandson of the founder of the family's magnificence. Eclipsed by a new breed of developers, financiers, and manufacturers, this pampered scion begins his gradual descent from the midwestern aristocracy to the working class.
Today The Magnificent Ambersons is best known through the 1942 Orson Welles movie, but as the critic Stanley Kauffmann noted, "It is high time that [the novel] appear again, to stand outside the force of Welles's genius, confident in its own right."
"The Magnificent Ambersons is perhaps Tarkington's best novel," judged Van Wyck Brooks. "[It is] a typical story of an American family and town--the great family that locally ruled the roost and vanished virtually in a day as the town spread and darkened into a city. This novel no doubt was a permanent page in the social history of the United States, so admirably conceived and written was the tale of the Ambersons, their house, their fate and the growth of the community in which they were submerged in the end."
Uploader Release Notes:
Retail EPUB, includes chapter markings
like the old type that his boyhood knew, and partly like types he knew abroad. He saw German eyes with American wrinkles at their corners; he saw Irish eyes and Neapolitan eyes, Roman eyes, Tuscan eyes, eyes of Lombardy, of Savoy, Hungarian eyes, Balkan eyes, Scandinavian eyes—all with a queer American look in them. He saw Jews who had been German Jews, Jews who had been Russian Jews, Jews who had been Polish Jews but were no longer German or Russian or Polish Jews. All the people were soiled by
crowded sidewalks, turned north into National Avenue, and presently reached the quieter but no less begrimed region of smaller shops and old-fashioned houses. Those latter had been the homes of his boyhood playmates; old friends of his grandfather had lived here;—in this alley he had fought with two boys at the same time, and whipped them; in that front yard he had been successfully teased into temporary insanity by a Sunday-school class of pinky little girls. On that sagging porch a laughing
bears scars of narrative gaps and severe shifts in tone and focus. Additionally, the studio reworked the score by Bernard Herrmann (Citizen Kane, Psycho, Taxi Driver) so completely that he had his name removed from the credits. Despite its inconsistencies, The Magnificent Ambersons remains a compelling film and has somehow retained its classic status. Welles’s genius shines through, particularly in the dreamy, nostalgic prologue, which features a smart voice-over by Welles that propels the
and sat uttering incoherent sounds. “Papa!” “It brings things back so!” he managed to explain. “This very Fred Kinney’s father and young George’s father, Wilbur Minafer, used to do just such things when they were at that age—and, for that matter, so did George Amberson and I, and all the rest of us!” And, in spite of his exhaustion, he began to imitate: “‘Don’t you try to put me in the light of a boor!’ ‘I shall take pleasure in calling at some time when a more courteous sort of people—’” He
grasped for it, then reeled and whirled till sometimes the wearers of those daring mittens plunged flat in the snow and lay a-sprawl, reflecting. For this was the holiday time, and all the boys and girls in town were out, most of them on National Avenue. (page 55) “The people who have done the most in contempt of other people’s opinion, and who consider themselves the highest above it, have been the most furious if it went against them. Arrogant and domineering people can’t stand the least,