- ペーパーバック: 144ページ
- 出版社: Penguin Classic (2000/2/22)
- 言語: 英語
- ISBN-10: 0141181427
- ISBN-13: 978-0141181424
- 発売日： 2000/2/22
- 商品パッケージの寸法: 13 x 0.8 x 20.3 cm
- おすすめ度： 3件のカスタマーレビュー
- Amazon 売れ筋ランキング: 洋書 - 58,538位 (洋書の売れ筋ランキングを見る)
Modern Classics Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (Penguin Modern Classics) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2000/2/22
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Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie includes an introduction by Candia McWilliam in Penguin Modern Classics. Romantic, heroic, comic and tragic, unconventional schoolmistress Jean Brodie has become an iconic figure in post-war fiction. Her glamour, unconventional ideas and manipulative charm hold dangerous sway over her girls at the Marcia Blaine Academy - 'the crème de la crème' - who become the Brodie 'set', introduced to a privileged world of adult games that they will never forget. Muriel Spark's The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was adapted into a successful stage play, and later a film directed by Ronald Neame and starring Maggie Smith. Muriel Spark (1918 - 2006) wrote poetry, stories, and biographies as well as a remarkable series of novels, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961), The Mandelbaum Gate (1965) which received the James Tait Black Prize, and The Public Image (1968) and Loitering with Intent (1981), both of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Spark was awarded the T.S. Eliot Award for poetry in 1992, and the David Cohen Prize for literature in 1997. If you enjoyed The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, you might like Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited, also available in Penguin Modern Classics. 'A sublimely funny book ... it is a book to be read by all ... unforgettable and universal' Candia McWilliam, author of Debatable Land
Spark's most celebrated novel (Independent)
There is no question about the quality and distinctiveness of her writing, with its quirky concern with human nature, and its comedy (William Boyd)
A brilliant psychological figure (Observer) --このテキストは、マスマーケット版に関連付けられています。
Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta)
In a general sense, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE is a portrait of a place, Edinburgh of the 1930s, a particular time, an era in which women were dominated by strict codes of behavior. Those who did not conform these codes were on a collision course with society, and so it is with Miss Jean Brodie, school teacher at the conservative Marsha Blaine School For Girls. A pseudo-intellectual with a sensual disposition, Miss Brodie sets out to visit her own ambitions on the next generation--and with very mixed results.
The next generation in question is a particular group of girls who fall into Miss Brodie's hands through the school, a group that quickly becomes known as "the Brodie set" and are noted for their excessive loyalty to her and to her romantically inclined attitudes to life. But Miss Brodie has erred: for all her claim to special insight, she is largely oblivious to the true nature of their characters, and while she has an undeniable impact on their lives it is not precisely the impact she seeks or expects.
There are no suddenly plot twists, no great turns in the novel in any dramatic sense; instead, the book is about the revelation of character that can only occur with time. Miss Brodie first appears as a fascinating figure, but as her students grow to maturity and perceive her in new and different lights our own impression of her changes. Is she, as one student says near the end of the novel, "a silly woman," a woman of false emotion and half-thought-out ideas, a Scottish Madame Bovary? And what of the children in her care, whose lives take such unexpected (and, to Miss Brodie, often undesirable) paths when they leave her behind? Are they really the "Creme de la Creme" after all?
Sparks presents her story in what might be called layers of time, allowing us to see past, present, and future all at once; it is a remarkable bit of writing, alternately smooth and sharp, sweet and bitter, and all to surprising effect. At the same time the novel is concise, condensing a great deal into the fewest pages possible. A quick read, yes, but one that most will find unexpectedly demanding.
In the end, THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE is about character and how it is shaped by ourselves, by others, and by our various circumstances--and how we either accept or rebell against that impact. Although THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE is frequently offered in high school and early college literature courses, I personally do not feel it will have much relevance for any one much under the age of 40; it is the sort of novel that requires the reader to bring considerable life-experience of their own to the tale, and without it book may seem shapeless and trivial. It is very much an adult's book and should be approached with that fact clearly in mind. Strongly recommended.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
Whatever the reason, this text is one that should be read and taught ethusiastically, for it packs into its 150-odd pages a deeply comic yet troubling bunch of themes: betrayal, fitting-in, the power of imagination, adultery, and most importantly, the transfiguration of the commonplace. In a way the book is at the same time a paeon to and a curse of the imagination, demonstrating how it can enrich life (such as in the antics of Sandy and Jenny) yet also how it can damage others (such as Miss Brodie's false and manipulative ideas about love, sex, Teddy, Rose and so forth).
Muriel Spark writes about things she knows well, in this case teaching, Edinburgh, girls schools, sex and betrayal. A book not only worth reading, but well worth teaching, and an excellent introduction to the works of Spark, whose other works are equally compelling and astute.
Any story by Muriel Spark is complex up to a point - her way of thinking is devious and unstraightforward and her characters tend to inhabit the moral and motivational lowlands. Insofar as they seem like real people at all rather than clever animations, her attitude towards them is usually ambivalent. Indeed it's almost fair to say that she makes her feelings for her own creations clearest, and expresses them most strongly, when those feelings consist most of repugnance, as with Patrick Seton and Father Socket in The Bachelors. Nevertheless she always seems to distance herself successfully from their general squalor through her quick wits and the dazzling speed at which she keeps rearranging the scenery.
This book has a lot of the familiar Spark `feel' to it, but it's a bit different in some ways too. It's short, but it doesn't come across to me as a lightweight effort like The Abbess of Crewe. The cast of characters is not as large as in The Bachelors or The Ballad of Peckham Rye, but it's large enough. What makes it simpler is that it consists largely of a group of juveniles on the one hand, and on the other it is absolutely dominated by one single outsize personality, maybe the nearest to a true heroine or hero that Spark ever allowed herself. Jean Brodie is a silly woman but not a mean or corrupt one and that, in a novel by Muriel Spark, is quite something not to be. Another thing that may have softened the author's stance is that the setting is not London or the east side of Manhattan or Crewe or any other foreign clime, but her own native Edinburgh. I don't suppose she is trying to conceal her affection for it (although being who she is she doesn't indulge it either), or if she is she has failed at that. I can recognise the kinds of people and the kinds of attitude through a similar if not identical background, and it has brought out a most unusual candour in the author. At the start of chapter 3 there is a very straightforward account of the kind of Edinburgh spinster that Jean Brodie exemplifies. Spark typically springs it on us who it was that `betrayed' Miss Brodie, but once she has done so she takes us through the person's thought-processes with a most untypical clarity. The book shuttles backwards and forwards through time-frames, but this time with a sheer naturalness that conceals the cleverness of it. There is even a rare glimpse into the author's fascination with Catholicism when she discusses Miss Brodie's semi-ecumenical religious interests. Above all the typical spurts of sarcasm and ridicule are more often funny than bitchy, not the other way round as is more usual from her.
A taste for Muriel Spark is a bit of a mini-religion itself. This book might make her a few converts.
Enter the world of Miss Jean Brodie in her prime, a teacher in 1930s Scotland, she is a woman on a mission, to put "old heads on young shoulders," and she sets out to do this with a group of girls who become known as the Brodie Set. Miss Jean Brodie has her enemies in the school she works in because she is considered too "progressive" but she is too shrewd to get caught and she relies on the loyalty of her set to keep silent about what they know about her life, politics and beliefs.
Miss Jean Brodie is certainly no ordinary teacher; she admires Mussolini, and can't see anything wrong in Hitler's socialism, and she sees no harm in telling her "gels" about the young lover she had who died on Flanders Fields in the First World War. She is also incredibly manipulative, she is in love with Teddy Lloyd the Art teacher but she has to take the moral ground and deny herself this passion, instead she grooms one of her girls to become Teddy's lover, wanting to live vicariously through this girl who will through another of the girl's tell her how the affair is going on.
The story jumps between the past and present with ease, one minute you are with the Brodie set when they are juniors, the next you are with them when they are 18 and then you briefly see them as adults when they are scattered to the wind and living individual lives.
One of the central characters is Sandy, who is the first to realise that Miss Jean Brodie is dangerous, her ideals and beliefs can get people killed, and that she has to be stopped at all costs.
Miss Brodie spends the rest of her life trying to find out which of her "gels" betrayed her and near the end of her life realises that it is the one girl she did not think it could be, Sandy, now a nun and famous for a book she has written called the "The Transfiguration of the Commonplace."
This is a witty, sparkling, darkly humoured novel about relationships and what makes them tick.
A delicious book that has been made into a splendid film with Maggie Smith, it doesn't completely follow the novel but all the same Maggie Smith is superb as Miss Jean Brodie.
As many other reviewers have been quick to point out "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" is often the subject of university lectures and examinations. And there should be no surprise in that. This slim volume has a dazzling breadth of theme and expression composed almost singularly of one woman's personality.
"The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" is probably the most beautifully visual of Muriel Spark's novels, containing some dazzling natural and urban imagery. These are lovingly interspersed in the otherwise sharp, and blackly comic text. It is easy to understand why Muriel Spark claims that her "novels are just an easier way of writing my poetry".
"The Prime" is also a comedy of some value (anyone who has seen the 1979 Maggie Smith film adaptation couldn't dispute it), and the childhood imaginings of Sandy and Jenny, two girls of the "set", certainly provides some laugh out loud moments. Like the classic imaginary love letter between Miss Brodie and her lover Mr. Lowther. Who could forget its wonderful conclusion - " Allow me, in conclusion, to congratulate you warmly upon your sexual intercourse, as well as your singing." The girls capture the eloquence and the ridiculousness of Miss Brodie beautifully and unknowingly.
The most compelling aspect of the novel, however, is its undeniably sinister streak. Miss Brodie is a "born Facist", as one of her set eventually comes to realise. She speaks with fervent passion of the "wonderous" regimes of Mussolini and Hitler, while encouraging one of her young charges to become involved in the Spanish Civil War. She does all this with a stunted self-aware romanticism and a deluded clarity that cuts directly to the coldest heart of her personality. Her teaching, which literally amounts to an indoctrination in the values of bigotry and prejudice, is instilled into her "set", some of whom do not escape as unscathed as the others.
To crown the glory is Spark's inventive narrative style, which feels free to skip and leap around the story of the rise and fall of Miss Brodie. The omnipresence of the author is always jabbing in another future event to permanently shape our view of the present. The holistic reading that emerges from this narrative assault allows for all kinds of realisations concerning identity, facism, illusion, truth and fiction.
A thoroughly terrifying, enjoyable read, for all those who don't quite believe that seeing/hearing is believing.