Finis: The Wanderer: Volume V

Burney's behemoth has been, finally, perhaps even belatedly, put to rest on the bookshelves of your humble servant. Although filled with some regret when looking back at the bleak reading landscape of the past three weeks, I will acknowledge that there are some lessons that one can take away from Francis Burney's The Wanderer.

What I have learned from The Wanderer:
1. Dilettantes and aesthetic theories are like martinis and road trips: they don't mix.
2. Never overvalue a secret.
3. If you must make your fiction a platform, show don't tell. Philosophic debates between two characters worked for Plato, but he wasn't writing a novel.

For those hardy few who are still reading despite the barrage of Burney responses, rest easy: new and better texts are on the horizon.

1 comment:

Polsby Iggleworth said...

Woo hoo! NB, lessons number 1 and 2 could apply equally well to Radcliffe's (also interminable) Mysteries of Udolpho, with the extra caveat that, if you're going to overvalue a secret, please don't forget by the end of the novel what that secret is.