“The Adventures of Eovaai is the most important prose satire of English politics and the administration of Sir Robert Walpole between Gulliver’s Travels and Jonathan Wild.” — Jerry C. Beasley, University of Delaware...
|Title||:||The Adventures of Eovaai (Broadview Literary Texts)|
|Format Type||:||Library Binding|
|Number of Pages||:||243 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Adventures of Eovaai (Broadview Literary Texts) Reviews
Strange, very strange...I would describe it but you probably wouldn't believe me. Quite entertaining though!
Wonderfully weird. If you like postmodern inter/meta-textual fiction with complex framing devices (If on a winter's night a traveler, Pale Fire, etcetera) it might be worth your time to look backwards a little bit to the wildly inventive ways that novelists were developing and innovating on these techniques in the first half of the eighteenth century. And, while a lot of people are at least dimly aware of the purported 'surprising modernism' of works like Clarissa, Eliza Haywood, among many other (mostly female) novelists of the period gets much less attention for her distinctly more peculiar experimentations in these directions.Eovaai is, as the introduction to this or any other edition will tell you, a political satire, with roots in Haywood's Toryist views and her opposition to Prime Minister Walpole. It's okay, though - you don't need to get the political references to appreciate the novel; I certainly didn't, not without reading a bunch of secondary literature afterwards. Eovaai is also presented to us as an abridged, many-times translated history from a lost 'Pre-Adamitic' age, interspersed with the cranky, judgmental comments of the history's most recent translator, a Chinese immigrant living in London (fair warning: there's more than a bit of orientalism throughout). While this premise isn't played out with quite the virtuosic dazzle that someone like Nabokov might bring to it, that's definitely the kind of comparison we should be reaching for when talking about Haywood's layers of meta-textual artifice in this work. It also involves magic jewels, evil magicians, lustful women who are transformed into monkeys, yearning lovers separated by political obligation, and a wise, pure-hearted princess who must return to the throne in order to preserve her kingdom. Who could ask for anything more?
This is more of a warning than a review: when you read this novel make sure you have an edition with good notes. The novel is a satire criticizing the politician Walpole, and without knowledge of the politics of the era the story can be confusing. Also, Haywood was clearly not a master of fantasy, and there is just some bizarre stuff in there.
I like the hidden political meaning behind it. Pretty powerful, but not quite as boring. haha.