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October 13, 1995 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-10-13

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, October 13, 1995 -11

A Lng Fatal Love
Chase
Louisa May Alcott
Random House
Finding an author's unknown work
is a rare thing. Finding an unknown
work' by a highly talented, well-known
author is rarer yet. The odds are prob-
ably strongest against the work having
merit in and of itself. Yet the near-
impossible has happened: Louisa May
Alcot's "A Long Fatal Love Chase"
has been rediscovered and published,
succeeding on all three counts.
Alcott is widely known today for her
classic children's books, such as "Little
Women" and "Eight Cousins," and for
the then-radical philosophies she sup-
ported in her writing, like abolitionism,
suffragism and transcendentalism.
When she wrote this novel in 1866, her
publisher refused it, deeming it too sen-
sational for Victorian sensibilities. The
manuscript was rediscovered in 1994
by Kent Bicknell, a school principal in
New Hampshire, who edited and pub-

lished the work.
It's easy to see why Alcott's pub-
lisher reacted as he did; the convoluted
tale is a far cry from Alcott's peaceful
family sagas. The novel opens with
Rosamond, a lively, restless girl, ex-
claiming that she'd do anything to
change the isolated life she spends with
her grandfather. At that crucial mo-
ment, she meets Phillip Tempest, a
wealthy, charming adventurer twice her
age. Rosamond is easily persuaded to
marry him. Without revealing all the
plot twists, it can be said that Phillip
never tells Rosamond the truth about
his past or their present circumstances.
When Rosamond discovers his lies, she
leaves him and he pursues her across
Europe.
The subject matter makes the book
seem much more contemporary than
Alcott's other novels. Phillip is the very
definition of a stalker, although the book
was written over a hundred years before
the term was used. The novel is nowhere
near as frank about seduction and adul-
tery as a modern version would be, but

goes far beyond most Victorian novels in
acknowledging that such events happen.
However, this novel shares the best
qualities of Alcott's fiction. Rosamond
can easily be compared to Jo, Alcott's
heroine and alter ego in "Little Women."
In fact, Rosamond is even more inde-
pendent. Few Victorian novels would
allow a female character to declare,
"Law and custom I know nothing of,
public opinion I despise, and shame and
fear I defy, for everyone has a right to be
happy in their own way." Here, as al-
ways, Alcott's characters have moral
tenacity as well as intelligence and
ambition.
Although she still loves him,
Rosamond refuses to go back to Phillip
because it would be a sin. She is be-
friended by a young priest who falls in
love with her but swears not to break his
vows. Even Phillip is not beyond salva-
tion: "He who had won and wasted love
so wantonly all his life now pined for it
with a longing which nothing could
appease." Success, by Alcott's defini-
tion, comes from doing good and up-

holding one's ideals - a decidedly
uncontemporary viewpoint.
The one aspect of the book which
might put off modem readers is its
melodrama. Most of the book consists
ofRosamond's escapes to various places
and Phillip's unexpected arrivals. The
book is very aptly titled; readers could
easily lose count of how many chapters
end with some form of, "And there was
Tempest!"
However, the key word is "unex-
pected." Alcott writes so effectively
that there is suspense in Phillip's reap-
pearances, even after the first two or
three. Also, each one is accompanied
by a new complication in the plot. His
arrivals never become dull and repeti-
tive.
"A Long Fatal Love Chase" shows
all the inventiveness and talent of
Alcott's previously published works,
and its characters rank with some of her
best-known creations. It may be a late
arrival to her established body of work,
but its place there is undeniable.
-- Elizabeth Lucas

Be 'Careful' what you watch
Tonight and tomorrow only, the Ann Arbor Film Co-Op is presenting Canadian
director Guy Maddin's acclaimed 1992 horror film "Careful." Set in a fictitious
19th century alpine village, this movie examines the mysteries and strange
character of the gloomy town. It is a suspenseful and Intriguing tale of hidden
desires and bizarre passions. Maddin's clever direction brings us a stylish flick,
filmed mostly on artificial sets with tinted color stocks. As a result, it Is a pIcturea
quite reminiscent of the visual style of the old shockers made during the years of
cinema's infancy. Screenings are at 7:30 and 9:20 each night at Lorch. Admissionn
Is"$.

Mary Chapin Carpenter wins
again
She's a fine singer, an honest songwriter, and a
Grammy-winning country-folk crossover success.
But Mary Chapin Carpenter Is above all a real
woman, - as one reviewer put it, "that rare
performer who is of her audience, not above it."
Her fifth album, "Stones in the Road," won
Carpenter plenty of critical acclaim and continued
her streak of unprecedented commercial cross-
genre success. Drawing on pop, country, folk and
bluegrass traditions, Carpenter crafts subversively
sharp, perceptive portraits of women and their
experiences as wives, mothers, lovers and
Individuaals.
But the Brown graduate's smart, critically
observant lyrics don't make her bitter - Just
honest, as in the singles "You Win Again," "House
of Cards" and "Tender When I Want to Be."
Two Grammy wins and two mIllion-selling albums
Into her carqer, Carpenter has certainly earned the
respect of her peers In country music. A televised
performance of "He Thinks He'll Keep Her" (from
her 19$2 breakthrough release "Come On, Come
On") revealed Just how highly her work Is
esteemed by other female performers. Emmylou
Harris, Patty Loveless, Trisha Yearwood and others
Joined Carpenter onstage for a gorgeous version of
her tale of a middle-class wife and mother who
leaves the husband she no longer loves - artists
of the past and present celebrating and reclaiming
women's voice in country music.
Smart and sassy, Mary Chapin Carpenter sings of
and speaks for women who are tender when they
Want to be - and tough when then have to be.
She plays Hill Auditorium with the Mavericks at 8
p.mpi.tonight. Tickets are $40 and $25. Call the
WIon ticket office at 763-8587.

EMPLOYERS ARE COMING
TO CAMPUS
To get involved, attend a FORUM Registration Session:

Friday, October 13
Monday, October 16
Tuesday, October 17
Wednesday, October 18
Thursday, October 19
Friday, October 20
Monday, October 23
Tuesday, October 24
Wednesday, October 25
Thursday, October 26
Friday, October 27
Monday, October 30
Tuesday, October 31
Wednesday, November 1

12:40-1:00
1:10-1:30
3:10-3:30
1:10-1:30, 7:10-7:30
1:40-2:00
2:10-2:30
2:40-3:00
12:40-1:00
2:40-3:00, 6:40-7:00
2:40-3:00
1:10-1:30
12:40-1:00
3:40-4:00
6:40-7:00

All registration sessions will be held at CP&P
3200 Student Activities Building
INTERVIEWS ARE CURRENTLY UNDERWAY
REGISTER TODAY!

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