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Frankly, My Dear: 'Gone with the Wind' Revisited by Molly Haskell

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Miss Moppet
Posts: 1726
Joined: April 2009
Location: North London

Frankly, My Dear: 'Gone with the Wind' Revisited by Molly Haskell

Post by Miss Moppet » Sun May 22nd, 2011, 8:08 am

This felt commissioned rather than inspired - it wanders about and repeats itself in a disorganised fashion, and for much of the time does little more than summarise secondary literature. The film and the novel are both discussed (making a change from most books on GWTW which dismiss the novel in the first few pages in order to concentrate on the film) but also conflated, so that unless you already have a good knowledge of the differences between book and movie, you could get confused. There's a good bibliography, but no footnotes and the overall approach is journalistic rather than scholarly. And there's surprisingly little criticism of the actual film.

That said, I enjoyed Haskell's insights - for example, despite having read GWTW numerous times, I hadn't realised just how unflattering Mitchell's portrait of the white Southern male is until she pointed it out. I was most interested by her memories of growing up with GWTW in Fifties Virginia, and by the final chapter, 'Beautiful Dreamers', in which Haskell explores the significance of GWTW in Southern history and culture, bringing to bear her dual identity as a Southerner who moved to the North (she is the great-great granddaughter of Wade Hampton, the Confederate officer after whom Scarlett's son is named).

I would recommend this to any GWTW fan, but advise getting it from the library first.

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