Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction, Yiddish Literature, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality historical novels are some of my Literary Interests

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier (1949)

Daphne du Maurier on The Reading Life

Born: May 13, 1907, London, United Kingdom
Died: April 19, 1989, Fowey, United Kingdom

Rebecca, 1938

Not long ago I read a very well done biography of Daphne du Maurier Manderlay Forever by Tatiana Rosnay.  She talks a lot about the theatrical work of her parents.  She mentions the novel The Parasites as the one work which draws most directly on this aspect of the family life showing what it might have been like to have very famous actors as parents.  Rosnay cautions that this is not one of du Maurier's best works.

The main characters are the three children of the family.  The father is only loosely based on her father, he is more a singer and a dancer than a stage actor.  The children are called "the parasites" as they make their way through life living from the money and fame of their parents.  We see them develop from children and we see their mother die and their father's health and vigor greatly decline.  Du Maurier interestingly shows us how the children's upbringing shaped them as adults.

I am glad I read this book but those new to du Maurier need to read her more famous works first.

Mel u


Mudpuddle said...

as a sidelight: i recently finished a book called "Peter Ibbetson". it's a sort of fantasia about a man and his sweetheart who end up living in each others dreams; traveling through time to the past, as it were... after falling asleep, they find themselves in the small French village in which they knew each other as children; they can see and participate in the village activities but cannot touch anything because their hands pass through the object... after a long penultimate peroration, and the girl has died and the man is in prison, they both end up in a heaven of sorts...
the reason for citing this book here, is that it was written by George du Maurier, Daphne's grandfather... i also have "the martian" by the same writer which i plan on reading soon...

Buried In Print said...

I haven't read this one - and she is someone whose works I generally like rather than love - but this one sounds interesting for the peek it offers of her personal experience!