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The Groves of Academe book. Read 38 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Henry Mulcahy, a literature instructor at progressive Jocelyn.
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- The Groves of Academe by Mary McCarthy, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
- The Groves of Academe
- KIRKUS REVIEW
She graduated with honors at the age of twenty-one, married her first husband, and moved to New York. She was a theatre critic for the Partisan Review from In , she married critic Edmund Wilson, her second husband, with whom she had her only child. McCarthy's seven novels appeared between and McCarthy's best selling novel, "The Group" , was a sexual depiction written about classmates at Vassar and their lives following college.
- THE GROVES OF ACADEME | meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary!
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The Groves of Academe by Mary McCarthy, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®
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The sentence contains offensive content. Are the students of Jocelyn really academically free to choose their fields of study, as advertised, if the professors, anxious to reduce their own workload, steer the students towards a select syllabus?
The Groves of Academe
Are the students, in fact, better off with a little intellectual steering? Often, McCarthy raises the idea of personal freedom more subtly, in the choices the characters make or descriptions of college life.
For instance, the new-found freedom enjoyed by college students sparkles in this gem, describing the professor who always volunteered to chaperone student trips abroad in exchange for free travel: Whenever, during the summer, he took a party of students abroad under his genial wing, catastrophic event attended him.
As he sat sipping his vermouth and introducing himself to tourists at the Flore or the Deux Magots, the boys and girls under his guidance were being robbed, eloping to Italy, losing their passports, slipping off to Monte Carlo, seeking out an abortionist, deciding to turn queer, cabling the decision to their parents, while he took out his watch and wondered why they were late in meeting him for the expedition to Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
With that kind of wit and insight, the story plays out like the best drawing room drama. It is sneakily funny, both as subtle and biting as a gin gimlet. For example, McCarthy deftly captures the character of the college president: Like all such official types, he specialized in being his own antithesis: strong but understanding, boisterous but grave, pragmatic but speculative when need be. The necessity of encompassing such opposites had left him with a little wobble of uncertainty in the center of his personality, which made other people…feel embarrassed by him.
This is satire at its best, finding absurdity in the minutia that drive the characters rather than clownish humor in exaggeration.