Posts Tagged ‘Seinfeld’


Yada, Yada, Yada

July 16, 2010


(I am going to mention plot points here, so if you don’t want know, don’t read on.)
(You’ve been warned.)
(Read at your own risk.)
(I like parentheses.)

So, am I the only one who’s noticing that Edith Wharton has a curious sort of literary tic? Throughout Part Two of this book she keeps throwing shocking plot twists at us and then as soon as they’re mentioned they’re over.

It reminds me of that episode of Seinfeld (thanks to Google, I can tell you it is episode 153 or if you prefer episode 19 of season of the 8th season) where an elision-happy girlfriend of Jerry’s (or George? or Kramer? or Elaine!?!) who likes to by-pass boring aspects of anecdotes with a “yada, yada, yada.” The only difference is that instead of skipping the boring parts with a yada here and a yada there, our friend Edith just completely skips over potentially awesome plot twists.

An example:

After the untimely death of Mrs. Peniston, Lily is convinced to travel to Alaska. I know what you’re thinking: Daisy Miller meets Northern Exposure. Visions of Lily riding a moose, stealing salmon from bears, or meeting a hapless gold prospector name Yukon Billy, with whom she has a star crossed affair that is doomed to failure (She’s all Fifth Avenue and fancy dresses; he’s all pickaxes and prospecting pans) dance through my head, but is that what happens when Lily heads to the great Northwest?

Only, we’ll never know.

Why, you ask?

Because Edith Wharton skips it entirely!

Here’s a quick plot summary: Lily gets on a train to Alaska, yada, yada, yada, and then she come back to New York.

No moose. No snow. No prospectin’ (if you know what I mean). No fun.

Read on, Twinner, read on.