Adam Bede: Get down!

Have you ever seen a real English rustic perform a solo dance? Perhaps you have only seen a ballet rustic, smiling like a merry countryman in crockery, with graceful turns of the haunch and insinuating movements of the head. That is as much like the real thing as the ‘Bird Waltz’ is like the song of birds. Wiry Ben never smiled: he looked as serious as a dancing monkey—as serious as if he had been an experimental philosopher ascertaining in his own person the amount of shaking and the varieties of angularity that could be given to the human limbs.

—George Eliot, Adam Bede (Chapter 25)

I think it very possible that Wiry Ben is the distant forefather of Elaine Benes.

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2 comments on “Adam Bede: Get down!

  1. Kim says:

    What a funny connection to make! But it seems right on. I just love Seinfeld. 🙂

  2. Ella says:

    I just bought a copy of Eliot's collected novels, including “Adam Bede”. I may have to read it now, if there's crazy dancing in there.

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