Daddy Long Legs

ISBN: 1417933267
ISBN 13: 9781417933266
By: Jean Webster

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Genres

Classic Classics Currently Reading Favorites Fiction Historical Fiction Romance To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

Jerusha Abbott grew up in an orphanage but was sent to college by a mysterious benefactor she calls Daddy-Long-Legs. In college she falls in love with a young man who wants to marry her, but she refuses because she is an orphan. Finally, after Jerusha--now Judy--graduates, she asks to meet her benefactor.

Reader's Thoughts

Margaret Oswald

Normally I love - or at least like - these types of books. Old-fashioned romance/coming of age tale... what's not to like? But Jean Webster's condescending attitude to women in romance and heavy-handed progressive views were really not my cup of tea. The story-telling is not strong, and I was literally angry at the end of this book at the opportunistic (and borderline predatory) masculine behavior that is presented as charming and romantic. Perhaps part of my dislike of this book is that I had rather high hopes... but overall, my impression was of pseudo-intellectual characters and a misogynistic plot.The book is interesting from a historical point of view, especially regarding the history of educational institutions in America. But if you're looking for a great story in this style, re-read Anne of Green Gables or Little Women.

Endah

Daddy long legs dalam bahasa Inggris adalah sebutan untuk laba-laba berkaki panjang. Namun, oleh Jerusha Abbott, kata tersebut ia pakai untuk menjuluki seorang pria budiman yang telah menyantuninya bersekolah di perguruan tinggi. Pria baik hati itu hanya mensyaratkan Judy (nama kecil Jerusha) menulis laporan kemajuan studinya dalam bentuk surat setiap bulan. Sebuah syarat yang sangat mudah, apalagi bagi seorang gadis yang memang senang menulis seperti Judy. Maka, gadis yatim piatu itu pun meninggalkan Panti Asuhan John Grier setelah selama delapan belas tahun menjadi penghuni di dalamnya.Kisah yang sesungguhnya pun dimulai, dari awal hingga akhir semua tersaji dalam bentuk surat Judy kepada Daddy Long Legs. Dengan gaya tulisan yang menyenangkan, Judy bercerita tentang berbagai hal yang dialaminya selama menjadi mahasiswa: pelajaran-pelajarannya, teman-teman, liburan, buku-buku, cowok-cowok, dan apa saja yang dipikirkannya. Ia menulis seolah-olah bercakap-cakap langsung dengan si pembaca suratnya. Ia menulis kejadian hari demi hari sehingga kau akan merasa seakan-akan tengah membaca sebuah buku harian seorang gadis yang periang, cerdas, dan penuh harga diri. Ceritanya cewek banget deh.Meski tidak pernah berjumpa dengan Daddy Long Legs yang misterius itu, namun dalam hati Judy telah tumbuh benih-benih kasih sayang kepada lelaki yang–sesuai persyaratan–tidak pernah membalas surat-suratnya itu. Malah, diam-diam Judy telah menganggap sang tuan budiman yang minta dipanggil dengan nama Mr. John Smith ini sebagai ayah yang tidak pernah dimilikinya. Perasaan tersebut lama kelamaan menerbitkan harapan pada diri Judy suatu saat akan bisa berjumpa langsung dengan penolongnya tersebut. Novel klasik karya Jean Webster ini terbit pertama kali di Amerika pada 1912. Ketika itu, tentu saja, surat masih menjadi pilihan utama sebagai alat komunikasi yang efisien setelah telepon, terutama jika kita harus menyampaikan sebuah laporan yang panjang pada seseorang yang berada jauh dari kita. Dan sekalipun novel ini berbentuk surat-surat, tetap menyenangkan membacanya. Segar, jenaka, dan kadang-kadang menyentuh hati. Jika kau pernah membaca Anne of Green Gables (Lucy M Montgomery), kau akan menemukan spirit yang sama di dalamnya. Kau akan berjumpa dengan seorang gadis dengan karakter mirip Anne: cantik, cerdas, humoris, suka berkhayal, dan tidak pernah mengeluhkan nasib malangnya sebagai seorang anak yatim piatu. Sejak kemunculannya, Daddy Long Legs terus memperoleh sambutan hangat dari khalayak pembaca, bahkan kemudian diangkat menjadi sandiwara panggung serta film layar lebar. Salah satunya yang cukup terkenal dibuat tahun 1955 dengan bintang Fred Astaire. Buku yang menarik ini layak dan aman dibaca oleh seluruh golongan umur. Dua tahun berikutnya, terbit buku lanjutannya: Dear Enemy. ***

Jasmin

WARNING! To follow is a highly illustrative review/plot summary of the book Daddy-Long-Legs.As a kid, I totally loved the cartoon Judy. I actually miss it sometimes, but then thanks to Goodreads, I discovered that it all started with a book.Jerusha Abbott is an orphan at the John Grier Homes. She always gets into trouble and has been overstaying for two years. She works her stay by taking care of the younger ones. She's actually scared that they might turn her out, but one day, Miss Lippet calls Jerusha to her office. On her way, she sees a man's shadow who appears to have extremely long legs.As she enters Miss Lippet's office, Miss Lippet tells her that she is to be sent to college by an anonymous man, whom she could call Mr. John Smith, which is of course is an alias.Jerusha is very thankful. She sends Mr. John Smith letters on almost about anything, ranging from her studies and silly exploits and how a foundling like her strives to keep the secret of her roots. The letters, some silly, some serious, some showing what she learns, but all are funny and touching.She calls him Daddy Long Legs since his shadow is all that she could tell of him. She does very well at school, ends up being called "Judy" and gains friends, Sally Mc Bride (the one with glasses) and Julia Pendleton (blonde). But despite the constant sending of Mr. John Smith of gifts, she can't help but be depressed writing to someone who never writes back. A girl couldn't help but cry.Ah hah! Then she meets Jervis Pendleton, a rich uncle of her classmate Julia Pendleton. Jervis understands her, and in some way, they have the same flow of thinking.But somehow along the way, she happens to fall in love with him, despite the 14 years age gap.And ah, the ending is so refreshing. I remember feeling the same amount of lightheartedness, because the ending is so touching.And now that it's over, I look wistfully like this:Well not as cute as that, but teary eyed since my longing for the cartoon is somehow eased, but still there.Daddy-Long-Legs is a sweet tale, not just of romance, but also how an orphan girl strives and blends in the normal world. Judy is a heroine that is very admirable and whom everyone must set an example of. She is strong and hardworking. And her roots never interfered with her dreams, and she somehow made it an inspiration to aim higher. And also, she is not perfect, and as she constantly points out, she is just a girl of whom all of us could relate to.But somehow, I couldn't get enough of this, so, off to get a copy of the sequel Dear Enemy.But who is Daddy-Long-Legs? Read to find out :D

Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya

~MY FIRST BOOK IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE~This is the first book I read in English; I was about 15-16 years old at the time. I studied the language with my beloved teacher, Galina Vasilievna, in Tashkent (Uzbekistan). I had 2-3 private classes a week, and she would usually give me an obscene amount of home work - well, thanks for that! After some time spent with study books, I came to a point when she suggested 'additional reading' and gave me this book. I was supposed to prepare a couple of pages of reading once a week. By 'prepare' I mean exactly what it sounds like - PREPARE. Translate every word - understand it in context. Write it down. Translate, write down the definition and construct in writing 5 sentences with the phrases underlined by my teacher. Usually those were expressions, like "dragged itself to a close" - Gosh, I still remember it!Well, I have to say that I have never finished the book in the way Galina Vasilievna wanted me to. In about half a year I just wanted to know "what's next?!!" and flipped through the many remaining pages in one evening, grasping the meaning despite the still words I did not know. Proud, I said to the teacher "I can tell you the story!" "It is not reading, my dear! I need you to learn the expressions!" she replied as calmly, as usually.Many books have passed through my hands and mind, shaping my soul and life path since then. Most of them have been in English language. I studied for my Master's degree reading and writing everything in English. For several years I used to write a weekly column in English for a newspaper. For about four years [at the time of this review] 85% of my communications are in English. I am thrilled with the Gift to read English authors in their own language. And the door to all of this is my dear old teacher and the story of Daddy-Long-Legs and little Jerusha, writing him letters and falling in love... As for the book itself: it was cute. I may read it once again, just to have a complete picture, non-fragmented with my initial page-a-week jumps...Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya

Antof9

Who knew there was a book for this movie? I certainly didn't. This book was truly charming. It's entirely made up of letters from Judy to her "Daddy Long Legs", except for the very beginning, which introduces her while she's still in the John Grier Home.One of the parts that struck me the most was her comments on reading Jane Eyre. Having just (very recently) finished that myself, I was definitely in that mindset when reading this book. I thought that immediately, and it seemed perfectly natural that it would come up in this book too."I sat up half of last night reading Jane Eyre. . . When I was reading about little Jane's troubles in the charity school, I got so angry that I had to go out and take a walk. I understood exactly how she felt. . . Our lives were absolutely monotonous and uneventful."Obviously there's more, but that section certainly struck me. Even in the midst of a truly enjoyable book that is definitely more positive than negative, there is honestly and harsh reality of the way some things happen in this world. I appreciated the way the author handled this (not just this section, but all references toward orphanages) in this style of writing.This is truly a charming little book. Enjoyable in every aspect. Read it if you get a chance :) It'll take no time at all!

Tadiana

I'm trying some freebies of a different sort. This one was written in 1912, so it's free on Gutenberg.org (and, presumably, elsewhere online). Basically it's "Anne Shirley goes to a girls' college." It's a delightful, quick read--less than 100 "pages" on my Kindle.Jerusha is a 17 year old who lives and works in an orphanage, where she's grown up. She is unexpectedly given the chance to go to college when one of the orphanage trustees reads a humorous piece that she wrote and offers to pay her way. He insists on remaining anonymous to her, but wants her to write him monthly letters telling him of her progress. This book consists of the letters Jerusha (who quickly dumps her unliked name at college and tells people to call her "Judy") writes over the next four years to her benefactor. It's fun to get a glimpse of life at an all-girls college 100 years ago. A sample from one of Judy's letters:Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,I hope you aren't the Trustee who sat on the toad? It went off--I was told--with quite a pop, so probably it was a fatter Trustee.. . . Every spring when the hoptoad season opened we would form a collection of toads and keep them in [window wells by the orphanage's laundry room]; and occasionally they would spill over into the laundry, causing a very pleasurable commotion on wash days. We were severely punished for our activities in this direction, but in spite of all discouragement the toads would collect.. . . I don't know why I am in such a reminiscent mood except that spring and the reappearance of toads always awakens the old acquisitive instinct. The only thing that keeps me from starting a collection is the fact that there's no rule against it."Judy is a likeable main character with a sense of humor and an independent streak. In many ways the book is dated, but at the same time there are some unexpected progressive views. Judy also makes some positive comments about socialism and a few snarky comments about religion that really make me wonder about the author's personal views! But in general this is a gentle, humorous coming-of-age story with just a bit of romance.I'd recommend Daddy-Long-Legs to those who enjoyed Anne of Green Gables and who like light historical fiction.

Zen Cho

Man, I love this book. It was my first introduction to epistolary fiction, and it's just so adorable. Now the fact that she called her romantic interest Daddy throughout the entire book wigs me a bit, and Jervis is so high-handed and lacking in candour that I'm deeply suspicious of him, but I'm gonna put down Judy's trilling that he's right most of the time because he's years older than her to the mushy-brainedness of the first flush of love, and believe that she's going to be able to handle him. Still, the whole love subplot, Pygmalion and Galatea, is dodgy in the extreme. I like the romance subplot in the sequel-of-sorts Dear Enemy better, but that book has lots of other dodgy things.Things I didn't like when I read this as a wee kidlet: Jervis? What the hell kinda name is that for your romantic interest? Sheesh. When the only nickname you can come up with is Jervie, you know, you might wanna consider changing the name.Things I liked back then, and still like now: Judy's resolute independence. Her delight in the books she's catching up on, which everyone else has read: Alice in Wonderland, Sherlock Holmes, etc. etc. The letter about Pepys, because that was the first time I'd ever heard of the dude. The doodles. The digressions on clothes.Coming to it fresh now I think I'd probably find it a little precious, but I can't imagine not being charmed by Judy's spirit and sense of humour.

صلاح القرشي

هذا هو الخلود الأدبيأن يكتب عمل روائي في عام 1912 وتطالعه الأن في 2012 فتجده طازجا شهيا ساحرا ومعاصرا وكأنه كتب لك رواية ابي طويل الساقين او العنوان الآخرصاحب الظل الطويلاخبرتني أبنتي عندما حكيت لها موضوع الرواية أن هنالك حلقات كرتونية رائعة "من وجهة نظرها طبعا" باسم صاحب الظل الطويل تحكي قصة هذه الروايةقالت لي ابحث عنها على اليوتيوب واتفقنا على مقايضةاشاهد الحلقات الكرتونيةفي مقابل أن تطالع هي الروايةمن جهتي سانفذ الجزء الخاص بيلكن من جهتها فيبدو الأمر صعبا الرواية ممتعة وتأتي في الجانب الذي اعشقه في الرواياتالبساطة العميقة

Christy

I highly recommend that men DON'T read this, and I highly recommend that women - particularly girls who enjoy Little Women, Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, etc. (basically old-fashioned chick flick books with substance) - DO read this. It's sweet and funny and different, not hard to get through in a day or two, and leaves you with a good feeling.

Hallie

Can't help it - the romance is creepy, but I love Judy so much, and her delight in being in college and having nice things and friends and books - so wonderful. It's been a favourite of mine forever, and one I enjoyed reading to the girls too.

e.c.h.a

Sepanjang jalan Pondok Kopi Raya18 JanuariDear Goodreads,Awalnya begini, kenapa baca buku ini. “Cha, sudah pernah baca Daddy Long-Legs nya Jean Webster belum? Gila nggak nyangka gue ada ya orang menulis dengan gaya seperti ini. Suka gue”“Heh, Daddy Long Legs? Belum baca tuh gue. Penulisan gimana maksudnya?”“Iya..Jean Webster menulis dengan metode seperti menulis surat”Dan pembicaraan gue terus berlangsung membahas buku ini, yang akhirnya berujung dengan kata-kata “Lo nggak penasaran dengan buku yang sudah bisa bikin gue meluangkan waktu untuk membaca , Cha?”Okay…dengan melirik tumpukan buku yang menumpuk serta bacaan yang masih setengah jalan akhirnya gue bilang “Ok, gue baca tapi beliin ya hehehe” dan dengan mulus di jawab “OK, gue beliin buat lo, tapi lo yang nyari bukunya ya. Gue pan baca ebooknya ;p” Dan..gue hanya melongo membaca smsnya.Salam penuh kehangatan,Echa****Kelapa Gading5 AprilDear Goodreads ku tersayang,Akhirnya Daddy Long Legs mendarat mulus di tangan setelah sekian lama. Langsung pamer dan dengan bangga bilang “bukunya ada ilustrasinya lho”. Dan hanya dibalas dengan “Pamer nih ceritanya, di ebooknya nggak ada” Dan autisnya mulai dech tuh orang. Rrrrr!!!!!Sori …jadi marah-marah gini. BT soalnya, biar nggak BT langsung menuju La Piazza makan es krim padahal masih nggak enak badan. Rese memang tuh orang, huh!!!Jaga diri baik-baik, Pembaca Budiman.Echa****Pondok Kelapa7 AprilMalam Goodreads!Gue nulisnya dalam keremangan malam nih, masih pusing-pusing jadi harus bergelap-gelapan. Mau sms yang ngasih ah. Ketik ketik sms. Cancel, nggak jadi sms. Lupa kalau lagi autis orangnya. Nyampulin bukunya aja dulu dech GR (maaf nih jadi gue singkat, biar irit. Lha ini apa hahaha, malah nggak ngirit. Anggap panggilan sayang aja ya), baca DDLnya nanti setelah kelar His Dark Material #3 ya. Iseng baca halaman pertamanya . Oh..ini toh alasan kenapa Daddy Long-Legs. Dan tanpa sadar gue terus membalik-balik halaman buku ini, membaca kisah hidup Jerusha Abbot. Seorang gadis yatim piatu yang tinggal di Panti Asuhan John Grier. Seru, melihat tingkah polah Judy Abbot . Di usianya yang sudah tidak pantas untuk tetap tinggal di Panti Asuhan John Grier, Judy Abbot mendapat kesempatan untuk melanjutkan kuliahnya dengan biaya dari seorang misterius yang biasa di panggil Daddy Long-Legs oleh Judy. Siapa sebenarnya Daddy Long-Legs itu? Dan apakah Judy bisa menjadi seorang penulis seperti yang diharapkan Daddy Long-Legs?Gue sambung besok lagi ya GR, sudah ngantuk nih.Nite, have a wonderful dreamEcha****Rawamangun9 AprilGoodreads ku tersayang,Kelar……….. Happy ending pasti, tapi tidak menyangka siapa sebenarnya Daddy Long-Legs itu. Hanya bisa tertawa nggak jelas setelah tahu siapa Daddy Long-Legs sebenarnya. Akhirnya Judy Abbot bisa mendapatkan kebahagiannya.Walau penulisnya hanya menggunakan surat-surat yang di tulis Judy Abbot kepada Daddy Long-Legs plus komunikasi yang hanya satu arah tetapi penulisnya bisa membuat gue sebagai pembacanya merasakan kehidupan serta perasaan seorang Judy Abbot. Masa kecil yang tidak bahagia, kesepian, merasa tidak dianggap. Perlahan Judy Abbot bisa menemukan jati dirinya, bisa menjadi dewasa dan akhirnya menemukan kebahagiannya. Belum lagi ditambah ilustrasi yang selalu membuat gw tertawa kecil. Pada akhirnya gue bukan penasaran terhadap sosok Daddy Long-Legs tetapi malah lebih penasaran dengan sosok Jerusha Abbot aka Judy Abbot sendiri.Nice book…gue harus bilang terima kasih banyak buat orang autis yang rekomen buku ini. Dan, tahu kenapa suka banget sama buku ini hehehe Oia GR satu lagi, bukunya ada halaman yang diulang nih, dapet yang salah cetak nih gue. Untungnya bukan hilang halaman, kalau nggak pan gue pasti BT banget hahahahaSalam sayang selalu,Echa****

Rashika (is tired)

If anyone ever asked me to recommend a classic, this is what I would recommend. I love what I've read by Jane Austen but this, THIS is truly a timeless story. Almost a century later after it was first published I find myself relating to this young girl. Her story comes to life for me through her letters to Daddy Long Legs.Sitting here, writing this, I can most definitely say that this book lived up to everything I had hoped it would.I didn't actually know this book existed until quite recently and as soon as I read the summary, I KNEW this book was something I would love. When I got my hands on a copy 2 months ago, I decided to read it at a rather slow pace. I read around a letter a day and sometimes I'd skip days too until today, when I decided I really did want to finish this and finish it I did. I have no idea how to put how I feel about this book in words because truly, I am mesmerized by her story. I feel so elated and happy that I all I want to do is sing and dance and imagine how everything will work out afterwards, how their story will carry on. Judy is just such a wonderful character, she is funny, strong and so full of life and her story is wonderful. I am obviously going to fail at writing something coherent so I am just going to go back and re-read certain things ;)If you haven't read this, please, go read it.

Tina

Original post at One More PageIn my quest to find more classics to read and catch up with my classics reading challenge, I stumbled upon Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster in Goodreads. I remember seeing a review of this somewhere there, too, and seeing it had a lot of favorable reviews, I decided to download it for free from the Kindle store.The reviews have told me enough to know that a cartoon was based on this book. It's vaguely familiar, but I really cannot remember much of it, save for the main character, Judy, who reminds me of Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables:I think this started airing when I was already in school so I hardly had the time to watch it, which also probably explains that why my memory of this cartoon is choppy at best.Anyway, I decided to read this short book last week, because I needed something light to make my brain recover from all the crazy writing madness in NaNoWriMo. Daddy-Long-Legs is the story of Jerusha Abbott, later known as Judy, the oldest orphan in John Grier Home who was sent to college by an anonymous Trustee. The only condition that she needs to fulfill as "payment" for the education was for her to write letters about her studies to a certain Mr. John Smith. She calls this mysterious benefactor "Daddy Long Legs" because the only thing she knew about him was he was a tall person based on his shadow:What follows is Judy's letters to Daddy Long Legs for the next four years of college, telling him of her lessons, her dorm room, her friends joyful Sally and snobbish Julie, her college adventures, her summers spent at Lock Willow farm and even some kind of romance. In the midst of all these, Judy gets frustrated with the mysteriousness and the distance that Daddy Long Legs has put between them, and she yearns to know more about this man who had noticed her and helped her out of the kindness of his heart.So all reviews I read about this book are right: Daddy-Long-Legs is such a refreshing read. This thin volume is brimming with charm and honesty that I can only remember from, yes, Anne of Green Gables. Judy is such a charming narrator and her stories are so easy to relate to. Her letters are filled with wit and interesting stuff that I wondered why Daddy Long Legs lasted that long not replying to her. Case in point:Dear Daddy-Long-Legs,You never answered my question and it was very important.ARE YOU BALD? I think I liked Judy a lot because she reminded me so much of myself. She was never too nice, nor was she especially mean. She recognizes that she can be mean at times, especially when she gets frustrated or annoyed by other people or with herself. Most of her letters were introspective at most, and they're really the things that friends share with each other over long talks. Here are some memorable passages:I think that the most necessary quality for any person to have is imagination. It makes people able to put themselves in other people's places. It makes them kind and sympathetic and understanding. It ought to be cultivated in children. But the John Grier Home instantly stamped out the slightest flicker that appeared. Duty was the one quality that was encouraged. I don’t think children ought to know the meaning of the word; it’s odious, detestable. They ought to do everything from love.She seemed to be channeling Anne Shirley there, don't you think?It isn't the great big pleasures that count the most; it's making a great deal out of the little ones -- I've discovered the true secret of happiness, Daddy, and that is to live in the now. not to be for ever regretting the past, or anticipating the future; but to get the most that you can out of this very instant.I especially loved it when she waxed poetic about books and writing -- it was almost like I'm a girl after her own heart. :)I look forward all day to evening, and then I put an 'engaged' on the door and get into my nice red bath robe and furry slippers and pile all cushions behind me on the couch, and light the brass student lamp at my elbow and read and read and read one book isn't enough.There is even a little bit of romance in the book that was cute. And of course, Judy excels in writing about them, too:...and I miss him, and miss him, and miss him. The whole world seems empty and aching. I hate the moonlight because it's beautiful and he isn't here to see it with me.Unfortunately, I wasn't really surprised when the mysterious Daddy Long Legs was finally revealed, and that is probably because of all the reviews I've read. Don't worry, if you've read this far in my review, I've taken care not to spoil anything (at least, I don't think I've written anything obvious :P). The revelation was cute since it was still written in Judy's point of view, and I think it ties up the book quite nicely.So if the all the random babble I wrote above hasn't convinced you enough, let me say it again: Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster is a cute and charming book. I'm very glad I chose this book to read during my post-NaNo recovery time. :)

Ahmad

سرپرست مهربان و عزیزی که بچه­ های یتیم رو به کالج می­فرستد: من رسیدم! اینجام! دیروز 4 ساعت با قطار توی راه بودم. حس جالبیه؟ نه؟ من هیچوقت سوار قطار نشده بودم... کالج جای بزرگ و شگفت ­آوریه، هروقت اتاقمو ترک می­کنم، گم می­شم. بعدا وقتی که احساس سردرگمی کمتری داشتم، حتما براتون تعریف می­کنم چطور جاییه، همین طور «راجب درسام». تا دوشنبه صبح کلاسی شروع نمی­شه، و الان شب شنبه است. اما من فقط خواستم یه نامه بنویسم، برای اینکه کمی باهم آشنا شیم. حس غریبیه این که، برای کسی نامه بنویسی، که نمی­شناسیش. کلا برای من، که بیشتر از 3 یا 4 بار چیزی ننوشتم، کمی حس غریبیه، پس اگه یه نوشته ی ایدآلی نباشه لطفا چشم ­پوشی کنین! دیروز قبل از اینکه یتیمخانه رو ترک کنم، خانم «لیپت» و من، یه گفتگوی جدی ­ای داشتیم. اون به من توضیح داد، که از این به بعد چطور باید رفتار کنم، مخصوصا با یک مرد اصیل و اشراف­زاده، که برای من کارای زیادی می­کنه. باید خیلی مواظب باشم که با احترام برخورد کنم! اما آخه چطور میشه یه نامه با احترام و ادب برای کسی نوشت، که دلش میخواد: «جان اسمیت» خطابش کنی؟ چرا اسمی رو انتخاب نکردین که کمتر دوستانه باشه؟ تابستون امسال خیلی «راجب» شما فکر کردم؛ با داشتن کسی که بعد از اینهمه سال، منو پشتیبانی مالی کنه احساس می­کنم که یه جورایی خانواده پیدا کردم. به نظر می­رسه که الان من به یه شخصی تعلق دارم. و این یه احساس آرامش بخشیه. لازمه که بگم وقتی که به شما فکر می­کنم فقط تصور خیلی کم و مبهمی دارم. اینها سه چیزی هستن که راجبتون می­دونم: 1: قد بلندین. 2: پولدارین. 3: از دخترها بدتون میاد. اول در نظر داشتم که شما رو «آقای متنفر از دخترها» صدا بزنم، اما این توهین به من بود. یا آقای پولدار که این هم توهین به شما بود، انگار که تنها پول راجب شما مهم هست. تازه پولدار بودن یه صفت ظاهری هس. و ممکنه شما یه زمانی دیگه پولدار نباشین؛ مثل همه مردهای باهوشی که توی مراکز سرمایه­داری تمام داراریشونو می­بازن. اما حداقل شما تمام عمرتون رو قدبلند خواهین موند! برای همین من تصمیم گرفتم شما رو «بابا لنگ دراز» صدا بزنم. امیدوارم اشکالی نداشته باشته. این فقط یه اسم مستعاریه که ما به خانم «لیپت» نخواهیم گفت. زنگ ساعت ده الانه که بعد دو دقیقه زده شه. تمام روزهای ما با زنگها تقسیم شده. ما با این زنگها می­خوریم، می­خوابیم و درس می­خونیم. این خیلی روحیه میده. آهان! زنگ خورد! خاموشی! شب بخیر. پانوشت‌: می­بینین که من با چه دقت و ظرافتی قوانین رو رعایت می­کنم، به خاطر تربیتی که توی یتیمخانه «جان گریر هوم» داشتم. با احترام: جروشا ابوت به: بابا لنگ دراز....باید برای حال زندگی کرد، نباید افسوس گذشته را خورد، باید از همین لحظه بهترین استفاده را برد. بیشتر مردم زندگی نمیکنند، فقط باهم مسابقه دو گذاشته­اند. می­خواهند به هدفی در افق دور دست برسند ولی در گرماگرم رفتن آنقدر نفس­شان بند می­آید و نفس­نفس می­زنند که چشمشان زیبایی­ها و آرامش سرزمینی را که از آن می­گذرند نمی­بینند و بعد یک وقت چشمشان به خودشان می­افتد و می­بینند پیر و فرسوده هستند و دیگر فرقی برایشان نمی­کند به هدفشان رسیده­اند یا نه....من رمز خوشبختی واقعی را چشیده­ام، باید حال را دریابی، نه اینکه همیشه افسوس گذشته را بخوری و فکر آینده باشی. باید قدر لحظاتی را که در اختیار داری بدانی. مثل کشاورزی: آدم، هم می­تواند در یک زمین پهناور بذر بپاشد، همین می­تواند کشاورزی خود را به یک قطعه کوچک محدود کند. من هم می­خواهم کشت و کارم را به یک قطعهء کوچک محدود کنم. می­خواهم از لحظه لحظهء عمرم لذت ببرم و بدانم که دارم لذت می­برم... اگر روزی شوهر و دوازده فرزندم را از دست بدهم، صبح روز بعد با لبخند بیدار می­شوم و دنبال شوهر دیگری می­گردم.... تاکنون اینهمه بدبیاری داشته­اید؟ قبول کنید ناراحتی­های بزرگ نیست که لازم است آدم در مقابل آنها شکیبایی کند، بلکه دردسرهای کوچک و پیش پا افتاده است که آدم را از پا درمی­آورد. و باید آدم با لبخند آنها را تحمل کند و جدا روحیه لازم دارد. من دارم تلاش می­کنم که این روحیه را در خودم بوجود بیاورم. دارم به خودم می­قبولانم که زندگی یک صحنه بازی است. من هم باید بازیگر ماهری باشم. چه برنده چه بازنده، باید شانه­ها را از روی بی­قیدی بالا بیندازم و بخندم. حالا می­خواهد جولیا جوراب ابریشمی بپوشد و یا هزارپا از سقف تالاپ بیفتد. مطمئن باشید که دیگر من از چیزی شکایتی نخواهم کرد....از نامه­های «بابا لنگ­دراز» به «جودی ابوت»: جودی! کاملا با تو موافق هستم که عده­ای از مردم هرگز زندگی نمی­کنند و زندگی را یک مسابقه دو می­دانند و میخواهند هرچه زودتر به هدفی که در افق دوردست است دست یابند، و متوجه نمی­شوند که آن قدر خسته شده­اند که شاید نتوانند به مقصد برسند، و اگرهم برسند ناگهان خود را در پایان خط می­بینند. در حالی که نه به مسیر توجه داشته­اند و نه لذتی از آن برده­اند. دیر یا زود آدم پیر و خسته می­شود، در حالی که از اطراف خود غافل بوده است. آن وقت دیگر رسیدن به آرزوها و اهداف هم برایش بی­تفاوت می­شود، و فقط او می­ماند و یک خستگی بی­لذت و فرصت و زمانی که از دست رفته و به دست نخواهد آمد. ... جودی عزیزم! درست است، ما به اندازه خاطرات خوشی که از دیگران داریم آن­ها را دوست داریم و به آنها وابسته می­شویم. هرچه خاطرات خوش­مان از شخصی بیشتر باشد، علاقه و وابستگی ما نیز بیشتر می­شود. پس هر کسی را بیشتر دوست داریم، و می­خواهیم که بیشتر دوستمان بدارد، باید برایش خاطرات خوش زیادی بسازیم تا بتوانیم در دلش ثبت شویم. دوستدارتو: بابالنگ دراز

Deborah Markus

You should read this review if:1. You haven’t read this book and need to know why you should,or2. You’ve read this book, but need to know about the connection between Daddy-Long-Legs and J.D. Salinger.(Okay, or: 3. Regardless of whether or not you’ve read this book, you now think I’ve been smoking something I shouldn’t have been. Please read this review so I can convince you otherwise. Thank you.)There is something to be said for not having read the classics as a kid – provided, of course, you steal time as an adult to catch up on everything you’ve missed. There’s nothing like finding out the fun way, in your 20s or 30s or 40s, that the reason a particular work is called a classic is that it’s absolutely wonderful.This isn’t always the case. I can’t guarantee you’ll shriek, “Where have you BEEN all my life?” if you pick up, say, Gargantuan and Pantagruel. But I’ve had two separate friends express their startled delight that Anna Karenina is not only not too hard for mere mortals to read, but is in fact a moving and engrossing read (and a ripping good one at that). I myself missed out on To Kill A Mockingbird until I was in my 40s, because everybody only talked about the important moral issues it discusses, and nobody mentioned how hard its writing kicks arse. (I only finally read it because I got too embarrassed about having to admit that I hadn’t and I’m a lousy liar.)So: Daddy-Long-Legs is an absolute delight. I figured it would be cute and, given how long ago it was written, probably pretty sappy. That’s okay. I can deal with a little sap. Sometimes I even like it.But the young narrator, Jerusha Abbott, is mercilessly sharp and laugh-out-loud funny. Put it to you this way: My son decided to read this after he kept cracking up from all the bits I read out loud to him at the breakfast table. He’s a sixteen-year-old EDM aficionado. If you’re still holding out, I don’t know what to tell you.This is the story of a girl who insists on being her own spiky, sharp, funny self in spite of growing up in an orphanage whose goal, as Jerusha puts it, “is to turn the ninety-seven orphans into ninety-seven twins.” This is not “virtue rewarded” in the usual sense of the phrase. Jerusha is given a scholarship to college thanks to her excellent writing. The essay that snagged her this scholarship was a bitterly funny piece about the orphanage. I LOVE the fact that Jerusha escapes a horrible situation by speaking up about how awful it is. Yes, I’ve been reading too many Regency-era novels about how women who suffer ills and abuses patiently are rewarded. This book was the perfect antidote.Here’s something else I didn’t expect from this book: a Salinger connection.I recently reread The Catcher in the Rye. If you’ve read it, too, you’ll probably recall that the narrator, Holden Caulfield, starts this book having less than a wonderful day. Specifically, he just found out he’s being expelled from his swanky boarding school. He goes to his room to try to relax with a book:“I’d only read about three pages, though, when I heard somebody coming through the shower curtains. Even without looking up, I knew right away who it was. It was Robert Ackley, this guy that roomed right next to me. ...Nobody ever called him anything except ‘Ackley.’ Not even Herb Gale, his own roommate, ever called him ‘Bob’ or even ‘Ack.’ If he ever gets married, his own wife’ll probably call him ‘Ackley.’”That’s a funny passage. It also emphasizes Ackley’s name. It becomes clear very quickly that Holden isn’t fond of Ackley at the best of times. Today he finds him particularly annoying because Ackley won’t let him read. No matter how often Holden hints that he’s reading, or at least he’d like to be, annoying Ackley just won’t leave.Okay. Big deal. Way to be random, Deborah.EXCEPT.Here is a wonderful passage from Daddy-Long-Legs, part of a chapter in which the narrator has been listing all the reasons it’s been a lousy day at school. (Jerusha has mentioned earlier that the best part of every day for her is the evening, when she curls up to read – not assigned reading, but “just plain books” to make up for all the lost time at the bookless orphanage.)“Friday is sweeping day, and the maid had mixed all the papers on my desk. We had tombstone for dessert (milk and gelatin flavored with vanilla). We were kept in chapel twenty minutes later than usual to listen to a speech about womanly women. And then – just as I was settling down with a sigh of well-earned relief to The Portrait of a Lady, a girl named Ackerly, a dough-faced, deadly, unintermittently stupid girl, who sits next to me in Latin because her name begins with A, came to ask if Monday’s lesson commenced at paragraph 69 or 70, and stayed ONE HOUR. She has just gone.”Am I one of those Salinger conspiracy-theorist weirdos, or does it sound like Salinger liked Daddy-Long-Legs and paid it a strange little tribute in his best-known book?You should read Daddy-Long-Legs and decide for yourself. If you’ve already read it but it’s been a long time, you should read it again and see how much fun it is to read classics when you’re a chronological grownup and can decide for yourself what you feel like reading.

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