Why did The Princess Bride captivate America into the of Watergate year? Nathaniel Rich revisits William Goldman’s classic and finds it grippingly readable—and bluntly truthful.
In 1973—“the year of infamy”—the final American bombs were fallen on Cambodia, OPEC issued an oil embargo, the currency markets crashed, and Woodward and Bernstein unveiled that there was clearly more towards the Watergate break-in than had first showed up. Also by US criteria, it had been a brief minute of extravagant uneasiness, disillusionment, and mania. In the middle of this maelstrom arrived a strange and determinedly anachronistic novel that is new William Goldman. It told the fairy-tale tale of a Princess known as Buttercup, her abduction by an prince that is evil a six-fingered count, along with her rescue by a soft-hearted giant, a vengeance-mad swordsman, and a debonair masked hero known as Westley. It is hard to consider a novel that bears less connection to its time as compared to Princess Bride. That is just what made The Princess Bride therefore prompt.
It is feasible that the dubious audience might discern particular Nixonian characteristics in Humperdinck, Goldman’s vain, conspiratorial, power-hungry prince, or see in Count Rugen, the prince’s diabolical, merciless, hypocritical hatchet man, a medieval Robert Haldeman. But Goldman isn’t interested in satire; plus its among the novel’s central motifs that satire is just a bloodless, empty exercise, destroyed on all nevertheless the many pretentious, scholarly visitors. There clearly was loads of space for findings with this type or type, for “The Princess Bride” is really a novel within a novel. The legendary Florinese writer (Florin being a country “set between where Sweden and Germany would eventually settle”), and read to Goldman as a child by his father, a Florinese immigrant in a thirty-page, first-person introduction, Goldman explains that it was written by S. Read More