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Thread: Figure Skating Scenes in Literature

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    Figure Skating Scenes in Literature

    I would like to mention books whose main topic is NOT skating, but in which you can read skating-related episodes. Examples:

    The Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens, chapter XXX: Mr Pickwick and his friends go skating on a pond and Mr Pickwick falls into the water. I like the description of Mr Winkle struggling to skate (that reminds me of myself!)

    Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, chapter VIII: Amy follows Jo and Laurie to the river, goes where the ice is too thin and falls into the water, then Jo and Laurie save her. It was over-reacting on Jo's part, but, hey, the little brat burned her book, I would have been crossed too.

    Orlando, by Virginia Woolf, chapter I: while skating on the Thames during the Frost Fair, Orlando falls in love with Russian Princess Sasha.

    The Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger, chapter XVII: Holden and Sally go skating, but they are not very good.

    Other suggestions? Thank you in advance.

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    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q...15&FORM=VRDGAR

    Tatyana's skating scene in Eugene Onegin... I've posted the film scene here; it marks the distance and differences between them...
    Last edited by elbkup; 03-05-2016 at 04:04 PM.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    In the Four Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright, the Melendy children all receive ice skates for Christmas. The three oldest children eventually go exploring by trying to skate up the frozen brook that runs by their house as far as they can go. The youngest girl, Randy, twists her ankle when they are far from home.

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    Don't forget "Hans Brinker". "On Thin Ice" by Susan Andersen. Isn't there an author of skating novels who posts on GoldenSkate--Alina Adams? Not certain of her first name.
    Last edited by merrywidow; 02-06-2017 at 01:04 PM.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    In Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott, orphaned and sickly Rose Campbell, who has 7 boy cousins, becomes stronger. One of her new skills is learning to skate. She has a playdate to go skating with her cousin Mac, but he forgets the appointment. Rose waits and waits and becomes ill.
    https://americanliterature.com/autho...ter-21-a-scare

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    “I solemnly swear I’m up to no good” Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    Anna Karnenina starts off with Kitty skating at the Zoo Gardens fairly early if I remember correctly. Haven't read it in a while but I thought that either her or a sister was a really good skater. I also recall that Vronsky knew she would be there skating so it must have been a pretty big part of their family tradition to be so reliably found on the ice.

    I have t read this book in like six years so it's entirely possible my lousy memory is incorrect.
    Last edited by Sam-Skwantch; 02-05-2017 at 03:35 PM.

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    Bona Fide Member LRK's Avatar
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    There's "White Boots" by Noel Streatfeild (of "Ballet Shoes" fame - I believe the American title of this book is "Skating Shoes" as well), where the young heroine has been ill and her doctor recommends skating as a means of recovering her strength. She becomes friends with a girl who is an orphan, but whose parents were skating stars, and she herself is talented and pegged for stardom, however...

    ETA - Though, come to think, maybe the book doesn't qualify, as while it's not only about skating, I suppose it could be said that the "main topic" might be. Sorry about that.
    Last edited by LRK; 02-05-2017 at 10:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam-Skwantch View Post
    Anna Karnenina starts off with Kitty skating at the Zoo Gardens fairly early if I remember correctly. Haven't read it in a while but I thought that either her or a sister was a really good skater. I also recall that Vronsky knew she would be there skating so it must have been a pretty big part of their family tradition to be so reliably found on the ice.

    I have t read this book in like six years so it's entirely possible my lousy memory is incorrect.
    I read it a long time ago, but you're right, Kitty goes skating and Levin pays compliments to her style and they skate together.

  9. #9
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    In Arcadia by Andrea Host has some great scenes of Australians teaching people from another planet to figure skate.

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    In Three Men on the Bummel, by Jerome K. Jerome, chapter XIV, I read a thought-provoking account of figure skating and sports in general in Germany in the late 1800s (the book was published in 1900): the author claims that, until recently, it was deemed "unladylike" for female skaters to cover the whole rink and it was expected from them to cling to their male relatives, whereas now, he says, they practise figures of eight while waiting for suitable partners in order to go to the centre of the rink.

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    Outdated Old Dinosaur
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    In Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott, orphaned and sickly Rose Campbell, who has 7 boy cousins, becomes stronger. One of her new skills is learning to skate. She has a playdate to go skating with her cousin Mac, but he forgets the appointment. Rose waits and waits and becomes ill.
    https://americanliterature.com/autho...ter-21-a-scare
    I hadn't thought of this book in ages. It was at my grandmother's house, and I'd read it when I visited. There was little else there that was appealing to a child.

    It was a charming story.

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    In Life As We Knew It the main character sometimes goes skating on a frozen lake near her house, and at one point runs into her favorite pro skater and gets to spend some time with him. :^)

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    Algernon Blackwood's short story 'The Glamour of the Snow' - The main character decides to stay and skate on the rink alone at night, when he meets a mysterious woman in grey… Note: This is not a romance, but a ghost story.

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    Joyce Carol Oates "My sister, my love" is the fictionalized story of Jon Benet Ramsey: the child is a figure skater instead of a pageant queen, with a tiger mom to add.
    For children, there is Dodge "Hans Brinker or the silver skates" whose story revolves around a skating competition in order to win silver skates.
    Also, in Italy we have a poem by G. Gozzano, called Invernale, which depicts a troubled love story that takes place on a skating pond.

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    Emily Fridlund's THE HISTORY OF WOLVES doesn't have any ice skating scenes per se but one of the ancillary characters is a figure skater who should have been working on her triples because the Upper Great Lakes Regionals was only a few months away, but then the main character recalls how terrified the skater looked doing her double axles in competition last season.

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    Brick Lane by Monica Ali: Nazneen, a young woman from Bangladesh in an arranged marriage moves with her husband to London. She is confined as a housewive in a small flat. Nazneen watches figure skating (ice dance) several times on TV. It´s a symbol for freedom of expression and a sensual man-woman relationship (which is missing in her marriage). In the end (after standing up to her husband who wants to move back to Bangladesh) she gets to skate herself at an outdoor rink.

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