Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life

Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life Winesburg En Ohio Wikipdia Winesburg En Ohio Titre Original En Anglais Winesburg, Ohio A Group Of Tales Of Ohio Small Town Life Est Un Recueil De Nouvelles Publi Enpar L Crivain Amricain Sherwood Anderson Winesburg, Ohio Wikipedia Winesburg, Ohio Full Title Winesburg, Ohio A Group Of Tales Of Ohio Small Town Life Is Ashort Story Cycle By The American Author Sherwood Anderson Winesburg, Ohio Sherwood Anderson Babelio Winesburg En Ohio Est Certainement Le Recueil Le Plus Connu De Sherwood Anderson, O Son Talent De Nouvelliste Amus Et Incisif Fait Merveille Tourisme WinesburgVisiter Winesburg, OHWinesburg Consultez Sur TripAdvisoravis De Voyageurs Et Trouvez Des Conseils Sur Les Endroits O Sortir, Manger Et Dormir Winesburg, Ohio LES MEILLEURS Restaurants Winesburg Mis Jour JuilletVous Sortez Winesburg, Ohio Lisez Sur TripAdvisoravis Sur Restaurants Winesburg, Recherchez Par Prix, Quartier, Etc SparkNotes Winesburg, Ohio Winesburg, Ohio Is A Collection Of Short Stories By Sherwood Anderson That Was First Published In


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  • Paperback
  • Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life
  • Sherwood Anderson
  • English
  • 10 May 2017

10 thoughts on “Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life

  1. says:

    zut, alors i don t even know where to begin i had such a complicated reaction to this book am i the only person who didn t find this depressing this book is life it is tender and gentle and melancholy and real not everything works out according to plan here, but what ever does that s not necessarily depressing, it s just a reality that can either be moped over and dwelled upon, or accepted and moved on from this is the emotional truth of life we don t understand our urges, we make bad decisions, we work hard to no great end and no one notices, but sherwood anderson noticed this book is us amplified life gets all of us it is the struggle to be understood, the struggle to not get lost in the crowd to make a noise that someone hears these characters are believed, cared for, delicately rendered by anderson to really get to the core of human shortcomings i apologize in advance this might become my most oddly formatted book review ever, just because i can t stop free associating with the way i am feeling from this damn book that i didn t even like from the outset, but as the stories progressed, something in me kept brewing and growing and mutating, and now it is an unstoppable force in my heart region.the plot is deceptively simple it is a town full of people unable to express themselves properly clawing and clutching at the one person they feel has the power of expression and who will release them somehow from their mute longings and joys and limitations and then in turn releasing him into the the wider world with all of their rage and suffering and love inside of him my god, the pressure i had to give it five stars because of how it made me feel at the end the last sentence made me say out loud, unfortunately oh my god, ridiculous , because it made the whole book perfect, despite several stories that i thought were only okay but that s the trouble with short stories, even if they are part of a cycle like this there are going to be some thin ones but the ones that are good here are superfuckinggood at the end of it all, it is like after reading dubliners or nine stories when this giant Dome of Connection just sort of drops over the whole thing, encapsulating it and preserving it as one exploration of the same problem in this case, the spectacular inability to communicate and that sort of inarticulate mute howling we so often feel in the presence of emotions larger than ourselves to know what to say, but to have it come out all wrong too brassy, too wishy washy, or aggressive or too much bravado or too passive or pompous just wrong and then the aftermath of self recrimination i mean, we are all inarticulate grotesques sometimes mine is appearing in the form of this book s also this wonderful noble hopelessness that gives me the same feeling watching bubble gave me which i think is also set in ohio i will check or the wayward bus, or donald harington s stay cycle, or that oingo boingo song sweat which as a nostalgia song i always found compelling than jack and diane or summer of 69 as far as pure north american nostalgia songs go The cool boys bit the dustThey couldn t take the pressureThe cool girls got knocked upThey only wanted to have fun Where did they go They fell in love and suffered Where did they go They picked up guns and hammers Where did they go i mean, you can open this book pretty much anywhere, and find a beautiful phrase or a whole paragraph Only the few know the sweetness of the twisted apples. I want to fill you with hatred and contempt so that you will be a superior being Let s take decay Now what is decay It s fire It burns up wood and other things You never thought of that Of course not This sidewalk here and this feed store, the trees down the street there they re all on fire They re burning up Decay you see is always going on It don t stop Water and paint can t stop it If a thing is iron, then what It rusts, you see That s fire, too The world is on fire Start your pieces in the paper that way Just say in big letters the world is on fire That will make em look up They ll say you re a smart one I don t care I don t envy you I just snatched that idea out of the air I would make a newspaper hum You ve got to admit that In an odd way he stood in the shadow of the wall of life, was meant to stand in the shadow. It seemed to her that the world was full of meaningless people saying words.i mean, if i keep going, it will be nothing but quotes and none of you will ever have to read the book but you should because i have already reread several stories just to try to recapture it all inside of me, and this tiny little book has as many scraps of paper shoved in it as my prousts, just for well turned phrases that gripped my heart. it got me i got it makes me wanna werewolf at the moon a littlecome to my blog

  2. says:

    Only the few know the sweetness of the twisted apples. When you stop and listen, life is a brilliant cacophony of love and pain, where we are all struggling to shed the shackles of loneliness and stand full and actualized in a society that never bothers to truly look into our hearts Sherwood Anderson s gorgeous Winesburg, Ohio, which beautifully blurs the line between a collection of short stories and a novel, is a testament to the loneliness in our hearts, and delivers a pessimistic, yet ultimately uplifting, account of the ways in which we can be eternally trapped in internal strife by none other than our own hands Many people must live and die alone, even in Winesburg, Anderson writes, setting his tales within the comfortable boundaries of an idyllic small town the type of quiet, peaceful place where everyone knows one another that are often glorified in early 20th century American literature yet diving deep within the populations hearts to examine the depths of solitude and sorrow that exist in even the most idealized and comfortable of surroundings This book came to me at what seemed like the exact time in which I could appreciate it to the fullest, a time when presenting the golden core of existance through montages of melancholy and sorrow would be the perfect way to take hold of my heart and lift me free of my own burdens and into literary bliss Despite the increasing ability to interact on a global scale during which the book is set, the citizens of Winesburg find themselves trapped in a cage of internal anguish and alienation of their own design, and seek out those with the true creative capabilities to express the emotions they cannot manage to make plain, and Anderson delivers their stories of struggle and strife through his unflinching, connected short stories that culminate towards a dazzling depiction of the human condition.There is something very modern about this slim novel published back in 1919, yet it retains that wonderfully nostalgic feeling that come alive in me when I read the works of authors such as Steinbeck and Faulkner, a feeling as peaceful as the a warm summers day from your childhood that makes you believe your own coming of age tales are as epic as the words printed upon the pages of novels that stand as monuments in the history of literature For some reason, stories set in small towns during the early 1900s really make my heart sing out to the heavens, and with Anderson conducting the orchestra, it sings out in mighty rapture Yet, considering the introductory story, The Book of the Grotesque , Anderson preforms a magic act of near metafiction that makes his style as poignant today as when it was first written by hinting that the book to come is merely the unpublished scribblings of an aging who only wishes to watch the sunlight brighten the trees outside his bedroom window Anderson immediately reveals his hand, yet this does not diminish the potency in his every move but simply allows the reader to better appreciate each glorious depiction of sorrowful existence I n the beginning when the world was young there were a great many thoughts but no such thing as a truth Man made the truths himself and each truth was a composite of a great many vague thoughts All about in the world were the truths and they were all beautiful And then the people came along Each as he appeared snatched up one of the truths and some who were quite strong snatched up a dozen of them It was the truths that made the people grotesques.the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood. The first story is the Genesis of the novel to come, the creation story behind the people who stumble about in futility as they attempt to connect with one another and make themselves understood, so trapped within their image of the truth that they cannot create outside its boundaries.Speaking of futility, I do not posses the adequate gifts of analytical prose to sum up Anderson s mighty message as this succinctly cutting passage from Ernest Boyd s incredible introduction to my 1947 Modern Library Edition It is essentially a literature of revolt against the great illusion of American civilization, the illusion of optimism, with all its childish evasion of harsh facts, its puerile cheerfulness, whose inevitable culmination is the school of glad books, which have reduced American literature to the lowest terms of sentimentality. Anderson exposes life in its raw form, without the opportunity to comb its hair or apply makeup, and by avoiding the convenience of administering external interference as justification for a characters shortcomings, implies that many of our defects and dilemmas are wrought by our own hands Failure to adequately express ourselves through socially acceptable conventions is the foible that forces us into emotional isolation and existential angst, most openly diagrammed in the character of Wing Biddlebaum who s hands and their flamboyant flailing or easy rest upon the shoulders of young boys cause him to be run out of town and spend his twilight years wandering the streets of Winesburg beset by bitter solitude There is the epic, biblical in nature as well as biblically influenced , tale of Jesse Bently attempting to assert his godliness only to be met with misunderstanding and horror by his grandchild with the gloriously executed, tragic subplot of his daughters tearful life as her attempts to proclaim love result in an unsatisfactory, face saving marriage of convenience Alice Williams nude flight through the town in an effort to free herself from the promise to wait for a man that will never return to her a promise that robs her of her golden years as she withers in loneliness Seth Richmonds efforts to win Helen White s heart by proclaiming he is leaving town in hopes it will make her realize how his absence will inflict misery upon her, but then having to leave before the opportunity of love can blossom and a whole slew of others damned by their own attempts to carve their mark into the history of Winesburg The futility of the townsfolk to make their hearts heard is what gives George Willard, a teenage journalist at the local newspaper the Eagle, and seemingly the pride and joy of Winesburg , a central role within the book George figures in a majority of the stories and, aside from the town, serves as the thread connecting each story George is a figure of creation, a figure who can take a life and immortalize it within the words printed in the newspaper, so each member of the town is drawn to him during their lowest hour, only able to provide a clear depiction of their soul and struggles to him Kate Swift, his former teacher whose nude form inspires a holy revelation within the local preacher , recognizes this and her lust for him is a reflection of her desires to make whole the fractured souls that haunt society and she is drawn to him by his literary potential to do so She tells George that in order to become a writer he will have to know life It would be better to give up the notion of writing until you are better prepared Now it s the time for living I don t want to frighten you, but I would like to make you understand the import of what you think of attempting You must not become a mere peddler of words The thing to learn is to know what people are thinking about, not what they say. Anderson s novel is an exquisite expression of this sentiment, and it is only through their late night drunken bitter etc confessions to, or interactions with, George that we can see through the veils of grotesqueries to flowering souls within Winesburg had disappeared and his life there had become but a background on which to paint the dreams of his manhood. Through the book s frequent glimpses at George s maturation, a sort of bildungsroman is erected Carefully placed not in the forefront of the novel, as a book bent on sentimentality would have it, but subtly omnipresent and lurking in the background, Anderson is able to employ all the emotionally stimulating and memorable aspects assigned to the coming of age tale without letting its warm glow overpower the real message at hand In effect, this becomes a literary coming of age for the reader with Winesburg as the canvas upon which the realization of the human condition is splattered Through George we learn what hides in the human heart, and through George we grow to empathize with our fellow man Like many others, George inevitably leaves Winesburg to pursue his dreams, and hopefully, unlike the rest, he will achieve them The characters try in many ways to escape the mundane and stagnant town, often seeing Helen White as the way out Even George seeks after her, winning her fancy under the pretext of understanding love so he can write about it in a novel To the males of Winesburg, Helen and and her wealthy family represent a way out, a higher goal of sophistication and sensuality However, most fail to win her hand, much like those who leave Winesburg fail to achieve their glory and riches Perhaps, despite the meaningfulness of our unique coming of age moments, we fail to bring our lessons learned into adulthood and falter at the alter of life We must properly express ourselves and let our creative powers grow to the heavens, not keep them locked up as does Enoch Robinson, slowly slipping into madness within the confines of his New York apartment speaking with the idealized imaginary friends that replace his friends of flesh and blood, foibles and blunders Winesburg, Ohio is a war cry for literature, rising bloodied and sullied from the trenched, unashamed to be seen in such a dark and animalistic state, to plunge it s bayonet through the ribcage of fictions that would glorify humanity while sweeping any inconvenient ugliness under the rug Anderson sets his book near the turn of the century, at a time when human interaction was expanding beyond the borders of a small town to a national, and even globalized state Trains and telegraph wires opened the gates of transportation and communication, bringing everyone closer together regardless of physical distance Ironically, during this booming era of national headline news, we witness characters feeling ever isolated and alienated This message is just as darkly poignant in todays world with the ever booming social media that allows us to interact instantly and make our every action known to people across the globe, yet many are still beleaguered with a sense of loneliness Regardless of the ease of communication, it is still just as difficult to make ourselves properly understood, and even sentences typed onto a blog with the warmest of intentions can be misconstrued, ignored, or taken out of context Can we truly express who we are to anyone You can only understand me as your perspective of me, as I in turn can only understand myself through my perspective of myself, and express myself in a manner in which I think best reflects me, but is any of this, even the culmination of all these perspectives, the true me Can we really know each other, and can we really know ourselves Winesburg, Ohio is easily one of my favorite books This book makes you want to pay attention to all those around you, get to know them, recognize why they are the way they are, all just so you can show them the kindness and love they need Like the Knights of Columbus and their pocket sized New Testaments at my beloved alma mater, I want to stand outside the doors of every major university and pass out copies of this book did this happen at anyone else s school I still have a few New Testaments thumping around in the trunk of my car Anderson s prose, which is reminiscent of the greatest descriptive paragraphs found within a Steinbeck novel of whom he was an influence upon, as well as Faulkner, Hemmingway, and even Donald Ray Pollock s Knockemstiff style was inspired by this book , perfectly captures both the beauty and the blemishes of life and paints an unforgettable portrait of the city s downtown and pastoral scenes The book is a marvelous montage of reality, becoming greater than the sum of its parts and striking a chord deep within the readers heart that rings out on a universal level Upon completion, it is as if you have lived a lifetime within Winesburg, and each passing citizen is an old friend Luckily, there is room within Anderson s Winesburg for us all.5 5 Dare to be strong and courageous That is the road Venture anything Be brave enough to dare to be loved Be something than man or woman. The fact that Wing is unaware of the circumstances that lead to his being beaten by the drunken barkeep and chased out of town the unhinged mouth of a youth with unfounded stories of being molested by his teacher makes the story all that much tragic, especially as he is embarrassed and horrified by his expressive hands in a nearly Pavlovian sense The sexual implications of this story, as well as the general sexuality that prevails throughout Winesburg, Ohio is just another aspect that lends to the very modern feel to this classic There is a subtle probing at religious morality throughout the novel, that often borders on poking fun at those with strong religious conviction Though not in the Flannery O Connor method of exposing those with publicly professed holiness as presenting their beliefs as a fa ade to hide their rotten core, yet still somehow within the same vein, Anderson presents holiness as yet another truth that if held onto as a singular lifeline casts the individual into the realm of grotesquery The world is on fire , Joe Wellington tells George Willard, insisting upon that as a valuable article to include in an upcoming edition of the Eagle, s sidewalk here and this feed store, the trees down the street there they re all on fire They re burning up Decay you see is always going on It doesn t stop. Anderson s novel is about decay within the soul, and even holiness is just another decaying agent where the only antidote is achieved by looking into one another s hearts and responding with empathy and love George Willard s family owns a boarding house in the center of town where many of the characters either live or frequent This is similar to Anderson s own upbringing living in a boarding house in Clyde, Ohio Anderson s fictional Winesburg is heavily influenced by his boyhood home of Clyde, Ohio, resembling many of the locals as well as the geographic nature and arrangement and is in no way representative of the actual city of Winesburg, Ohio George s residence there gives him the opportunity to view the comings and goings of many townsfolk and allows them easy access to vomit up their life stories into George s ears.

  3. says:

    Winesburg, Ohio A Group of Tales of Ohio Small Town Life, Sherwood Anderson A cycle of short stories concerning life in a small town at the end of the nineteenth century At the center is George Willard, a young reporter who becomes the confidant of the town s solitary figures Anderson s stories influenced countless American writers including Hemingway, Faulkner, Updike, Oates and Carver This new edition corrects errors made in earlier editions and takes into account major criticism and textual scholarship of the last several decades 2006 1383 247 1384 20 1395 216 9786003672772 .

  4. says:

    A beautiful, melancholy song to small town loneliness and despair to the fragile bonds that tie neighbors together and the vivid lives and heartfelt personal dramas that pulse beneath the surface of ordinary affairs This was once a book I carried with me everywhere, a book I tried and failed to emulate in my own writing, and a book whose sentences I d whisper to myself to catch something of their hypnotic cadences It s easy to see how influential this book was on so much American literature from Hemingway to Faulkner to Thomas Wolfe to Updike, they and we all owe Sherwood Anderson a tremendous debt for opening up the possibilities of fiction in a uniquely American landscape.

  5. says:

    Holy Moley Virginia Woolf finds the very caverns leading to hell Sherwood Anderson makes miscellaneous dips in the very depths of actual fire the residents of Winesburg all live there They are the ghosts of the living Anecdotes in Winesburg devoid of time or protagonist are juicy with implication and horrific details They are grave, all of them portends of certain annihilation and the never ending stasis of existence What you will see in this unforgettable experiment and ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS out there where for the first time it is proposed that literature itself is dangerous, that printed material can be lethal traumas, superstition and tradition downfalls, nepotism, patricide, misogyny, incest, homosexuality, false promises and doom examples of mothers going through her son s things in the sure makings of the Norman Bates legend motifs of hands, of mothers, of homecomings, of back alleys apes like Flannery O Connor s Wise Blood , surplus of churches, of nature itself birds bats in rebellion moments of intense rapture in full Joan of Arc scariness characters creating themselves, in that tricky but amazing Quixotean trick.This trippy and soul churning fantasia is a true EXPERIENCE The narrative voice is poetic almost clinical about the characters themselves judgmental even ultimately playful The vignettes are twisted morals, cautionary tales Mega Brilliant ONLY THE FEW KNOW THE SWEETNESS OF THE TWISTED APPLES I mean, c mon The reader is a sucker for fully loaded sentences like that one this book is entirely composed of em Why hadn t I heard of this, the epicenter of post nineteenth century experimental postmodernism

  6. says:

    El amor es como un viento que agita la hierba debajo de los rboles en una noche oscura le hab a dicho No debe usted tratar de convertirlo en algo definido Es un accidente divino que ocurre a veces en la vida Si trata usted de definirlo y tenerlo por seguro y de vivir bajo los rboles, donde sopla la suave brisa nocturna, llegar enseguida el largo d a del desenga o y la seca polvareda que levantan los carros cubrir los labios inflamados por los besos. Lo que volv a grotesca a la gente eran las verdades El anciano ten a una teor a muy elaborada al respecto En su opini n, siempre que alguien se apropiaba de una verdad, la llamaba su verdad y trataba de regir su vida por ella, se convert a en un ser grotesco y la verdad que hab a abrazado se transformaba en una falsedad. Narraci n de vivencias secretas, de oscuros y di fanos v nculos, Winesburg, Ohio constituye un acercamiento delicado, sutil, po tico y en ocasiones tambi n brutal y descarnado, a unos personajes que nunca dejamos de amar c mo olvidar, por ejemplo, al doctor Reefy y su relaci n con Elizabeth Willard Galer a de locos y cuerdos, de sabidur a y necedad, seres que hacen de sus privadas alegr as y rec nditos padecimientos la cumbre de la heroicidad, testigos callados que habitan en apariencia mundos tan estridentes como vacuos y triviales, a la vez que en su interior saborean la dulzura de las manzanas arrugadas Tomando prestadas las palabras de Wing Biddlebaum maestro y pe n un libro para tratar de olvidar lo que se ha aprendido, para empezar de nuevo Para so ar.

  7. says:

    AKA Goddamn you, George WillardMy apologies to you, goodreads bandwagonyou re going to have to make room for one This book is bittersweet like therapy, like sweating out a lifetime s worth of drugs and drink in a mentholly sauna room, like looking through a photo album from a decade or so ago when you thought you knew who you were but you had no ideaand still probably don t Well, neither do the folks in Winesburg, Ohio I loved, sympathized with and related to each individual, even down to that pervy preacher who just needs to get over that Jesus shit and let himself wank it guilt free His voyeuristic position is a perfect illustration of how it feels to read this series of shortslike you re crouched in a dark room peeping across the way into the windows of each character and using your Sookie Stackhouse powers to penetrate their most personal of personal thoughts Their most glorious private poetry and most hideous self obsession To put it simply, Sherwood Anderson knows a motherfucker He s so sharp, he could read an 8 point font from across a gymnasium He ll read you, too, if you let him I love you, Sherwood, Robin Hood y name and all This is one for the short list of books I will read again, disregarding my general motto of so many books, so little time I ve got all the time in the world for you, Sherry Baby Recommended to anyone who has or will ever wonder what Flannery O Connor would ve written on a vacation up north under the influence of a low dose of Prozac.

  8. says:

    Fuck, I loved this book I loved its drab mood, and existential feel I loved the descriptive writing, and the small town, midwest setting, with the seasons and people changing, but life in general, staying the same I loved the wild brilliance to the endings More than anything, and what made this novel truly special to me, was its insight into the raw emotions and psychological underpinnings of people s inner worlds Reading this felt like peering into human nature I loved the depth of characters their being out of place, hoping, secretly yearning for Heck yeah, they have crises going on we all do, and we gain from learning from the particular personal crises told of in this book A main reason for this is exactly because most of these characters are different To use Sherwood s word, they re grotesques Even the characters that seem normal to the rest of the community are actually stewing with emotion deep inside I m going to get personal here for a second I ve been a grotesque It s true When I was in high school my face was covered in acne and so red from massive dosages of Accutane, I looked like a freak I m not exaggerating it was so bad it made me an outcast for than a year During that time I was withdrawn, paranoid, I thought of death and God constantly I lost most of my friends, and what new friends I had were mostly, yes, also grotesques But guess what I wouldn t trade that period of time for anything in the entire world I m convinced that that period of time that 1 27th of my life, is responsible for 90% of any depth I have in me today The new perceptions obtained, the insights into human nature that came to me, the range of emotions I felt, were all priceless gifts to my soul And that my friends, is the affect that the characters in this novel can have on you There s a feeling of hopelessness to this book, yes but it s a realistic one, and it s not completely hopeless In every page a feeling penetrates through indicating that despite life s worthless existence, we can make something of it we can find meaning, or some kind of connection with another It may not work out, but there s something special to the struggle itself All those disappointing endings to the stories of your life don t make you rare they make you human This novel helps you take comfort in that Two things It seems that men tend to like this book than women I say this just from reading reviews and looking at my goodreads friends list, so I could be wrong But of the 16 male GR friends that read Winesburg, Ohio, the ratings were spread out like this 1 star 02 stars 13 stars 24 stars 65 stars 7Average 4.19 Only seven females from my friend list read this and my GR friends are about 50% female Their ratings were spread out like this 1 star 12 stars 23 stars 15 stars 3Average 3.29 The three 5 star ratings by females is damn encouraging, and there s some damn good 4 and 5 star reviews by females on goodreads, as well BUT, most of the 1 and 2 star reviews are from females, too, so there does seem to be a trend So if you re male, I can t NOT recommend this to you if not from judging by the star ratings, then from my own personal experience, which makes me want to shout out my love for the book from the window of my apartment I ll do it And females, I think you should at least give this a shot, because there s a decent chance that you could love it too Maybe read the first few chapters and see what you think you should know if it s for you or not, by then Lastly, I want to thank David, whose amazing and now, after having read the novel, in my mind, perfect review of this, inspired me to buy it this book that I will read at least every few years for as long as I can read Goodreads enriches my life once again Thank you, David Check out his review, here.

  9. says:

    Winesburg, Ohio, is certainly the geographical ancestor of David Lynch s Twin Peaks, Washington, and Lumberton, North Carolina Blue Velvet not so much for its omens of severed ears and one armed men, but for its wealth of turbulent emotion e.g., rage, despair, lust, contempt all the good ones, really concealed behind a picturesque scrim of small town American life Yeah, the shopworn theme of middle class American repression has been done to death Sam Mendes s American Beauty may have seemed its trite little death knell but the masters always manage to make it fresh and insightful And let s not forget, naysayers, that Sherwood Anderson published this, his masterpiece, in 1919 That s right Ninety years ago, and I guarantee that it s a helluva lot modern, in language and sensibility, than some of the stuff being written today If it weren t for the talk of carriages and Butch Wheeler lighting the street lamps, you might not even guess at its age at all It s had literary Botox or something One of my new favorite books of all time, Winesburg, Ohio is also the longest shortest book I have ever read in my life which isn t to say that it s tedious or verbose or difficult, but that each short story in this compilation of character sketches about Winesburg residents contains so incredibly much, that the emotional weight of three or four of them in one sitting is enough or is as much as human empathy will tolerate Make no mistake The people of Winesburg are, for the most part, pretty fucking miserable I ain t kidding you the lion s share of them are privately contending with some deep sense of loss or regret or dissatisfaction which they are or merely feel powerless to overcome I mean, just take a good look at a few of em Wing Bindlebaum lugs around the unfounded rumors of his pedophilia, keeping him from expressing himself freely Elizabeth Willard suffers from marrying her cold, neglectful husband Tom because he was at hand and wanted to marry at the time when the determination to marry came to her ah, romance Elmer Crowley is so obsessed with the fear of being perceived as strange or queer in the original sense of the term , that he makes of himself the most inexplicable town oddity and Alice Hindman, who I think is the saddest one of all no small feat , saves herself for a man who has left town and forgotten her and lies in bed at night turning her face to the wall and trying to force herself to face bravely the fact that many people must live and die alone, even in Winesburg Wow is right There are some pretty baroque not to say bleak interior lives inhabiting these plain and simple seeming folk Because the narrative component in these stories is only a means to illustrate no, not illustrate transmit these inner lives to the reader, I think it s fairer to call them vignettes Regardless of seasons, characters, and particulars, each one transpires in a gauzy golden late autumnal Bergmanesque twilit dream state We see too opaquely into the psychological interiority for this to be hard and fast realism We experience these vignettes primarily as auras, moods, and eulogies Sherwood Anderson s use of language in Winesburg, Ohio is definitely worth mentioning because it feels profoundly unique Yeah, sure, his sparse, colloquial prose is a kindred spirit of sorts with Gertrude Stein s and Ernest Hemingway s, but it s certainly not neat or easy What I mean is that, just because the bulk of the words are elementary, monosyllabic, it doesn t follow that the reader glides effortlessly over the prose Anderson often tosses in non sequiturs, layered abstractions, mysterious phrases, and clunky rhythms to keep his readers fully engaged Nestled within the simple, matter of fact narration in Death, for instance, we find these two sentences In the big empty office the man and the woman sat looking at each other and they were a good deal alike Their bodies were different as were also the color of their eyes, the length of their noses and the circumstances of their existence, but something inside them meant the same thing, wanted the same release, would have left the same impression on the memory of an onlooker.Incredible Something inside them meant the same thing That little verb, dispatched in an unfamiliar and enigmatic way, makes the sentence Rather than feeling or thinking the same way, the two shared a significance What does that mean exactly You can almost grasp it or catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of your eye, but it s one of those things you need to feel to really understand I also can t help but love the serial parity of eyes, noses, and existences in the second sentence There s a beautiful awkwardness in that phrase that quietly thrills me Yes, I ll own my literary geekiness It thrills me and, now, no longer quietly Winesburg, Ohio is only the nineteenth book I ve added to my literary Valhalla, otherwise known as my pants crapping awesome bookshelf It is a rare and beautiful thing, and I am still wondering if you realize how much I loved it If not, call me at home and I ll tell you all about it.

  10. says:

    July 2010Hey, Winesburg, Ohio You got a minute There s something I want to talk to you about.Look, we ve been reading each other for a few weeks now, and I think we ve both had a good time I m glad we decided to move slowly You re a collection of short stories and, however linked those stories were, I wanted to take the time to appreciate each one It seemed like the right thing to do And it was You re an amazing book, full of passion and life, an old fashioned kind of gal Really charmingBut, as you ve probably noticed, something isn t right I haven t been completely attentive to your needs, and I ve been really distracted lately heck, there were those times I disappeared for days at a time and this past week seemed, well, a bit rushed, like I was trying to make up for something I know you re confused But I want you to know you ve done nothing wrong Thing is well, thing is, there s something important I need to tell you I ve been reading other books.Honestly, Winesburg, Ohio, it s not you, it s me Really I m not really a one book kind of guy I m sorry, I know, I know, I should have told you before we got together, but well I m not really good at being exclusive I like variety You might even say I m polybiblioamorous, if that s even a proper term It s just who I am And the other books I was reading the same time we were together there were a few, I m sorry, I shouldve said something but those other books, they were, they were just so powerful I was with Palimpsest for a bit that actually ended a little after I met you, but man, she was kinky Then I was with The Dervish House that one was just so worldly, so wise beyond its years, but adventurous and fun, too Then there was Uncommon Carriers we didn t actually do anything, it was of a cerebral thing, if you know what I mean and I just got out a long relationship with Mining the Sky, so I ve been thinking a lot about the futureI m with Kraken now Not really sure what I see in him, but he has a good soul I think he can change.Oh, god, don t cry Please don t cry This isn t your fault I like books I like them a lot and I just can t settle for one at a time I should have told you I just thought I could just pick you up and have some fun on the side, enjoy you a little before moving on to the next collection, but that didn t work There s something special about you Really, there is, and I was so caught up with those other books that I just didn t see it until it was too late You re this charming small town book in a world of big city stories, and I took you for granted That wasn t fair at all, I know I m sorry And I want to make it up to you, butbut I think it might be too late for that.I think we need some time apart Really, please, listen to me I think this is for the best You re a special gal, and you deserve a reader who can fully appreciate you, and that just isn t me right now I want to reread you sometime I really do and I think that someday, maybe, there will come a time where I m not reading anything else and it can be just the two of us, together Now is just a bad time for me Kraken is this big stubborn oaf, but I kinda like him And I like you, too, and I want to read you again, if you ll let me Someday.Do youdo you think we can try that, Winesburg, Ohio Winesburg, Ohio Winesburg, Ohio Please, come back I mI m sorryIBad news, Knockemstiff, looks like that threesome won t be happening after all.

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