Web & the Rock (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1963
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UP TO THE TIME GEORGE WEBBER'S FATHER DIED, THERE WERE SOME UNforgiving souls in the town of Libya Hill who spoke of him as a man who not only had deserted his wife and child, but had consummated his iniquity by going off to live with another woman. Lesen Sie die erste Seite
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Thomas Wolfe was a [woefully underrated] master of the English language and character development. The Web and the Rock, perhaps the finest of his works, invites you into the tortured mind of George Webber without any sort of forceful literary entry. His forays into Webber's psyche are never contrived, never as dissonant as the failed attempts of other writers to accomplish the same sort of candor. The alternating ebb and flow of George's dialogue and inner monologue feel as natural as inhaling and exhaling, and the text takes on a sort of organic quality in that sense. Though some criticize Wolfe's writing for its convoluted streams of consciousness and tangents, these are the things that make his characters so intense and tangible to the reader.
There is an unapologetic candor to Wolfe's bildungsroman, an innate willingness to open up a secret world to the reader, one of mental anguish, feelings of inadequacy, and the passion that can simultaneously electrify and destroy a man's life. There is nothing forced about his philosophical asides--they are natural progressions of Webber's inner monologue and some of the most deliciously probing prose I have ever had the pleasure to read.
I will leave you with two of the most compelling quotes of the novel--and, perhaps, some of the most honest, candid passages in all of American literature:
"So all were gone at last, one by one, each swept out into the mighty flood tide of the city's life, there to prove, to test, to find, to lose himself, as each man must--alone" (272).
"The sight of these closed golden houses with their warmth of life awoke in him a bitter, poignant, strangely mixed emotion of exile and return, of loneliness and security, of being forever shut out from the palpable and passionate integument of life and fellowship, and of being so close to it that he could touch it with his hand, enter it by a door, possess it with a word--a word that, somehow, he could never speak, a door that, somehow he would never open" (170).