- Taschenbuch: 320 Seiten
- Verlag: Penguin Classics; Auflage: New Ed (24. Juni 2004)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0141187220
- ISBN-13: 978-0141187228
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 1,8 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 119.417 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
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Bound for Glory (Penguin Modern Classics) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 24. Juni 2004
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"Bound for Glory" is the autobiography of Woody Guthrie, the founder of modern American folk music. It is a funny, cynical, earthy and tragic account of his life in an Oklahoma oil-boom town, of the Depression that followed, and of his subsequent travels in, on, and under trains, in stolen cars and on his feet, round an America going rotten from the top downwards.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Woody Guthrie, the son of a cowboy, was born in 1912 in rural Oklahoma. When the Depression arrived, Woody hit the road and travlled round America. He became a folksinger, guitarist, merchant seaman, actor, artist and broadcaster. Woody Guthrie died in 1967 in Queen's, New York.
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Huntington’s Disease (chorea) played a major part in Guthrie’s life, since his mother had it, and would die from it, as would he. I was not familiar with the disease. Key points are that it is hereditary, due to the fault of a single gene; there is no cure or treatment for it, even today; and it causes a variety of conditions, many of them manifesting themselves as mental illness. Quite possibly he was already suffering from it when he wrote this work, and thus I tried to make allowances.
For it is an “autobiography,” of sorts. It ends in mid-life, in 1943, with much of his productive song-writing still ahead of him. It is a series of rather disjointed vignettes, in the form of reconstructed dialogue. Motivation for his actions, and introspection, is largely missing. Key aspects of his life are totally absent, for example, his marriage at the age of 19, and his three children from that marriage. Dates, and various time periods are “fussy.” Quite probably, some aspects of his story are fabricated, based on the experience of others. The first third of the autobiography are reconstructed stories from when he was six and younger, including a lengthy battle between two groups of young kids, a la, Spanky and Our Gang. Alas, I did not even think his “heart was in the right place.” It has occurred in more than one “heroic” life; rushing around “saving humanity,” while abusing those who are nearest to you, and that should always be questioned.
“Riding the rails.” That is the first chapter. His relationship with other hobos, in a large boxcar. And that will also be the last chapter. He commenced life in a family that seemed to be prosperous, with his dad making real estate deals. Then it is inferred that his mother burned down their home, and it is largely downhill from there. They buy another older, less satisfactory home, which is destroyed by a tornado (which Guthrie calls a cyclone). Another chapter involves the torture of cats, and I note one reviewer gave up after that one. The discovery of oil brings the “rough necks” and the entire entourage of hangers-on. A young boy of nine sees and experiences much of life. And then they move on to the next site, leaving poverty and Guthrie behind. Suddenly it is 1936, he is 24, and he is trying to hitch hike across New Mexico on his way to the “promised land.” No mention of who he left behind, and how they were to survive. He must have experienced the “down and out” life, but I had to wonder how much he embroidered, particularly hanging on to the metal ladder on the side of a train, going up the Central valley of California, his hands freezing. He is next singing in a “jungle camp” outside Reddings, as they wait for the weather to ripen the apricots for picking, and he describes the company store “credit system.” The only woman he mentions, by name, in this book, besides his mother, is Ruth, in the “jungle camp.” And then he is suddenly auditioning in Rockefeller Center, in NYC. When they tell him he will need to wear make-up, he walks out… and is back on the train again.
Ugh! I still respect his message, his songs, and appreciate how many other singers he has influenced . But his “autobiography” is nothing short of a shamble, with a number of embroidered episodes. Overall, 2-stars.