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Look Homeward Angel a Story of the Buried Life Gebundene Ausgabe – 1952

4.3 von 5 Sternen 22 Kundenrezensionen

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Gebundene Ausgabe, 1952
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This review is from: Look Homeward, Angel (Kindle Edition)

You can like this work or simply refuse it because of its epic breadth, its seemingly endless descriptions of nature and because of its huge dimensions .
The literary friend must have read it in any case, at least tentatively .
The writer of these lines (German)has read the book with great pleasure in one go. It is worth to try to read the original American version. With the Kindle it is,among the numerous dictionaries , which can be inexpensive bought in different versions , no problem. One touch on the unknown or unusual word is sufficient . Even everyday slang is understandable. In addition for German readers the brand new very successful German translation of Irma Wehrli (2009 ) can be read in parallel , especially if sprawling descriptions are simply not understandable for a non-native-speaker.
The novel describes the lives of two generations of a family ( Pennsylvania Dutch, with German roots ) in Asheville / North Carolina, in the crisp coolness of the Appalachians. There further always exists the strong longing to the warm, in summer unbearably hot and humid south.
There is the father , a powerful and even violent, often drunken stonemason, and there are his youngest son Eugene, highly sensitive and the mother , enterprising and industrious. She prepares the modest prosperity, the financial basis on which the family lives.
Eloquently, sometimes unbearable lengthy, but highly pictorial are the descriptions of the nature, the surroundings they are living in and too of the large family.
The reader will soon feel involved in this family with this huge , peace , security, safety and durability giving father, even if binge drinking and wild riots are attended reguarly .
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What sets this book apart from most 'coming of age' stories is the stunning combination of poetic language and monumental vision with which Wolfe imbues this tale of Eugene Gant's blossoming into manhood. No other American writer of novels has managed to utilize a voice so lush and exacting at the same time. The reader is literally seduced into the world that Wolfe creates and provided with an experience as rich as any in modern fiction.
Thomas Wolfe was a large man, and he thought and acted in a large way. His editor, Maxwell Perkins, had to severly cut down the size of the gigantic text that he was given, and it is still a big book in all respects - in sheer size, breadth of vision, and thematic scope.
This is one of those books I have to return to every few years just to see if it is still as good as I remember. While it is very much an adolescent book - in the sense that it storms the emotions with a 'Romantic' intensity - and I am much more critical than the young man who first read it - I find that I am still awed at Wolfe's talent and command.
This is one of those 'must read' books for all who would be conversant with modern American fiction. It's type has been out of fashion for some time, but it can't be ignored as a substantial contribution that is uniquely its own thing.
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"Look Homeward Angel" is undeniably a young man's story and as such, I wonder if it appeals to men more than it does to women. It's hard to imagine how the novel's countless aches and awkward blunders would fail to resonate with any man's youthful recollections. When readers in Woolfe's hometown castigated him for his venial characterization of the people he grew up with, Woolfe pointed out that none of his characters represented any one particular person. Instead, their qualities were so real and so vivid that readers felt they instantly recognized them. And so it was with me, although I was born decades after Woolfe's death and raised in a different part of the country. The dialog, drama, and emotional undercurrents of "Look Homeward Angel" were strangely and overwhelmingly recognizable. This is the genius of Woolfe.
My favorite parts of the novel vary considerably. I love the prose poem in the very beginning of the book. I also love the protagonist's descriptions of seemingly ordinary activities such as walking through a pasture on a fall evening. Such passages have the unnerving quality of being accessible yet somehow ineffable. A part of you is walking through the field with Eugene Gant taking in the cold wind, the smells of smoke and cow manure under the grim sky. Another part of you is asking why that experience feels so real and immediate even though you've never had it before.
Woolfe took a microscope to ordinary people and somehow rendered them great. He did not accord them the stature of epoch heroes or contemporary celebrities. Instead, he rendered their feelings and actions as immediate as their surroundings.
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Before I read this, I was hopeful about Wolfe's writing. I had never read him before and had heard complimentary reviews of his work. I was hoping to find a Modern American writer that has been neglected because of the dominance of Faulkner, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, et al. Wolfe excels in description and that is what much of the novel is, description of his family and his hometown. A thinly veiled autobiography, the novel is a bildungsroman set in his hometown, Asheville, NC. Many times, the description is wonderful and uplifting, but at other times, annoying. Wolfe has a tendency to overwrite. No one wishes this book any longer.
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