By John Williams
William Stoner is born on the finish of the 19th century right into a dirt-poor Missouri farming kinfolk. despatched to the kingdom collage to check agronomy, he as an alternative falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's lifestyles, so various from the hardscrabble life he has identified. And but because the years move, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage right into a "proper" kin estranges him from his mom and dad; his occupation is stymied; his spouse and daughter flip coldly clear of him; a reworking event of latest love ends less than hazard of scandal. pushed ever deeper inside of himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an important solitude.
John Williams's luminous and deeply relocating novel is a piece of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not just as an archetypal American, yet as an not likely existential hero, status, like a determine in a portray via Edward Hopper, in stark aid opposed to an unforgiving international.
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Additional info for Stoner (New York Review Books Classics)
For instance, Trumbull, whose McFingal was their most enduring poem, was the literary mentor of the first Connecticut Romantics, James A. "31 Sigourney and Hillhouse, in turn, from their estates in Hartford and New Haven, patronized younger poets of greater ability, like James Gates Percival and John Greenleaf Whittier. For a time, then, it seemed that Connecticut might produce a third generation of poets to maintain the state's traditional preeminence. Hill- 34 FOUR OVERVIEWS house, Percival, Sigourney, and John G.
Another was the traditional New England respect for learning. Another was Harvard College itself. Understaffed, underequipped, and unsophisticated though it was in contrast to Gottingen, Harvard was the region's chief literary breeding ground, attended by more than one-third of all male New England writers of consequence between the Revolution and the Civil War. 46 A less tangible but even more pervasive background factor was the ethos of liberal, Arminian Congregationalism, whose growth, concurrent with the intensification of evangelical orthodoxy during the Second Awakening (which began in the 1790s), provoked the Unitarian schism of 1815.
In the same spirit is my treatment of the structure of the literary profession, in Chapters 2 and 3, and in the Appendix, which not only concede but THEORETICAL PREMISES 19 proclaim that New England's literary development was influenced by socioeconomic givens. Emerson could not have become a prophet of cosmic optimism unless the role had paid well enough; it paid well enough because enough Americans were attuned to a gospel of moderate progressivism; and they were attuned to that gospel in large part because of the nation's remarkable economic growth, of which the rise of a fullblown literary industry was a conspicuous example.
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