All this talk about Historical Fiction and I realize that I recently finished reading the first part of John Dos Passos’ excellent U. S. A. trilogy, The 49th Parallel. It’s so good and compelling that I can’t believe I didn’t read it years ago. Of course, my true but oft repeated excuse is that I was trained to eschew American literature and have only tried to catch-up in my waning years. My work was always Keats, Joyce, Wycherley, and Milton; who knew there was great writing in America? … and Dos Passos is a great writer. Reading his fiction makes writers like Hemingway even more disappointing.
Tag: Henry Roth
What say you, Ecclesias?
I commented on the narrative structure of Henry Roth’s Mercy of a Rude Stream but reading over that earlier post, I felt I had missed some of the layers of narrative and set to diagramming the structure.Continue reading “What say you, Ecclesias?”
Mercy of a Rude Stream
The story goes that after writing the excellent novel, Call It Sleep, Henry Roth lost his muse and was unable to continue his literary career. It took from 1934 to 1979 to completely break through this monumental case of writer’s block. The book that Roth unleashed his revived literary vision on was called Mercy of a Rude Stream. Mercy was to be six volumes but was published as four volumes (the last two posthumously). The final two volumes were re-edited after the death of Roth and published as An American Type which continued the Ira Stigman saga begun in Mercy.Continue reading “Mercy of a Rude Stream”