I have’t kept up with the up-and-down reputations of some authors. Several years ago it was suggested to me that I read an excellent but almost forgotten author, Richard Yates. At that time a collection of his stories was all I could find at my local big-box bookstore; I read a few stories and later bought a Yates’ novel off the remainder rack, but I didn’t pay much attention to the author. Two novels—The Easter Parade and Revolutionary Road—were waiting for me to read, hidden in the back row of my bookshelves.
Then they made a movie of Revolutionary Road with Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio and, as is my habit, I dug out my copy of the novel and read it before I eventually watched the movie. Both were good. Yates was on an upswing and even the smaller bookstores (that are left) were stocking newly published editions of his books.
Continue reading “The Easter Parade”
Richard Yates has one of his primary characters in Revolutionary Road offer this fantasy view of life:
… I still had this idea that there was a whole world of marvelous golden people somewhere, as far ahead of me as the seniors at Rye when I was in sixth grade; people who knew everything instinctively, who made their lives work out the way they wanted without trying, who never had to make the best of a bad job because it never occurred to them to do anything less that perfectly the first time. Sort of heroic super-people, all of them beautiful and witty and calm and kind, and I always imagined that when I did find them I’d suddenly know that I belonged among them, that I was one of them, that I’d been meant to be one of them all along, and everything in the meantime had been a mistake; and they’d know it too. I’d be like the ugly duckling among the swans. — April Wheeler
Continue reading “The Tragic Irony of the 1950s”