Truth and grotesques
|Sherwood Anderson by David Levine|
From By the Book in the NY Times with Garrison Keillor:
Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What book did you feel you were supposed to like, and didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?
“Winesburg, Ohio,” by Sherwood Anderson, is pretty dreadful, and it inspired a whole lot of bad books about sensitive adolescent males needing to flee the philistines in their hometowns. As for putting books down without finishing them, I do that all the time. When you pass 70, you are no longer obligated to finish what you’ve started, not a book, not a meal, not even a sentence.
Rob's comment: On the other hand, Anderson said this in that book:
There was the truth of virginity and the truth of passion, the truth of wealth and of poverty, of thrift and of profligacy, of carelessness and abandon. Hundreds and hundreds were the truths and they were all beautiful. And then the people came along. Each as he appeared snatched up one of the truths and some who were quite strong snatched up a dozen of them. It was the truths that made the people grotesques. The old man had quite an elaborate theory concerning the matter. It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood.