storytellers

It’s funny how what you’re exposed to becomes so inter-referential once you have your eyes opened. More about John Cheever from The Observer:

Nor – who knows why? – is he much taught in universities.

How can this be? It is unfathomable, especially in the case of the stories. They are so very beautiful, and singular. Cheever has all the dash of Scott Fitzgerald – an evanescence that calls to mind fine, cold champagne – but he combines it miraculously with a desolate modernism that is all his own. “Cheever’s characters are adult, full of adult darkness, corruption, and confusion,” wrote John Updike in a review of Bailey’s biography he must have written shortly before he [Updike] died. “They are desirous, conflicted, alone, adrift… His errant protagonists move, in their fragile suburban simulacra of paradise, from one island of momentary happiness to the imperilled next.”

The piece is in response to the mentioned biography. It makes a nice precis of the man’s life, especially for those of us who will probably never be moved to read 600 pages or so of his existence in detail. That’s a lot of alcoholism and closeted gay sex.

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~ by A Mundi on October 19, 2009.

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