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اثر جان چیور از انتشارات کتاب نشر نیکا - مترجم: محمد طلوعی-برندگان جوایز ادبی

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Well constructed, resonant short stories. Cheever is strong on character, melancholia. Whats unexpected is the spiritual subtext of most these stories. Some serve as cautionary tales and parables in the deterministic religious spirit of a Flannery OConnor. At times it feels like this is the best way a short story could be written, his influence of Fitzgerald is welcome over the usual Hemingway influence in short story writing. When one reads the Enormous Radio he doesnt forget it. Small moments where the characters speak in a very particular way, or a woman looks across the table with a new look on her face-- I dont know how but Cheever captures these individual moments. Lots of highballs herein and regrets, so consume these stories with caution.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
I have read and read this book over the years.

Classic tales like @The Swimmer@ and @The Five-Forty-Eight@ never fail to make me marvel at the linguistic mastery Cheever displays--how he moves the emotion of his upper middle and middle class subjects through the grit and weight of their social surroundings.

Can I quote Cheever himself here? He says it so much better in his preface than I could even imagine doing on my own. @These stories seem at times to be stories of a long-lost world when the city of New York was still filed with a river light, when you heard the Benny Goodman quartets from a radio in the corner stationery store, and when almost everybody wore a hat.@

These days, I need an escape to this simpler time.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
I read about half of the stories, and while they are all very distinct and have their own flavor, this collection suffers from the massive @collected@ structure--since these are all flawed urban/suburban characters, the cumulative weight of all their failures made the book too heavy to pick up after page 300. I do plan to pick it back up again, and some of my favorites (so far) have been @Torch Song@ @Clancy in the Tower of Babel@ and @The Season of Divorce.@

I think the reading experience would have been substantially different if I had encountered them in the New Yorker, as originally published. I imagine the stories, with all their commonalities, would have a pleasurable, serialized effect.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
@Oh what can you do with a man like that? What can you do? How can you dissuade his eye in a crowd from seeking out the cheek with acne, the infirm hand; how can you teach him to respond to the inestimable greatness of the race, the harsh surface beauty of life, how can you put his finger for him on the obdurate truths before which fear and horror are powerless? The sea that morning was iridescent and dark. My wife and my sister were swimming--Diana and Helen--and I saw their uncovered heads, black and gold in the dark water. I saw them come out and I saw that they were naked, unshy, beautiful, and full of grace, and I watched the naked women walk out of the sea.@

مشاهده لینک اصلی
This book is everything. And if you cant find it in here, in one of Cheevers many, many masterpieces, then its nothing.

Cheever is the GOAT at suburban angst. His specialty is characters who can quickly identify the faults of all who surround them, but cant even fathom their own. Basically, they are humans. Cheever writes about humans who are so human, they seem inhuman. Because we dont want to see any part of ourselves in these dolts, these narcissists, these... people.

Read this. Read it again. And then read your favorites one more time. You may find yourself in there somewhere.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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