Look Homeward, Angel (Paperback) - Wolfe, Thomas

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A Southern family with a great appetite for living is dominated by the father until an older son, Eugene, is able to free himself from his rural North Carolina hometown to seek the challenges of an Ivy League education and big city life. Reissue. 75,000 first printing. *Author: Wolfe, Thomas *Publication Date: 2006/10/10 *Number of Pages: 544 *Binding Type: Paperback *Language: English *Depth: 1.25 *Width: 6.00 *Height: 9.00


Publisher Simon & Schuster
Mfg Part# 9780743297318
SKU 202532411
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0743297318
Release Date 4/10/2007
Dimensions (in Inches) 9H x 6L x 1.25T
Author Info
Thomas Wolfe
Wolfe, one of seven children in a troubled alcoholic family, was the son of a stonecutter--a profession which figures in his first novel, LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL. He received his B.A. in 1920 from the University of North Carolina and an M.A. from Harvard in 1922. He taught briefly at New York University, traveled extensively, and eventually settled down to writing his vast, turbulent novels, most of which were based on his own history as a writer and a man. He was fortunate that his editor at Scribner's was the legendary Maxwell Perkins, who helped him shape LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL into a coherent work of art by cutting (opinions vary) somewhere between 66,000 and 90,000 words. A hard drinker who led a generally chaotic life, Wolfe died at the age of 38 of a tubercular lesion to the brain. On his tombstone are the lines (from LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL): "The last voyage, the longest, the best."
"[I]t is a rich positive grappling with life, a remembrance of things past untinged by the shadow of regret, of one who has found his youthful experiences full of savor. No more sensuous (not to be construed as sensual) novel has been written in the United States."
"[L]ike very true work of the imagination it has deep, strong, sustaining roots in the senses and therefore loves and praises life....The epic of the Gant family is the most powerful piece of fiction from present-day America that I know of."
"Here is a novel of the sort one is too seldom priviledged to welcome. It is a book of great drive and vigor, of profound originality, of rich and variant color....The color of the book is not borrowed; it is native and essential. Mr. Wolfe has a very great gift--the ability to find in simple events and in humble, unpromising lives the whole meaning and poetry of human existence....His style is sprawling, fecund, subtly rhythmic and amazingly vital. He twists language masterfully to his own uses, heeding neither the decency of a word nor its licensed existence, so long as he secures his sought for and instantaneous effect."
"It was with America he was most deeply concerned and I believe he opened it up as no other writer ever did for the people of his time and for the writers and artists and poets of tomorrow. Surely he had a thing to tell us."
"LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL, pure in ambition, dressed in the ornaments of his vast reading, rich, almost burdened with a grand style of adjective and metaphor, and homely enough in catching the diction, the pauses, the pretensions and evasions of the strangers and family that explode in the pages. LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL is a pastoral of memory, a graveyard of youth and not a recording but a strange magnification shaped by an untamed imagination."
"There is such a mammoth appreciation of experience and of living that the intention of the novel cannot be articulated.... If I could create one magic word that would make everyone want to read the book I would write it down and be utterly satisfied."
From the Publisher
First Line A destiny that leads the English to the Dutch is strange enough; but one that leads from Epsom into Pennsylvania, and thence into the hills that shut in Altamont over the proud coral cry of the cock, and the soft stone smile of an angel is touched by that dark miracle of chance which makes new magic in a dusty world.
Annotation LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL, Wolfe's first novel, was published on October 18, 1929 only a few days before the great stock market crash. It is the coming-of-age story of Eugene Gant, whose restlessness and yearning to experience life to the fullest take him from his rural home in North Carolina to Harvard. Through his rich, ornate prose and meticulous attention to detail, Wolfe evokes the peculiarities of small-town life, and the pain and upheaval of leaving home. Heavily autobiographical, LOOK HOMEWARD, ANGEL, is Wolfe's most turbulent and passionate work, and a brilliant novel of lasting impact. In his preface, Wolfe wrote: "Dr. Johnson remarked that a man would run over half a library to make a single book: in the same way, a novelist may turn over half the people in a town to make a single figure in his novel. This is not the whole method but the writer believes it illustrates the whole method in a book that is written from a middle distance and is without rancor or bitter intention."
Editors Note A Southern family with a great appetite for living is dominated by the father until an older son, Eugene, is able to free himself from his rural North Carolina hometown to seek the challenges of an Ivy League education and big city life. Reissue. 75,000 first printing.
Product Attributes
eBooks Kobo
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0512
Publisher Scribner Book Company

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