A writer’s nightmare: his degrading day job as a lonely hearts advice columnist is only the beginning
Praised by great writers from Flannery O’Conner to Jonathan Lethem, Miss Lonelyhearts is an American classic. A newspaper reporter assigned to write the agony column in the depths of the Great Depression seeks respite from the poor souls who send in their sad letters, only to be further tormented by his viciously cynical editor, Shrike. This single volume of Miss Lonelyhearts features its original Alvin Lustig jacket design, as well as a new introduction by Harold Bloom, who calls it “my favorite work of modern American fiction.”
|Publisher:||New Directions Publishing Corporation|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
In 1940, when an automobile accident prematurely claimed Nathanael West's life, he was a relatively obscure writer, the author of only four short novels. West's reputation has grown considerably since then and he is now considered one of the 20th century's major authors. Born in New
York, West worked as the night manager of the Kenmore Hotel on East 23rd
Street in Manhattan, as a contract scriptwriter for Columbia Pictures in Hollywood, and as a screenwriter for RKO Radio Picture.
Harold Bloomis Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. His many distinguished books includeThe Anxiety of Influence(1973, 1997),The Western Canon(1994),Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human(1998), andHow to Read and Why(2000).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found this book to be a commentary on the concept of hysteria, as posed by Freud. It is stated that Miss Lonelyhearts feels he is hysterical. This is due to the plight of the people who send in there life stories to his column, the shallow irony of modernity, and a renewed fervent faith in Christianity--that requires a level of personal purity (described as humility) that is unsustainable. His various psychological and physical ailments all seem to fall under this wide umbrella of "hysteria". Although this story can be looked at as an existential journey, I found it to be more along the lines of an antiquated interpretation of a psychiatric case study. I found it particularly appropriate that his gender is somewhat obfuscated by his pen name, allowing for a diagnosis of hysteria in a man--something Freud wouldn't do, to best of my knowledge. In this way I feel that this writing is also a commentary on femininity. Although I couldn't quite glean what that commentary was.
Christ, this book depressed me.
I love the wonderful cover art of this book. I also agree that "Art can be the way out or the way in."I picked up a copy at the library yesterday and read the book last night while my granddaughter was giving birth to my great granddaughter, Madisen (or Madison) Lena. Our baby is here. Yea!~!~!~!But the book, the book; I found to be very humorous (I must be sick), full of satire, full of really sick and perverse persons, thoughts and ideas, but it held my interest all the way through and I enjoyed/appreciated it. None of these people have a clue about life and West is very good at sticking that right in your face. I like West's writing style very much.I found it rather strange and interesting that "Miss Lonelyhearts" removed the "writhing Christ" from the cross just to hang Him writhing on the plaster wall, especially since he always wants to go with the God thing when answering letters.I'm glad I read it but I am also glad that I didn't shell out any $ for the book because I really don't see myself reading this one again.However Nathanael West is going on my list of authors to be read.
En Francais......Reminiscent of a novella that Sartre would have written, this is a story of existential angst. A lonely hearts columnist becomes overwhelmed by the pain in the letters he receives and the crisis which ensues is gripping. Very good.
Hard to read the text due to spacing and typing errors. The story itself is bleak, blunt and provocative all at once. A case study in male psychology, though the cover suggests otherwise.