The Story of Mary MacLane shocked the literary world when it was published in April 1902. It sold 100,000 copies in its first month, an astonishing number then and now. Within a few years it had been translated into 36 languages, and writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Hart Crane, and Gertrude Stein lauded it as an important influence in their quests for a new American style.
The author was a 19-year-old girl from the raw, masculine mining town of Butte, Montana. With the publication of this book, Mary MacLane became an overnight sensation. She was called the ‘Wild Woman of Butte,’ a Bohemian, a radical, a feminist, a rebel. Although MacLane went on to write other books, none had the impact of this one, which remains a tour de force about life, love, and longing. Fresh, frank, and funny, ‘The Story of Mary MacLane’ is as powerful today as it was provocative when first published.
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January 17. AS I have said, I want Fame. I want to writeto write such things as compel the admiring acclamations of the world at large; such things as are written but once in years, things subtly but distinctly different from the books written every day. I can do this. Let me but make a beginning, let me but strike the world in a vulnerable spot, and I can take it by storm. Let me but win my spurs, and then you will see meof womankind and young valiantly astride a charger riding down the world, with Fame following at the charger's heels, and the multitudes agape. But oh, more than all this I want to be happy! Fame is indeed benign and gentle and satisfying. But Happiness is something at once tender and brilliant beyond all things. I want Fame more than I can tell. But more than I want Fame I want Happiness. I have never been happy in my weary young life. Think, oh, think, of being happy for a yearfor a day! How brilliantly blue the sky would be; how swiftly and joyously would the gr.een rivers run; how madly, merrily triumphant the four winds of heaven would sweep round the corners of the fair earth! What would I not give for one day, one hour, of that charmed thing Happiness! What would I not give up? How we eager fools tread on each other's heels, and tear each other's hair, and scratch each other's faces, in our furious gallop after Happiness! For some it is embodied in Fame, for some in Money, for some in Power, for some in Virtueand for me in something very much like love. None of the other fools desires Happiness as I desire it. For one single hour of Happiness I would give up at once these things: Fame, and Money, and Power, and Virtue, and Honor, and Righteousness, andTruth, and Logic, and Philosophy, and Genius. The while I would ...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I just couldn't get into this book and wouldn't recommend it.
I do not understand how this self consumed girl ever got published! Out of 432 pages, I would say maybe 100 were worth reading.