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eBook Eustace Chisholm and the Works ePub

eBook Eustace Chisholm and the Works ePub

by James Purdy

  • ISBN: 0786715022
  • Category: Literature and Fiction
  • Subcategory: Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian
  • Author: James Purdy
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf (November 30, 2004)
  • Pages: 300
  • ePub book: 1750 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1540 kb
  • Other: lrf docx lrf azw
  • Rating: 4.1
  • Votes: 798

Description

Building to a shocking conclusion, Eustace Chisholm and the Works is a dark and gothic look at the strange and . No James Purdy novel has dazzled contemporary writers more than this haunting tale of unrequited love in an indifferent world

Building to a shocking conclusion, Eustace Chisholm and the Works is a dark and gothic look at the strange and terrible power of love amid a "psychic American landscape of deluded innocence, sexual obsession, violence, and isolation" (William Grimes, New York Times). No James Purdy novel has dazzled contemporary writers more than this haunting tale of unrequited love in an indifferent world. A seedy depression-era boarding house in Chicago plays host to "a game of emotional chairs" (The Guardian) in a novel initially condemned for its frank depiction of abortion, homosexuality, and life on the margins of American society.

Liveright publishing corporation. A Division of W. W. Norton & Company. This was originally given as a speech on November 8, 2005, when Jonathan Franzen chose Eustace Chisholm and the Works on behalf of the Mercantile Library for the Clifton Fadiman Award for Excellence in Fiction, given annually to an American novel deemed most worthy of rediscovery.

James Purdy (1914–2009) was born in rural Ohio, moving to Chicago at an early age and eventually to Brooklyn. First recognized by critics in Britain, his published works-including nineteen novels in addition to story collections and plays-have been widely translated

James Purdy (1914–2009) was born in rural Ohio, moving to Chicago at an early age and eventually to Brooklyn. First recognized by critics in Britain, his published works-including nineteen novels in addition to story collections and plays-have been widely translated. He was awarded two Guggenheim Fellowships, Ford and Rockefeller Foundation grants, the Morton Dauwen Zabel Fiction Award from the Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Clifton Fadiman Medal, and was nominated for a PEN/Faulkner Award.

It seems likely that Purdy himself was something of a depressive, and in this regard, 'Eustace Chisholm and the Works' fits smoothly into the body of his work. 2 people found this helpful.

Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by Tracey Gutierres on November 27, 2013. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata). Terms of Service (last updated 12/31/2014).

Purdy recalls that Eustace Chisholm and the Works, named one of the Publishing Triangle's 100 Best Lesbian .

Purdy recalls that Eustace Chisholm and the Works, named one of the Publishing Triangle's 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Novels of the 20th Century, outraged the New York literary establishment. Set in a rooming-house in depression-era Chicago the novel brings a marvellous game of emotional chairs.

James Purdy, whose dark, often savagely comic fiction evoked an. .On a hunch, Mr. Purdy sent the books to Sitwell, who was impressed.

James Purdy, whose dark, often savagely comic fiction evoked an American psychic landscape of deluded innocence, sexual obsession, violence and isolation, died on Friday in Englewood, . He was 94 and lived in Brooklyn Heights. His death was confirmed by John Uecker, a friend and assistant. Supporters of his work arranged for the private publication of his stories and the novella 63: Dream Palace, about two orphaned brothers who leave West Virginia for Chicago, where they fall prey to a series of exploiters. The novella, she wrote to Mr. Purdy, was a masterpiece from every point of view.

His most famous works (Eustace Chisholm, Malcolm, Narrow Rooms, In A Shallow Grave) belong to the most mysteriously beautiful American novels ever and the literature of the whole Western World. James Purdy at his best. com User, April 20, 2001.

No James Purdy novel has dazzled contemporary writers more than this haunting tale . Rate it . You Rated it .

No James Purdy novel has dazzled contemporary writers more than this haunting tale of unrequited love in an indifferent world. Building to a shocking conclusion, Eustace Chisholm and the Works is a dark and gothic look at the strange and terrible power of love amid a "psychic American landscape of deluded innocence, sexual obsession, violence, and isolation" (William Grimes, New York Times).

Электронная книга "Eustace Chisholm and the Works: A Novel", James Purdy

Электронная книга "Eustace Chisholm and the Works: A Novel", James Purdy. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "Eustace Chisholm and the Works: A Novel" для чтения в офлайн-режиме.

A literary cult hero of major proportions, James Purdy’s exquisitely surreal fiction—Tennessee Williams meets William S. Burroughs—has been populated for more than forty years by social outcasts living in crisis and longing for love. His acclaimed first novel, Malcolm (1959), won praise from writers as diverse as Dame Edith Sitwell, Dorothy Parker, and Gore Vidal, while his later works, from the award-winning In a Shallow Grave (1976) to Gertrude of Stony Island Avenue (1998), influenced new generations of authors. Eustace Chisholm and the Works, a 1967 novel that became a gay classic, is an especially outspoken book among the author’s controversial body of work. Purdy recalls that Eustace Chisholm and the Works—named one of the Publishing Triangle’s 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Novels of the 20th Century—outraged the New York literary establishment. More than breaking out of the pre-Stonewall closet, however, the book liberated its author and readers can be grateful for that.

Comments

tref tref
I read this book 50 years ago and found it intriguing, but didn't really understand it. On this reading, at age 70, I decided it was a GREAT novel, up there with Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
Kagda Kagda
Not too much more to say. Well written fiction but did not survive the test of time. More of interest to scholars than to fiction readers. The construction of the story is very interesting.
Invissibale Invissibale
James Purdy's 'Eustace Chisholm and the Works' (1967) is a somewhat difficult book to contextualize, since it was originally released in an era when such brazenly provocative and coarse 'social' novels were not published by reputable firms like Farrar, Straus, Giroux, though novels and short stories dealing directly with various facets of homosexuality had been published since the 1930s, if typically by smaller sponsors such as New Directions. By 1967, however, the Sexual Revolution was in full swing in America, and the traditional guardians of culture, especially those of a commercial bent, were quickly relaxing centuries-old standards.

'Eustace' is a loosely-structured, uneven novel, with the title character, who is ultimately of secondary importance, acting as an absurdist commentator on and a Greek chorus to the events of the larger narrative (tellingly, the novel opens with Eustace attempting to learn to read and write Greek). When not providing a way station for the disenfranchised, Eustace, who describes himself as a "queen" and a "criminal degenerate," and who suffers from syphilis, spends most of his life in his dingy Chicago apartment writing a lengthy and seemingly endless poem on old newspapers, while his adulterous wife supports them both financially. By the book's final section, much to his dismay, Eustace will not only be commenting on events, but actually predicting events with pinpoint accuracy.

The book has two main characters--young Amos Ratcliffe and the older "walnut"-skinned Daniel Haws--but no actual protagonist until the story radically reshapes itself towards its end. Amos is a sensitive, scholarly and handsome youth living hand-to-mouth during the last years of the Great Depression, and Daniel, an ex-coal miner, is initially only Amos's rigorous landlord. Both live in a ramshackle rooming house that appears to have been condemned.

Then Daniel begins sleepwalking and visiting Amos's room at 2:00 a.m. each morning, though the pair does nothing more than fiercely embrace on each occasion. Amos falls in love with Daniel, and Daniel slowly begins to become aware of his own nightly wanderings and subconscious sexual attraction to the youth. But neither can comfortably accept or understand their feelings or confront the other, so they passively allow 'life' to come between them, and Amos regretfully moves on to financially greener pastures as the inamorato of Reuben Masterson, a wealthy socialite slowly going to seed in the suburbs.

Interestingly, both Djuna Barnes' 'Nightwood' (1936) and Carson McCullers' 'Reflections in a Golden Eye' (1941) depicted one or more of its homosexually-inclined or sexually ambivalent characters as literal and figurative sleepwalkers, so it is notable that the motif is utilized again in 'Eustace.'

By 21st century standards, 'Eustace' is fairly tame, but 1967 American readers were unprepared to encounter low camp passages set in seedy abortion clinics or transvestite dance halls, or happening upon sentences in which a character expresses a desire to "drink" another's semen, as Reuben does of Amos. One character has sexual intercourse with his mother, though his action has no meaning or purpose within the context of the wider narrative, and males surrender themselves to "every graduate 2nd lieutenant from West Point" or "to black or white without stint or refusal."

'Eustace Chisholm and the Works' is a predominantly comedic novel, though not a very funny one, and a rare excellent example of low, rather than high, camp. Since Purdy excels at illustrating Daniel's tormented psychology and the barbaric events that result from it in the book's climax, it is perhaps a shame that Purdy didn't approach his subject in a more 'realistic' and subtly dramatic manner, as he did, for example, in 1961's 'The Nephew,' the first 115 pages of 1981's 'Mourners Below,' or as McCullers did in 'Reflections in a Golden Eye,' from which Purdy lifts the army barracks setting and the closeted, sadistic military officer as well as the somnambulist. The novel's other ready antecedents are Genet's remarkable 'Querelle of Brest' (1947) and Melville's 'Billy Budd' (1888-1891, published 1924).

One of the challenges in appreciating 'Eustace' is that great swaths of the novel are so sketchily composed that they seem almost improvised, as if, again and again, Purdy became momentarily bored with his creation, stopped writing abruptly, and, later, never bothered to reread or revise his manuscript.

One important character's death towards the climax is accomplished in the most cursory manner possible, while in other scenes, especially those regarding sexual intimacy, it is impossible to understand exactly what has transpired, which is important in a narrative in which sexual boundaries play a significant role. The answer cannot be that Purdy was unable to have the book published with sexual acts overtly depicted, since he's quite able--twice--to have Rueben Masterson baldly discussing his desire to drink Amos's semen. And there are endless ways in which writers can clarify sexual acts without being explicit, if that is what is necessary.

Daniel's return to military life at the book's end is oddly the most realistic portion of the book--and the most surreal.

Do military men, including the highest ranking, sleep outdoors on the grass, and, on occasion, sleep outdoors with other soldiers resting casually beside them? Purdy has Captain Stadger napping, clothed or unclothed, on the lawn repeatedly and at any time of the day, which makes no sense, especially on an otherwise highly organized and disciplined military base. After one sadomasochistic encounter with Stadger, Daniel is bleeding and battered, but almost no one else seems to notice his physical condition, not even the infirmary staff, though another officer, Sergeant Munsey, who is sympathetic to Daniel's plight, warns him that Stadger is controlling and abusive. But wouldn't Munsey comment, however briefly, on Daniel's lacerated chest, black eyes and busted lips?

Purdy essentially asks the reader to accept such gaps of logic and 'realism' as components of the text, but this patchwork style repeatedly hampers the momentum and breaks the narrative spell. If such techniques were intended to be 'Modernist,' then Purdy was some thirty-five years too late.

Another challenge in appreciating 'Eustace' is that it is an example of the 'doomed homosexual' genre, one exercised by literary mavericks like Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, Gore Vidal and Tennessee Williams in their era, but one also reflected by dozens of lesser authors of the same period, most of whom, with the best of intentions, negatively romanticized the homosexual male as a kind of Byronic hero, 'fated' to a life of sterility, secrecy, denial, ostracization, and alcoholism. For most of these writers, the loathing American society had for homosexuality was undeniably deeply internalized. Bowles, Burroughs, Vidal, Williams and McCullers linked homosexuality directly to drug abuse, incest, cannibalism, sadomasochism and murder, and Purdy follows their lead. Readers will have varied degrees of patience with Purdy in this regard, though those who complete the novel may gain some insight into Twentieth century social perceptions of homosexuality.

All of Purdy's novels are somewhat muted and depressing; his characters typically live stunted, workaday existences at best, and are without recourse to 'traditional American values' or ethical principles, which are simply absent from the landscape or rendered as nothing more than shams and illusions--certainly none live in Emerson's world where "nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles." 'Good' families are invariably revealed as avaricious, hypocritical, discriminatory, and energetically erecting a false front to disguise their own colossal moral failings. It seems likely that Purdy himself was something of a depressive, and in this regard, 'Eustace Chisholm and the Works' fits smoothly into the body of his work.
NI_Rak NI_Rak
I find it hard to believe that James Purdy is so neglected when he is so good. If you're a fan of Flannery O'Conner, I urge you to read Purdy - you will not be disappointed. "Eustace Chisholm" is a stunning achievement. A compelling tale of unrequited love,self loathing, and horror. This is a great train wreck of a book, filled with charcaters and situations you may wish you'd never encountered, and yet you are compelled by forces ungovernable to continue reading. Yes, the material is dark. The characters fail to come together in any positive ways - quite the contrary. Purdy has populated his tale with emotional illiterates; people who most assuredly feel that God has forgotten them. The story of Amos and Daniel is rife with symbolism - innocence corrupted, love demonized, self flagellation - it's all here. The conclusion is quite stunning, horrible and real. Purdy is a true American original, a Gay author who wrote about gay people long before it was fashionable to do so. DO NOT LET THIS ONE GET AWAY UNREAD.
Quemal Quemal
No better way to start this short little review with one of the most beautiful titles ever found (by Purdy): Color of Darkness. Almost all of Purdy's work can be characterized by this metaphor. His most famous works (Eustace Chisholm, Malcolm, Narrow Rooms, In A Shallow Grave) belong to the most mysteriously beautiful American novels ever and the literature of the whole Western World. Truly American in characters, truly universal in themata, truly disturbing in effect. He reminded me of those other greatgreatgreat American authors, Flannery o'Connor, Faulkner and Poe. Younger authors like Easton Ellis and the likes of him are simply looking bleak and lifeless compared with Purdy, although i also liked reading them.
Purdy's work is really about Love and the disturbing effects of it on humans and the human society. Never was there an American author who understood so deeply the fundamental qualities and nature of Human Love, clearifying it, to make the reader understand, to feel the fundamental and terrible force of it. I can't even begin to tell about the beauty of his work. I read Eustace Chisholm, Narrow Rooms, In A Shallow Grave years and years ago, I don't even know whether Purdy lives or is dead, but the effect of his work is there, again and again, never to leave anymore. I can only wish there was more of such work.
I am so glad that there are still Americans who also appreciate his work, and that they write so highly regarding of him. People all over the world should read it, especially in these days when the ultimate form of love seems primarily to be transformed into the Love For...Homeland ...
Read it, for God's sake.
Tejora Tejora
I cannot remember having read a book that made me souneasy. Why read it then, you may ask? Because, as the liberal mindedperson I thought I was (liberal)before reading this book. I liked to be accepting of all aspects of human desire, however concocted they seemed to me. The book abuses that spirit by presenting desires that are hard to accept as "humane" or "healthy", while at the same time the fulfilment of those desires are convincingly portrayed as redeeming and liberating. But how can I accept what to me seems most gruelsome? I think the book showed me that what I thought was my liberal accepting spirit, was in fact more some sort of... curiosity. I feel all the better for it.