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Balada o smutné kavárně; Svatebčanka
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Balada o smutné kavárně; Svatebčanka

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  6,669 ratings  ·  437 reviews
A classic work that has charmed generations of readers, this collection assembles Carson McCullers' best stories, including her beloved novella "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe." A haunting tale of a human triangle that culminates in an astonishing brawl, the novella introduces readers to Miss Amelia, a formidable southern woman whose cafe serves as the town's gathering place. ...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published 1985 by Odeon (first published January 1st 1951)
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Carson McCullers rocks my world in a myriad of ways: She rocks it with her brilliant and effortless writing. She rocks it with her ability to portray the lonely/outcast in a lyrical and urgent way. She rocks it by breaking my heart into tiny little pieces thus forcing me to feel and face the darker elements of life. If you haven't read a lick of this gracious and audacious writer, I highly recommend you do so soon.
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McCullers is one I come to for a reckoning, much as I do with Faulkner and O'Connor. One may bundle them up and slot them neatly under the label of Southern Gothic, but that is not a guaranteed invocation of cathedrals crazed by fecundity of both soil and symptom, an American way of the crooked cross where faith is a matter of lust and amputation. While Faulkner plunges in chiaroscuro and O'Connor sears in holy fire, McCullers sings in the twilight of a human soul, casting back on its years
Paquita Maria Sanchez
You know those authors; just when you think you've begun to catch your footing running up the landslide that is all the books and authors you want to read, someone trips you up by mentioning, I don't know, "Carson McCullers," and suddenly you're all shaky-clenched fists and "durmurt, foiled again!" Well, (not Johnny) Carson (not Daily) McCullers, I know a bit about you now, and I think I could love you.

*We have lost soul losers who keep on losing.
*Not everyone is completely hollowed out by cycl
I've noticed many folks who read and review literature on this site will namedrop other authors in a sort of Iron Chef flowery manner of description, knowing that other literary folk will instantly understand what is meant when saying 'this prose invokes a similar sense of spring as Lord Bigbeard With Tiny Spectacles, and a harmonious interplay of flavors identical to Oppressed In Her Time Strong Woman Author' (I swear every episode of Iron Chef used the spring and harmony phrases, it was like " ...more
Feb 07, 2013 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: couraged to flourish and muses often
Recommended to Mariel by: Now slow-mo Quasimoto teeter on
She felt that the marrows of her bones were hollow and there was no blood left in her. Her heart that had been springing against her chest all afternoon felt suddenly dead. She saw it gray and limp and shriveled at the edges like an oyster.
His face seemed to throb out in space before her, come closer with the lurching motion in the veins of his temples. In retreat, she looked down at the piano. Her lips shook like jelly and a surge of noiseless tears made the white keys blur in a watery line. 'I

The town itself is dreary; not much is there except the cotton mill, the two-room houses where workers live, a few peach trees, a church with two colored windows, and a miserable main street only a hundred yards long. On Saturdays the tenants from the near-by farms come in for a day of talk and trade. Otherwise the town is lonesome, sad, and like a place that is far off and estranged from all the other places in the world.

I picked the book mostly based on the title. Mccullers seems to have a k
Farks Falls, um lugar isolado do mundo, de invernos agrestes e verões escaldantes. Pouco mais tem além da fábrica de algodão; as humildes habitações; uma pequena igreja e a mercearia. Ao terminarem o turno da fábrica, os operários nada têm para fazer além de observar as vidas uns dos outros ou, quando muito, podem ir até à estrada ouvir as conversas, os cantares e o som das picaretas dos doze prisioneiros que ali trabalham.
Amélia Evans, uma mulher de forte compleição física, bem sucedida nos neg
There is a dark, syrupy sway to Carson's work that I've always been a sucker for. The Ballad of the Sad Café is faultless.
I devoured it.

She employs her signature style study on heartbreak, cruelty & loneliness, as seen with The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.

Set in a town that is 'lonesome, sad, and like a place that is far off and estranged from all other places in the world', with a striking central character Miss Amelia, whose violent & abrupt marriage inspires her to adopt years of solit
I've just read this again after more than half a lifetime. The town hasn't changed. The intense feelings and moods are as I remember; the grotesqueries, the eroticism which is inverted into a thrilling sense of dread are the same. The book is the stuff of dreams. It's wetly lyrical, swamp stinking and dry, horrible and very, very funny. Biting in its demolition of cherished character types, a distorting mirror of the absurd upon the southern mythologies. The cafe, of course, is sad because it's ...more
This is an excellent collection, with the titled novella being my favorite and having some truly wonderful prose throughout. It struck me as a southern tall tale crossed with that terrible "love gone wrong" plus Southern Gothic. So many parts equal a glorious whole for the reader if not for Miss Amelia.The descriptions of the café and the changes wrought on the town and its inhabitants are exciting to read, so full of life.

But the pride that the café brought to this town had an
effect on almost
Note: Spoilers Ahead

The novella "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" is a Southern Gothic work with eccentric, lonely characters in a rundown Georgia town. Miss Amelia Evans is a six foot two inch rugged woman. She's the owner of a general store, and does a bit of healing with herbs on the side to help the townspeople. They gossip about her ten day marriage to Marvin Macy which ended after she refused his sexual advances. Marvin left town for a life of crime, and landed in the penitentiary.

A hunchback d
There are seven stories in this volume – of them I would guess that in six month time I will remember only two. Those are the title story and the story called The Sojourner. And to celebrate, those are the only stories I’ll talk about here except to say that one of the problems I found with the other stories was that they lacked a real sense of place.

McCullers's The Heart is a Lonely Hunter has been one of the most remarkable books I’ve read all year – perhaps it will become one of my favourite
Jenny (Reading Envy)
I always enjoy Carson McCullers and this collection was no different.

The best two stories were the title story and Wunderkind.

I went looking after I heard this bit from the title story:

"...Every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole ne
Carmo Santos
Uma terra desolada, sem atrativos; casas feias numa única rua ladeada de pessegueiross raquíticos...
Uma mulher dura, fria e também feia. Mas é rica...
Um corcunda feio, interesseiro e manipulador que consegue cativar toda a gente...
Um fora da lei, conflituoso e vingativo. Mas esse é bonito...
Uma população, que à falta de ter com se ocupar, vive suspensa dos acontecimentos gerados por estas três personagens...
À semelhança daquelas pessoas que abrem o frigorifico, pegam nas sobras e fazem um prato
Freaky love triangle, turned on its head. Eric Berne, he of Games People Play fame, dubs the eternal triangle 'Let's You And Him Fight', which presupposes a female egging the two men on to compete for her favours. Hardly. Miss Amelia shares her name and many qualities with our cat: tough, self-sufficient, uninterested in sex - although in our Miss Amy's case this has a lot to do with an operation in her youth. Here the Miss A is a Wise Woman who can Cure Ills as long as they are not Female Compl ...more
Dec 10, 2012 Tfitoby rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tfitoby by: Melanie
Shelves: lit, short-stories
Carson McCullers is beloved of those Southern Literary Trailers who flow through my Goodreads timeline, receiving regular glowing praise. I've never felt the urge to read Lonely Hunter, but on finding this intriguing (and slight) old Penguin I knew it was my time to meet Ms McCullers.

The titular novella is quite something. A haunting tale of a human triangle that culminates in an astonishing brawl, the story of Miss Amelia, a formidable southern woman whose cafe serves as the town's gathering pl
Carson McCullers was obviously a talented writer, and while I didn't love "The Ballad of Sad Cafe" with a capital "L"(personal preference kind of thing), I did enjoy the other short stories included.

Recommend this to those who appreciate the "literary" genre. I haven't read a lot of Eudora Welty's work, but "The Ballad of Sad Cafe" reminded me of the one novella I did read by Welty, The Robber Bridegroom, in terms of story telling and overall quality of writing.
Diane S.
Loved this story. Can see it a an Appalachian country ballad set to music. The St Wunderkind was very good too,. She is such an authentic writer, very attuned to time and place.
McCullers' voice in this haunting tale (like that of Ngugi wa Thiong'o in A Grain of Wheat) often takes on the folk ballad posture of an anonymous (or perhaps dispersed) community member. She labours over the authenticity of this tone, fleshing it with a complete vocabulary of cultural experience available in the town, emphasising its remote status and insularity without superiority, and often repudiating stereotype. Despite this refusal to retreat to the default god-author position, she is able ...more
“The Ballad of the Sad Café” has an intensity which I can only liken to a Tennessee Williams play. Fantastic. McCullers mixes odd, complex characters together (like a wandering hunchback, the wealthiest woman of a small town, and the bad apple who is her ex-husband) and manages to make their stories believable. As satisfying as a large novel.

Interesting to note in “Wunderkind” another young woman with an almost painful yearning to play and be one with classical music, similar to Mick Kelly in Th
Poignant short story of repressed feelings, mystery and missed opportunity in a small impoverished southern community, concerning Miss Amelia, cousin Lymon the hunchback, and Marvin Macy.

It also contains several even shorter stories in the book, several with an overtly musical theme - like the title of this volume, much of her other work and indeed her life. In particular, Wunderkind probably echoes her thwarted plans to study at the Juliard (she lost the fees on the subway, so took a creative
This title popped up as one of my group reads but having read none McCullers' work I wasn't sure if I should start with a collection of shorts or hold out for The Heart is a Lonely Hunter(which has been on my tbr for quite some time). I figured if nothing else, the group would help me compare this work to her other full length titles so I jumped in. Some really wonderful stories!

The title story, "Ballad" was the longest(short, novella or novelette, I'd love to hear someone explain the difference

Although I live today in the rural Southwestern US, I was born and bred in the american South. I left in 1975 at the age of 25. There was/is much to become alienated with about the South; the racism, the right-wing idealogies, the chauvanism, the narrow-minded parochialism. But there is much to love also: The vast and complex flora--springtime lasts five months; and each week there seem to be at least four different varieties of flowers in bloom! The lay of the
Lush and tender. After reading the crappy sentences of "The Pillars of the Earth," sinking into McCullers's sentences was like easing into a hot bath: "In addition to the store she operated a still three miles back in the swamp, and ran out the best liquor in the country." Ahh. So I didn't mind so much the melodrama or the adolescent rhapsody in sentences like "Otherwise the town is lonesome, sad, and like a place that is far off and estranged from all other places in the world." Or the awful pa ...more

«Quem viveu acompanhado teme ver-se abandonado. O silêncio de um quarto aquecido onde de repente o relógio par de trabalhar, as sombras de uma casa vazia… É melhor receber o pior inimigo o que enfrentar o terror da solidão.» (p. 64)
"Ma il cuore dei bambini è un organo delicato. E un inizio crudele nel mondo può torcerlo e deviarlo nelle forme più strane. Il cuore di un bambino offeso s'avvizzerà in modo tale da restare poi per sempre duro e bucherellato come un nocciolo di pesca. O altrimenti s'empirà di tristezza e si gonfierà tanto che sarà una pena portarselo dietro, facile a ferirsi e addolorarsi per le minime cose."

Estratto dal primo di questi sette racconti, quasi un romanzo breve. Ambientati nel profondo sud degli S
Review and 5 star rating for Ballad only.

While reflecting on this novella by McCullers, a metaphor popped into my head. This story is like the mystery of Mona Lisa's smile. The narrator can only tell you what was observed in the first floor cafe of Miss Amelia's home. Amelia is a private person whose intimate life she never shares. For her entire life her second floor is off-limits to everyone but a stranger who claims to be a distant, non-blood cousin, who Miss Amelia decides to take in for unk
“Any number of wicked things could be listed against him, but quite apart from these crimes there was about him a secret meaness that clung to him almost like a smell.”

Sometimes I pick up a book, read it, and realize with a kind of fear that there are just too many great writers I’ve never heard of and too many wonderful books I’ve yet to read. The fear stems from the fact that many of these books I’ll never discover; their language will never speak to me.

I picked up The Ballad of the Sad Café (
The Ballad of the Sad Cafe is an odd little story, which partly explains why I like it. It's sad, and sharp, and full of imagery. It has a haunting effect that leaves you knowing that you may not ever understand what it means. But, it leaves you wondering. For me, that's enough to recognize it as beautifully literary.

What was clear to me in this story is the complexity of love and companionship, and just how inexplicable it can be. Carson McCullers captured the subtleties of town mentality and
I bought this book at a used bookstore after seeing the following quote on someone's facebook page:

"The most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the field."

The Ballad of the Sad Cafe is certainly the most memorable story in the collection. Reading this book made me contemplate what happened to all the characters in American fiction? Why is every protagonist now written to be an Every Man? Where are the cross-eyed whiskey d
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  • Pale Horse, Pale Rider
  • The Collected Stories
  • The Lonely Hunter: A Biography of Carson McCullers
  • The Grass Harp, Including A Tree of Night and Other Stories
  • The Violent Bear it Away
  • Let the Dead Bury Their Dead
  • Asylum Piece
  • The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake
  • The Little Disturbances of Man
  • After Rain
  • The Wild Palms [If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem]
  • Collected Stories
  • The Outlaw Album: Stories
  • Collected Stories
  • Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?
  • The Granta Book of the American Short Story
  • The Complete Stories
Carson McCullers (February 19, 1917 – September 29, 1967) was an American writer. She wrote fiction, often described as Southern Gothic, that explores the spiritual isolation of misfits and outcasts of the South.

From 1935 to 1937 she divided her time, as her studies and health dictated, between Columbus and New York and in September 1937 she married an ex-soldier and aspiring writer, Reeves McCul
More about Carson McCullers...
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter The Member of the Wedding Reflections in a Golden Eye Collected Stories Clock without Hands

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“First of all, love is a joint experience between two persons — but the fact that it is a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the two people involved. There are the lover and the beloved, but these two come from different countries. Often the beloved is only a stimulus for all the stored-up love which had lain quiet within the lover for a long time hitherto. And somehow every lover knows this. He feels in his soul that his love is a solitary thing. He comes to know a new, strange loneliness and it is this knowledge which makes him suffer. So there is only one thing for the lover to do. He must house his love within himself as best he can; he must create for himself a whole new inward world — a world intense and strange, complete in himself. Let it be added here that this lover about whom we speak need not necessarily be a young man saving for a wedding ring — this lover can be man, woman, child, or indeed any human creature on this earth.

Now, the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. A man may be a doddering great-grandfather and still love only a strange girl he saw in the streets of Cheehaw one afternoon two decades past. The preacher may love a fallen woman. The beloved may be treacherous, greasy-headed, and given to evil habits. Yes, and the lover may see this as clearly as anyone else — but that does not affect the evolution of his love one whit. A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poison lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.

It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many. The beloved fears and hates the lover, and with the best of reasons. For the lover is forever trying to strip bare his beloved. The lover craves any possible relation with the beloved, even if this experience can cause him only pain.”
“And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being loved is intolerable to many.” 96 likes
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