Look Homeward, Angel
A legendary author on par with William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Wolfe published Look Homeward, Angel, his first novel, about a young man's burning desire to leave his small town and tumultuous family in search of a better life, in 1929. It gave the world proof of...more
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The Book Report: A legendary author on par with William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Wolfe published Look Homeward, Angel, his first novel, about a young man's burning desire to leave his small town and tumultuous family in search of a better life, in 1929. It gave the world proof of his genius and launched a powerful legacy.
The novel follows the trajectory of Eugene Gant, a brilliant and restless young man whose wanderlust and passion shape his adolescent years in ...more
No, seriously: I've been trying to read it for almost six years. I've tried to read it in the spring, the summer, the fall, the winter -- on planes, on the bus, on the El, in Chicago, in Baltimore, in North Carolina. And every single time, I stall out about 60% of the way through.
Stargate: Atlantis fans think that John Sheppard's still trying to read War and Peace after three years in the Pegasus Galaxy; I canonically can't finish Look Homeward, Angel.
I know it shouldn't ...more
Look Homeward, Angel, First Edition, Charles Scribner's Sons, NY, NY, 1929
The manuscript Thomas Wolfe submitted to master editor Maxwell Perkins was not titled Look Homeward, Angel, A Story of Buried Life. Rather, Wolfe had chosen O Lost: A Story of the Buried Life.
Thomas Wolfe, a buried life?
I call Perkins the master editor for he was already responsible for neatening up the works of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzg ...more
That said, there's something haunting about Wolfe's prose, which often reads almost like prose poem: "Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger ...more
This book is over 500 pages in its original hardcover format and just chuck filled with detail. Here we have a paragraph about Eugene, our protagonist, in his youth:
There was in him a savage honesty, which exercised an uncontrollable domination over...more
I am not certain that someone who is not an English major or a lover of long and in-depth ...more
I read the very first sentence of this book and my heart sank. So I read it again. And again. After about the fifth reading, I finally had some idea what he was trying to say a ...more
This is a tough one for me to rate, let alone review. It's different from a lot of other books/authors I've read.
Stream-of-consciousness. I hear that term tossed around, pinning it on everyone from Faulkner and Joyce, to Fitzgerald and Palahniuk. If that's the case, than even each one of them has their own style within in that ... style.
This book was very "dramatic." The dialogue, the actions of the characters bordered on melodrama. A lot of shrieking and clutching ...more
After finishing the book, I drove to the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Home in downtown Asheville, just to see the boarding house his mother op ...more
The ruinous Gants are mighty memorable, though, and this is the raw material for so many others. Thank you, Thomas Wolfe.
Generally speaking Look Homeward, Angel is about avarice and its consequences. Greed ruined the family and even if the protagonist managed to escape the seeds of destruction were already sown inside him.
Exposed to tuberculosis from early childhood the children contracted this disease and majority of them, including Thomas Wolfe, died of different forms of tuberculosis – so much for a mother’s heart.
“Each moment is the fruit of forty ...more
Thomas Wolfe was born in 1900. So was his fictional surrogate, Eugene Gant. Wolfe grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, a city nestled in a basin of mountains. Asheville was something of a resort community for southerners who wanted to get some mountain air without leaving the South. A lot of people were afflicted with tuberculosis back then, and the recommended cure was to spend a few weeks or months at a sanitarium and breathe th ...more
Do I sound like Oliver Gant?
I hope so….if I hadn’t gotten the audio, I never would have made it through this 500+ page slog. Maybe readers in 1929, when the book was originally published, liked this sort of writing. I remember being assigned to read it in high school but I must’ve gotten the Cliff Notes because I don’t remember a word of it.
Some of it was amusing, like Gant’s rants and Eliza’s greed and obsession with acquiring real estate to the point of ...more
Among the reasons to read it is Wolfe’s writing. He wrote with enormous energy and had an untamed imagination; his writings were intensely personal and emotional, yet hauntingly lyrical. He was a Romantic and by capturing his story, he was trying to capture the experience of all man. In many ways, he is closer to Whitman than almost any other wr ...more
Ok, read O Lost through Part 1, page 176, and I'm disembarking from this train to nowhere? Haha, no, it's good, and I definitely enjoyed this more than LHA, with its humorous sarcasm left intact, but I'm not quite in the mood to continue with ...more
Thomas Wolfe wrote Look Homeward, Angel when he was rather young, and it's almost hard to believe once you trample your way through this lofty tome. It's a highly fictionalized account of Wolfe's own life, told through the character of Eugene Gant from his birth up until just shy of his twentieth year. The family dynamic is surely a complicated one, with an intensl ...more
Wolfe pripada onoj istoj generaciji američkih pisaca kojoj su pripadali i Hemingway, Faulkner, John Dos Passos i F.S.Fitzgerald. Pa ipak, on nikada nije imao gotovo ništa zajedničkog sa pripadnicima tzv. "izgubljene generacije" . Istovremeno, Wolfe je vjer ...more
the random accident of life. the way you sometimes stop and say, "how did i end up here?" the loneliness and isolation of the everyday, when surrounded by people who love you. the desperate circles families run around in. the guilt, shame, pride, expectations and defiance that comes with having a legacy of a large, powerful, rampaging and drunken father.
i'm the kind of person who always skips to the last page and reads t ...more
Thus Wolfe's Bildungsroman greets us and then sends our pert selves down the path on a journey into and out of a mind vexed by spirits past and present. The future burning for fuel hot tears, slovenly humps of passion brought and lost, bright beginnings and desperate losses. Wolfe works a magic which might be described but like all good art, must b ...more
|On the Southern L...: Look Homeward, Angel: Initial Impressions, July, 2014||75||51||Aug 17, 2014 07:37AM|
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Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb we did not know our mother's face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth.
Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father's heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?
O waste of lost, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this weary, unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When?
O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.”