Stories in an Almost Classical Mode
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Stories in an Almost Classical Mode (Nahezu klassische Stories)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  265 ratings  ·  18 reviews
These 17 short stories represent the best of Brodkey's work over three decades.
Paperback, 608 pages
Published October 23rd 1989 by Vintage Books (first published 1988)
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James
If this isn’t the single largest non-Collected Stories collection of stories published in the modern era, it’s close enough that I totally could have lied about it just now and no one even remotely familiar with the work of Harold Brodkey would have raised an eyebrow. To the extent that Brodkey is remembered at all today, it is as a literary blowhard of the highest order, a writer whose perversely verbose self-examinations painted the pages of the New Yorker for decades, with their author perpet...more
Anne Sanow
One of my favorite stories of all time is the brief "Verona: A Young Woman Speaks," which is kind of just tucked in here amongst the longer and more autobiographically-based Brodkey stuff. Some of those get a bit blowhardy (you've got to be in the mood), even if they are good. Yes, Brodkey is a narcissist, but he is damn brilliant, too.
Albert
I sampled ten stories from this collection and found them all to follow the same general motif: working through issues of childhood and adolescence in the present or retrospectively. An uneven collection that skews somewhat unrealistically towards the melancholy...at his best, Brodkey is illuminating, at his worst, his characters come across as mopey. All of the stories are about the emotional psychology of the characters. There is very little sense or place or historical context.
Lauren Albert
I gave this 4 stars remembering how I love it when I read it in the 80s. I can see a glimmer of what I liked about it at the beginning. By the time I got to the eponymous story at almost 300 pages, I was skimming. Then I was skipping. It seemed self-indulgent, pretentious. In those first few stories I could sense what I originally liked but it's lost its flavor for me.


First read 1989
Geoff Wyss
I loved this book, though I'm not sure I would recommend it to most readers. The pieces that seem to be Brodkey at his most essential aren't really stories (or so I think would be the common complaint). "A Story in an Almost Classical Mode," for example, is really a 50-page character sketch (transparently fictionalized) of his step-mother--brilliant stuff, but no plot to speak of. (Perhaps the most amazing thing is that the story was originally published in the New Yorker, which tells you how co...more
Conrad
Sometimes this seems like the same story over and over again. Fortunately, it's a really good story.
Charlotte Rogan
Depth of moment; language with meaning and surface.
Danielle
"To see her in sunlight was to see Marxism die"
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
Feb 09, 2013 Nathan "N.R." Gaddis marked it as to-read
Shelves: short-stories
"A Note on the Type

"The text of this book was set in a digitized version of Janson, a typeface long thought to have been made by the Dutchman Anton Janson, who was a practicing type founder in Leipzig during the years 1668-1687. However, it has been conclusively demonstrated that these types are actually the work of Nicholas Kis (1650-1702), a Hungarian, who most probably learned his trade from the master Dutch type founder Dirk Voskens. The type is an excellent example of the influential and st...more
orsodimondo
RACCONTA UN SACCO DI BUGIE SE VUOI AVERE UNA VITA FELICE
Ho letto che Brodkey è considerato il Proust americano – poi ho letto che è l’anello mancante tra Proust e David Foster Wallace.
Adesso mi aspetto di leggere che lo si ama o lo si odia, tanto per restare nei commenti che non significano nulla, e niente aggiungono o spiegano.

Brodkey sceglie un altro titolo bello e perfetto: storie in modo quasi classico, dopo primo amore e altri affanni. Che meraviglia.
In queste pagine, ci sono bambini che c...more
SCARABOOKS
In questo periodo mi capita spesso di incontrare recensori che scovano scrittori neo-"proustiani". Checchè ne scrivano, non lo è, Brodkey. Anche se i ricordi, la memoria li maneggia con una capacità di ricostruire emozioni e flussi mentali veramente sorprendente.
La sua però, rispetto al tempo perduto, non è una ricerca. E' un dolorosissimo esorcismo. Il racconto sulla madre è splendido proprio perché è infarcito di una sofferenza asciutta, senza sbavature, che non cerca consolazione per se, nè c...more
robert
the stars are only for the amazing story Verona: a young girl speaks. "innocence" was fascinating. the title story is interesting, boys on their bikes less so, and ceil was outright lousy. frankly, based only on the five stories i read, i do not recommend this acclaimed book. the egotism seems less fun than norman mailer's. it's like reading proust without the saving grace of genius.
Carrie
So far I have read "His Son, in His Arms, in Light, Aloft"
Borden
Yes I'm still reading this. I'm savoring it story by story.
Mo
I kept this under my pillow for about a year in college.
Gary McDowell
Short stories? These suckers are long. But so good.
Josie O.
still struggling with this guy...
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Harold Brodkey was born into a Mid-Western Jewish family, moving to New York and coming to prominence as a writer in the early 1950s. During the following four decades, he established himself as a modern master of short fiction. He contracted the AIDS virus and died in 1996. Some of his books were published posthumously.
More about Harold Brodkey...
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“My protagonists are my mother's voice and the mind I had when I was thirteen.” 5 likes
“The disparity between what people said life was and what I knew it to be unnerved me at times, but I swore that nothing would ever make me say life should be anything...” 3 likes
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