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Joe Gould's Secret (Tie-in Edition) (Modern Library)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  940 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews
Joseph Ferdinand Gould--better known as Joe Gould--was a member of one of the oldest families in Massachusetts and a graduate of Harvard, and his parents took it for granted that he would go on to medical school and become a surgeon and a distinguished civic leader, as many of his ancestors, including his father and grandfather, had. Instead, in 1916, in his middle twentie ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published April 25th 2000 by Modern Library (first published 1993)
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João Carlos
May 29, 2017 João Carlos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, l2017

Joe Gould (1889 – 1957)

Quem é Joe Gould (Joseph Ferdinand Gould)? Joseph Mitchell (1908 – 1996) um jornalista da mítica revista norte-americana The New Yorker traça um retrato inserido numa rúbrica denominada “Perfis” a vida de um excêntrico, Joe Gould (1889 – 1957) - conhecido como Professor Gaivota -, um homem que diz ser ”(…) a maior autoridade dos Estados Unidos em matéria de viver sem nada, (…) que vive de ar, amor-próprio, beatas de cigarros, café de comboy, sanduíches de ovo e ketchup.”,
Jun 23, 2017 Carmo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Era a criança catarrosa; era o filho que sabia que tinha desiludido o pai; era o lingrinhas, o micróbio, o fedelho, o meia-leca, o pequenitates; era Joe Gould, o poeta; era Joe Gould, o historiador; era Joe Gould, o selvático dançarino chippewa; era Joe Gould, a maior autoridade mundial em linguagem das gaivotas; era o homem banido; era o exemplo acabado do vagabundo nocturno solitário; era o rato reles; era o único membro do Partido Joe Gould; era o boémio local do Minetta Tavern; era o Profe ...more
antónio alves
Apr 30, 2017 antónio alves rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No prefácio, António Lobo Antunes diz:
. "Este é, sem dúvida, um dos melhores livros que li nos últimos anos, reunião de dois trabalhos de um grande escritor
(ele intitulava-se, modestamente, jornalista)
reconhecido e admirado em todo o mundo, e, portanto, sem leitores em Portugal."

. "... o volume que tens nas mãos é uma obra-prima absoluta no que respeita ao balanço da frase, à limpeza da palavra, ao doseamento do humor e do suspense, ao levantar das personagens, à construção implacável (...). É u
Oct 18, 2016 Jandri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe Gould es uno de esos personajes que traspasan el papel
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Oct 01, 2011 Jigar Brahmbhatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Of Bohemianism and Creativity: Life as Narration

By the time I finished reading this haunting and poignant book, I was wondering whether there is a connection between self-exile (a term I use very loosely) and man’s unending desire to narrate. Creation is a solitary act. When I was still living in my hometown, I loved escaping to my bedroom after dinner, making myself detached from my people, who used to sit in the drawing room watching soap operas. I used to read stuff here and there, mostly my
Imagine Hamsun's emaciated artist taking his defiance to Greenwich Village and living hand to mouth for twenty years. No pawning of underwear and top coats here, the intellectual vagrant would require a different angle. He'd have to shuffle, he would need to embrace his humility. Such was what I initially divined to be at the core of Mitchell's book, an outgrowth of piece he wrote on Gould in the New Yorker in 1942. That isn't the case.

An expose lies at the heart of the tale, but the story of Jo
Francisco Mouraz
Jul 18, 2016 Francisco Mouraz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Primeira vez que leio um livro em que os elogios da contracapa correspondem absolutamente à verdade. Único, magistral e incomparável.
my name is corey irl
some good stuff in this book for example joe gould eats a bowl of ketchup with a spoon, joe gould translates longfellow into seagull, joe gould suffers a breakdown from caring too much about albania, goe jould recites a proletarian poem, joe gould declares the auto unnecessary joe gould measures the cranium of an indian or two, joe gould is covered in lice. like i said some good stuff in this book.
May 03, 2017 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-usa, e5
«Diria que o homem mais são é aquele que mais claramente que qualquer outro compreende a trágica solidão da humanidade e prossegue tranquilamente os seus objetivos essenciais», escreveu. «Suponho que penso assim porque tenho a mania das grandezas. Penso que sou Joe Gould.»

Estou a sentir-me um bocadinho com a mania das grandezas pelo privilégio de ter conhecido Joe Gould.
E grata pelos momentos emocionantes que passei a ler sobre a sua vida.
E com ar de tolinha a folhear e reler passagens deste liv
Jan 18, 2016 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take an hour or two to read about one of the more fascinating street characters that haunted the Greenwich Village streets in the first half of the 20 th Century.

This was a time when painters and poets, novelists and other artists made the village their home and workplace, and Joe Gould was one of those.

Well, sort of – that’s Joe Gould’s secret after all.

For Joe Gould, the son and grandson of Boston doctors would describe to nearly all he met his grand project – to write an oral history of his t
hay man
May 11, 2014 hay man rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty cool little biography or character study or whatever you like. Some funny parts and well... kind of a bummer in the end. There were a lot of times that I felt like I related to Joe Gould more than is healthy.

Here's a funny passage

"I can't stand them and they can't stand me, but the hell of it is, I enjoy them and I enjoy their meetings. They're so bad they're good. Also, after the program they serve wine. Also, there's a high percentage of unmarried lady poets among them, and sooner or la
Nick Sweeney
Nov 09, 2011 Nick Sweeney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joe Gould was certainly beat, though, like Jack Kerouac, proudly not beatnik, one of those mercurial American eccentrics, messianic when it suited him, pathetic when it didn’t, diplomatic or direct when he needed to be. When New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell first encountered him in the late 1950s, Gould was living semi-rough in New York, though he was a Harvard graduate and had been a professional ethnographer and a journalist. He was known as Professor Seagull, and frequented poetry readings, ...more
Half profile and half expose, the book is a tender look at a local hero who is crazy but loved for it. Joe Gould says he was a mucus-y and ambisinistrous child. He beat Howard Zinn by a few decades with his "Oral History," which purported to tell the real history of the nation -- the history of the people living their day-to-day lives. It was supposed to have weighed in at 9 million words, nearly 13 times the length of the Bible! He was writing down the "Oral History," sometimes being paid in fo ...more
William Koon
Like Holden Caufield, I have always had an aversion to phonies: Milli Vanilli, the Ramones, the Kardashians, J.T. LeRoy. Therefore it was with more than a grain of locally sourced organic sea salt that I read Joseph Mitchell’s Joe Gould’s Secret. The work had some prominence when it was published (actually re-published and re-re-published) as pieces from the New Yorker spread over a twenty-two year period.

To explain: Joe Gould was a character back when such people did not have reality shows or
Marcus Gasques
Jun 26, 2009 Marcus Gasques rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Joseph Mitchell virou referência pela qualidade de seu texto e por dar vida aos anônimos de Nova York nos longos perfis que escrevia. São essas as duas observações que mais se repetem sobre o autor, mas “O segredo de Joe Gould” também põe abaixo dois dogmas do jornalismo: o “compromisso com a verdade” e as fórmulas ortodoxas sobre como escrever uma reportagem. Isso, mais de 40 anos atrás. Fascinante.
Nov 02, 2009 Freder rated it it was amazing
The first legitimately great book that I've read in some time, and all the more so for being so compact and circumspect. In some ways deeply distressing, full of real pain and disillusionment, and hope, too. A great True New York story that rises far above the genre. Run, do not walk, to your nearest library or bookstore and get a copy.
Daniel Murray
I'm reading Mitchell's book, Up In The Old Hotel, and came across the Professor Seagull piece in McSorley's Wonderful Saloon. This caused me to dig deeper into the story of Joe Gould.
GK Stritch
Aug 27, 2013 GK Stritch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Humbling, touching little book, please see essay for more:

"Joe Gould's Secret" Discovered in the Afterword of Hippos
Ploni Almoni
Extremely well written. I didn't know that I would enjoy a non-fiction tale as much.
May 14, 2017 Iván rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Justin Howe
Mar 26, 2017 Justin Howe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pair of long portraits centered on an eccentric Greenwich Village crank and each laden with sadness, humor, and insight.

“Like finding the right man while walking down the wrong street.”
May 23, 2016 Loren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry for lacking the vocabulary & eloquence to fully extrapolate on the problems I have with this work. Please bare with me as editing will surely befall my refrains from profanity.

I found this book terribly redundant. It was like an ongoing merry-go-round of anti-capitalism, self-fullfilling prophecy, unneccessary self-mutilation to justify dire circumstances, and an incessant need of public approval. Where it stops? Everybody knows. Cliche. It was a sort of bohemian re-education from
Russell Bittner
Sep 21, 2015 Russell Bittner rated it it was amazing
“‘When I’m hungry, I don’t have any self-respect,’ Gould said” (p. 66). “Necessity knows no law” is a Latin proverb (“Necessitas non habet legem”) that I once erroneously attributed to Mark Twain – but which, in the case of Joe Gould's Secret, I find to be at least tangentially related to Gould’s statement.

By way of analogy (if I may be so bold), I would suggest that Joe Gould’s hallucinatory ambition to write the definitive Oral History of Our Time is similar – at least in scope – to Howard
Jan 20, 2015 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sorry folks, but Joe Gould's Secret was just meh to me.

First of all, it is not the mistake of the narrative, or even the author himself - or Joe Gould's, for that matter - that his "secret" is yawningly predictable. So predictable, in fact, that the tragic nature of it reads a little bit banal. It's so baseline realistic and understandable as to lack the ability to compel. The lessons to infer, the character of the man, are so obvious that the insight one could garner is a miniscule non-event. I
tortoise dreams
Aug 03, 2016 tortoise dreams rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A compilation of two New Yorker Profiles written by legendary journalist Joseph Mitchell about Greenwich Village bohemian and eccentric, Joe Gould (1889-1957).

Unfortunately, I read Jill Lepore's book Joe Gould's Teeth (2016) prior to reading Joe Gould's Secret by Joseph Mitchell. Actually, I read this because of Lepore's book, which was a response to Mitchell's articles. If you have the choice, read JG's Secret before reading JG's Teeth, and you'll have a better view of the whole picture here; i
Oct 28, 2015 Rachel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I am an introvert and an extrovert all rolled in one…. a warring mixture of the recluse and the Sixth Avenue auctioneer. One foot says do, the other says don't. One foot says shut your mouth, the other says bellow like a bull. I am painfully shy, but try not to let people know it." (p.21)

"I never felt at home. I stuck out. Even in my own home, I never felt at home. In New York City, especially in Greenwich Village, down among the cranks and the misfits and the one-lungers and the has-beens and
Apr 19, 2015 Art rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boring, for the most part. The unquestioning indulgence of a writer, Joseph Mitchell, intrigued by the bohemian life of a self-proclaimed misfit, Joe Gould. Is this what passed for a profile in the forties at The New Yorker? A period before fact checking?

Memoirs of this type bother me. This one to an extreme. Mitchell pretends to quote Gould at length, sometimes for over a page, often in a single paragraph. Long before recorders, there was no way that Mitchell could capture such long quotes. An
Paul Bond
Jul 04, 2015 Paul Bond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
JOE GOULD'S SECRET is a marvelous account of a homeless New Yorker who popped up all over the city saying he was writing a million-world oral history and just needed small contributions to keep the project going. It is a fabulous read in two parts, the original, naive story that Joe Mitchell first wrote, and the second story, decades later, when "the secret" had been revealed. In a sense, Joe Gould's secret is the most common hidden truth among would-be writers and artists of all stripes, but st ...more
Nana Steph
Admittedly, I knew nothing of Joe Gould when I decided to read Joe Gould's Secret by Joseph Mitchell, and I intentionally kept away from finding out anything until I read the book. The experience couldn't have been better.
While I don't read much nonfiction, this is one of those books that makes me wonder why. Joe Gould's Secret isn't only stranger than fiction, but it offers real sustenance that sticks with a reader. Joe's story is like no other. During the time when Greenwich Village is filled
J.W.D. Nicolello
Superb on scattered levels. First off I'm a fool for ignoring my old friend's urgings of Mitchell two years ago whereas when you live in New York the whole goddamned book after book about it is just much better when you're on if you're on vacation, whatever that means.

Gould is the New York Quixote. Homeless Bowery bearded chain-smoking alcoholic slob who graduated from Harvard and wore Cummings's hat around the village. His Oral History was seven million words long, a manuscript taller than the
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Goodreads Italia: Il segreto di Joe Gould - Joseph Mitchell 1 14 Oct 30, 2013 10:33AM  
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There is more than one author with this name

Joseph Mitchell was an American writer who wrote for The New Yorker. He is known for his carefully written portraits of eccentrics and people on the fringes of society, especially in and around New York City.
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“I was coughing and sneezing, my eyes were sore, my knees were shaky, I was as hungry as a bitch wolf, and I had exactly eight cents to my name. I didn't care. my history was longer by eleven thousand brand-new words, and at that moment I bet there wasn't a chairman of the board in all New York as happy as I.” 1 likes
“A veces, cuando bromea, la gente ignorante tiene una especie de inspirada temeridad que es de lo más alegre y contagiosa. Le levanta a uno el ánimo.” 0 likes
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