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Will West

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  5 reviews
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Average rating 3.65  · 
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Lee Foust
Apr 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting, if episodic, five chapter novelette focusing on parallelisms in North American history constructed around a symbolic modernist narrative of a Native American baseball pitcher turned murderer and fugitive from the law. Although many of the italicized parallel texts—Native American attitudes, description of the Trail of Tears, Civil War struggles, and the story of De Soto’s ill-fated Florida expedition—work well with the narrative of our pitcher/lover/murderer/son/fugitive protagonist ...more
Jun 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Neither as daring nor as interesting as I had hoped for. This method had been tried before, as Guy Davenport notes in his introduction to the Collected Works, by O. Henry.

It feels as though Metcalf is uncommitted to his chosen method here, and the prose suffers as a result. What is history and what is fiction? I didn't care (one shouldn't). What is much worse, I didn't care what was happening in either.
That is a rather serious problem.

Ondaatje, among others, has since taken this sort of
Dec 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: literature
review of
Paul Metcalf's Will West
by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE - December 7, 2012

When I found this bk I figured I'd found something genuinely on a small press. The press's name is "The Bookstore Press" & it's from Lenox, MA. The original date of publication being 1956, this 2nd edition is from 1973. Metcalf's name seemed vaguely familiar but I might've just been recognizing the last name somehow. Looking in another bk that I'm currently reading, A Secret Location on the Lower East Side -
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I find the description of the beach encounter and seduction absolutely beautiful, but was saddened by the dark impulses taking over. I do see the affinity with Camus.

I identify with all aspects; the sparse vegetation on the beach, the wordless, fateful bonding of two beautiful people; the way they hold each other, the way the girl runs to the dunes. The following is my favourite extract, so full of suspense:

"Climbing to one of the higher points, they found a shady hollow directly behind it, and
Jun 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Not as strong as his most impressionist, history-based, work, but the prose occasionally hits a poetic stride which characterizes his best work.
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Will West inspired me 1 2 Oct 14, 2012 12:15PM  
Will West 1 2 Oct 11, 2012 09:46AM  

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Paul Metcalf (1917–1999) was an American writer. He wrote in verse and prose, but his work generally defies classification. Its small but devoted following includes Robert Creeley, William Gass, Wendell Berry, Guy Davenport, Howard Zinn, and Bruce Olds. His many books include Will West (1956), Genoa (1965), Patagoni (1971), Apalache (1976), The Middle Passage (1976), Zip Odes (1979), and U.S. ...more
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