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Stories In An Almost Classical Mode
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Stories In An Almost Classical Mode

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  445 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Eighteen stories, most of them novella-length, are collected here. They form the basis of Brodkey's reputation as a great 20th-century American writer and span three decades.
Hardcover, 596 pages
Published September 12th 1988 by Knopf (first published 1988)
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Glenn Russell
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Harold Brodkey (1930 – 1996) is a major twentieth-century American writer of highly polished, highly poetic fiction first published in The New Yorker, Esquire and other magazines over a thirty years span, 1960s through the 1990s. Published as part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series, this magnificent collection contains 18 stories, some short, some long, 5 pages to 50 pages, but all of these stories speak to the feeling tone of memory and are expressed in such lyrical, elegant language, t
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americana, racconti
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.


Anche questa volta Brodkey sceglie un titolo bello e perfetto: storie in modo quasi classico, dopo primo amore e altri affanni. Che meraviglia.

In queste pagine, ci sono
Lauren Albert
Oct 28, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
May 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 30, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 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.
Anne Sanow
Feb 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this a chance and plodded through half, but can't manage another 300 pages of this man's life stories. Reviews on the cover, written by men, praised the work, one comparing him to Freud. Enough said. Of all the wonderful books of stories I've read, this is not one of them.
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Nicht klassisch aber klasse.
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
"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
Dec 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a writer.

His Son, in His Arms, in Light, Aloft may be the single most beautiful short story I've read. And I do loathe hyperbole. Brodkey's writing succeeds in making me feel the weight, responsibility and intimacy of experiences I've never even had and didn't necessary realise I wanted.

Besides that story, this collection is filled with witty tales, tales about the elusive nature of other people's thoughts, and many of them unfold in strange, completely unexpected ways.

Brodkey can also
19.03.2016 Diese lange Erzählung (Novelle?) ist harter Tobak. Brodkey erzählt die Kindheitsgeschichte eines Adoptivlings. Die Geschichte enthält viele autobiographische Momente und ist von seltener psychologischer Grausamkeit. Das Kind wird nach dem Tod der leiblichen Mutter vom Vater verkauft. Beide Adoptiveltern erkranken schwer, der Adoptivvater geht in ein Veteranenspital (kostenlose Behandlung) und die Adoptivmutter verbleibt mit dem Kind in der Wohnung. Das Drama spielt sich zwischen der k ...more
May 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Bruce Crown
Some of the stories are 4 and 5 stars but some lack that extra oomph. Given the volume and output of the work it's not far-fetched to thing the style is consistent and the themes are left to simmer in Brodkean fashion. Any fan or reader of short story would do well to venture into Brodkey's Classical Mode.
Dec 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So far I have read "His Son, in His Arms, in Light, Aloft"
Jan 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes I'm still reading this. I'm savoring it story by story.
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mar 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Sometimes this seems like the same story over and over again. Fortunately, it's a really good story.
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I kept this under my pillow for about a year in college.
"To see her in sunlight was to see Marxism die"
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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
“My protagonists are my mother's voice and the mind I had when I was thirteen.” 6 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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