Wild Nights!: Stories About the Last Days of Poe, Dickinson, Twain, James, and Hemingway
I’ve read other JCO stories based on the lives of other famous writers in Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? and found them fascinating, so this s ...more
The books is comprised of stories about the last days of Poe, Dickenson, Mark Twain and Papa Hemingway. Oates knows and likely reveres all the ...more
So, in "Poe Posthumous; or, The Light-House" E.A.P. is - ding-ding - (or is that tap-tap?) a lighthouse keeper. ...I'd be fired if that were my job. A meditation on loneliness and fear. And what do they lead to? They are the tributaries of madness. Like, you know, being buried alive only without the scent of cheap pine. At any rate: a masterful Lovecraftian pastiche that positions Oates as the High Priestess of Amer ...more
It was also great that the author definitely does not shy away from the more unpalatable aspects in the lives of Twain or Hemingway (the source of many mixed feelings we all have about them, right?).
Joyce Carol Oates is a master of style and narrative power. I'm so looking forward to reading more from her.
Also, I'm very much into reading fiction about classical authors lately (like ...more
This is a collection of short stories narrating (and taking creative license of) the dying moments of 5 famous authors — Edgar Allan Poe, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Henry James, and Ernest Hemingway. Oates copies their style of prose and works to capture the authors as she writes a fictional account of their deaths. I liked the premise of this short story collection more than I liked the delivery.
1. Poe Posthumous; or The Lighthouse
Pretty good job — the prose was similar to Poe’s and Oa ...more
1. Poe Posthumous--Poe writes about having sex with lizard people. You better get into it!
2. The Master at St. Bartholomew's Hospital--An adequate level of gayness. Made me feel a twinge of sympathy for Henry James, which is no easy feat.
3. Grandpa Clemens & Angelfish--Grizzly and unpleasant, but very compelling and sharply written.
4. Papa at Ketchum--A small (but surprising) level of gayness. If you dislike Hemingway as a person, which I d ...more
5 stories, very different in topic and tone, all with at least an undertone of human-nature-awfulness. I liked 4 of them, so 4 stars it is. (Is it unfair to deduct points for not liking the Hemingway story exactly because it read so convincingly like some ...more
I’m not a big fan of Oates, but I did think Blackwater was brilliant and haunting, even though it was probably one of her shortest works. In Blackwater, Oates imagines the last moments of Mary Jo Kopechne (July 26, 1940 – July 18, 1969), who died in a car driven by Senator Ted Kennedy on Chappaquiddick Island. (I have nothing written about it so my guess is that I read it before I started keeping a book journal.) Wild Nights! has a hi ...more
Each of the five stories deals with one author. Poe’s story never seemed very focused to me. Twain’s story was incredibly creepy and I wasn’t a fan. I’m hoping Oates doesn’t believe he was actually like the way she wrote him, becau ...more
"Wild Nights--Wild Nights!
Were I with thee
Wild Nights should be
This is a book, as the subtitle indicates, about the "Last days of Poe, Dickinson, Twain, James, and Hemingway." As such, there is considerable idiosyncrasy and fantasy here. Poe's and Dickinson's last days, of course, were nothing as portrayed here. However, each short story does capture something of their mi ...more
jco does something really great here; not ...more
Emily Dickinso ...more
Oates is the consummate voyeur, whether she's exploring the worlds of murderers, dysfunctional teens, or alienated women. Here, in this sordid look at literary greats, each with his or her damaged psyche, she reimagines their final days. Most critics lauded Oates's ability to imitate the distinctive styles of the writers
The first three stories in this collection, The Light-House, EDickensonRepliLukze and Grandpa Clemens & Angelfish, 1906 are the best. They lie easily among JCO’s best stories. My absolute favourite was The Light-House in which Poe, isolated as a light-house keeper gradually and painfully loses his mind and succumbs to darkness and insanity. I had chills. EDickensonRepliLukze is very funny, futuristic tale in which a man buys an Emily Dickenson replica robo ...more