Women and Angels: Stories by Harold Brodkey

By Harold Brodkey

From Harold Brodkey come 3 striking tales concerning the short lives of 2 ladies and the troubling visual appeal of an angel above Harvard University

Considered through many to be one of the maximum American writers of the 20th century, Harold Brodkey created fiction that startled, provoked, and infrequently confounded. those 3 novellas, instructed in the course of the memories of fictional regulate ego, Wiley Silenowicz, function sterling examples of Brodkey's wonderful expertise. In Ceil, Wiley imagines the mum he by no means knew, brilliantly reinventing the lady who died while he was once a toddler of 2, making a guardian either idealized and painfully actual. In Lila, Wiley recalls his adoptive mom, an unloving and unlovable, self-involved girl, whose early loss of life from melanoma left an everlasting void in his kin. And in Angel,the book's awesome ultimate piece, Wiley recollects a heavenly visitation that got here to him and so forth whereas learning at Harvard college, and which heralded a fact so much tricky to undergo. For fanatics of literature who've but to event Brodkey's targeted kind, hovering language, and conceptual brilliance, ladies and Angels is a fabulous creation to an American grasp.

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Sophia sm iled an am biguous smile. ” Sim on w ent on. “ H e has,” said Peter, without hesitation. “ H e has cured lepers, he has . ” • 21* . chan ged w ater into wine, et cetera, et cetera,” Sim on interjected. “ Y e s,” Peter continued. “ H e has m ade a calling o f m ir­ acles and . ” “ I thought carp en try was his calling,” said Sim on. “ A n d ch arity,” said Peter. ” “ T h a t’s easily said,” Peter replied, with a quiver in his voice. “ H e’s picked up all kinds o f tricks in the bazaars o f E g y p t,” said one o f P eter’s disciples.

W hen I saw him, I burst into tears: he was som ebody else. ) N ow here he is in fron t o f the C afe Central, then at a cinem a, w here a piano plays while Voyage to the Moon un folds on the screen. L ater we find him looking over newly posted an ­ nouncem ents on the notice board in Jelacic Square, one o f which— and I m ention it only as a curiosity— announces a lecture by K rleza. T h e nam e o f A n n a Erem ija— a m aternal aunt, in whose Ju risic Street flat in Z agreb he will later live— figures here side by side with the nam es o f K rizaj, the op era singer, w hom he once passed in the U p p e r T o w n ; Ivan Labus, the cobbler who rep aired his shoes; and a certain A n te Dutina, in w hose bakery he bought his rolls .

A lth ou gh nearly five years had passed since the event, B a n d u ra ’s voice grew hoarse and m uffled w hen ever he spoke o f it, as if he w ere choking on a cough. It was not only the result o f alcohol, though the truth o f it was that by then he had becom e a ruin abandoned by his kind, a hu ge rusty ship ru n agrou n d and rotting in the shallows. “ D on ’t w o rry,” B a n d u ra wheezed. “ N o w hore on earth . 2 ? ” G reen h ou se flow er beds and abandoned outlying g a r­ dens had been ravaged fo r M ariette’s fu n eral; dogs barked all night; the hounds w ere called out, and Alsatians straining at the collar, that canine crown o f thorns; links o f heavy chains slid up taut steel wires, clanging like the chains o f all history’s slaves; and no one had the slightest inkling, not even the tired old gard en ers in whose ailing bones lay a history o f ailm ents as enorm ous as the history o f the proletariat, that on that night a sm all, separate revolution had taken place: the sailors o f the port o f H am burg storm ed the villas o f the w ealthy; the proletarian children o f L e H avre, M arseilles, A n tw erp m assacred the gladioluses, slitting stems at the root with sh arp sailor’s knives and tram pling m inor flora, unw or­ thy o f the knife, with heavy, scruffy boots.

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