read Sleepless Nights reader É Hardcover Ü naturaltreatment

doc Ú Sleepless Nights ¹ Elizabeth Hardwick

Book is not only Elizabeth Hardwick's finest fiction but one of the outstanding contributions to American literature of the last fifty year 45 starsThis is a sort of autobiographical fiction written in 1979 when Hardwick was 63 It is a series of vignettes linked together sometimes very tenuously by the author It is a memoir novel letter essay and as one reviewer says a poetic chronicle It is inventive and perceptive There is originality and a complete lack of plot like a piece of music than a novel Elizabeth the protagonist of the novel is hardly seen The fragmentary nature of the novel and the steady narrative voice has led many to argue that Hardwick is developing a female narrative mode as opposed to the usual masculine tropes Hardwick also spoke about writing Sleepless Nights “Without using my own name I could not have written the book I wanted to be free to reflect to see in my own language without disguise I didn’t want to say I was a writer either and make up unwritten tomes for myself Obviously the Elizabeth is writing the book and is therefore some kind of writer Most of all I wanted to accommodate my reading to compare without clumsy explanation a New York woman to the old lady mentioned in Herzen’s memoirs the one who blamed Napoleon for the death of her favorite cow It is very difficult in fiction to create a narrator who is not oneself and yet one who must somehow express one’s ideas and feelings”Most of the recollections are about women such as this one about her mother“round soft curves her hair twisted into limp curls at the temples her weight on the stepladder washing windows her roasts and potatoes and fat yeast rolls; and her patient breathing in the back room as she lay sleeping in a lumpy old feather bed”Many of the women here are adrift but tend to link themselves to men of bad character and there is little contented romance here There are lots of colours mainly pastels Some of the visitors are brief we are introduced to a flatmate on one page and say goodbye on the next following death in a car crash Billie Holiday makes a brief appearance and there is an absence of her ex husband Robert Lowell Hardwick’s descriptions of Holiday are powerful‘The sheer enormity of her vices The outrageousness of them For the grand destruction one must be worthy Her ruthless talent and the opulent devastation Onto the heaviest addiction to heroin she piled up the rocks of her tomb with a prodigiousness of Scotch and brandy She was never at any hour of the day or night free of these consumptions never except when she was asleep’It is stylish modern and possibly even post modern and is so New England that it almost feels European It could have been set in Paris There is a self awareness and lightness of tone but it is so well written and heartfelt‘Oh M when I think of the people I have buried North and South Yet why is it that we cannot keep the note of irony the jangle of carelessness at a distance Sentence in which I have tried for a certain light tone – many of those have to do with events upheavals destructions that caused me to weep like a child’The sharp observations and minimalist description make for an easy read but not always comfortable“A woman’s city New York The bag ladies sit in their rags hugging their load of rubbish so closely it forms a part of their own bodies Head wrapped in an old piece of flannel peers out from the rubbish of a spotted melon Pitiful swollen sores drip red next to the bag of tomatoes One lady holds an empty perfume bottle with a knuckle on top of it indistinguishable from her finger They and their rubbish a parasitic growth heavy with suffering; the broken glass screams the broken veins weep; the toes ache along with the ache of the slashed boot Have mercy on them someone”All in all this a good novel

kindle Sleepless Nights

Sleepless NightsIn Sleepless Nights a woman looks back on her life the parade of people the shifting background of place and assembles a scrapbook of memor The missing link between Sebald and the Cheever diaries beautifully observed vignettes some of the descriptions are extraordinary that ebb and flow into something of a memoirish novel complete with subplots I would add in David Markson as well Hardwick is very well read and the book brims with uotes and readerly observations Some sections are weaker than others and I ran out of steam a bit toward the end but there is too much strength here especially in Part 5 with Alex to ignore

Elizabeth Hardwick ¹ Sleepless Nights reader

read Sleepless Nights reader É Hardcover Ü naturaltreatment ò In Sleepless Nights a woman looks back on her life—the parade of people the shifting background of place—and assembles a scrapbook of memories reflections portraits letters wishes and dreams An inspired fusion of fact and invention this beautifuIes reflections portraits letters wishes and dreams An inspired fusion of fact and invention this beautifully realized hard bitten lyrical So this is some breathtakingly good writing Distilled focused and filled with some of the most unexpectedly perfect analogiesmetaphorssimiles I have read Aubrey Brian and Garima have written wonderful reviews already and there is much out there in the WWW to give you details about this slim little novel However I find the best way to decide whether or not I want to read someone is to have a sampler a taster So with that in mind Read Listen Photographs of marriage records of blood decisions sacraments observed In my apartment around us in the old fading red pine chest in the mahogany desk in the Swedish desk too in the fumed oak blanket chest in manila envelopes marked trip to Europe are my own photographs three hundred or that bear witness to form; pictures in the drawer in the old box photographs that make one his own ancestor Of others I have cared about cared for years not a trace not a fingerprint As it should be Those who leave nothing behind cannot be missed for long How pleasant the rooms were how comforting the distresses of New Yorkers their insomnias filled with words their patient exegesis of surprising terrors Divorce abandonment the unacceptable and the unattainable ennui filled with action sad tumultuous middle age years shaken by crashings uprootings coups desperate renewals Weaknesses discovered hidden forces unmasked predictions what will last and what is doomed what will start and what will end Work and love; the idle imagining the pleasure of the working ones Those who work and their uizzical frowns which ask When will something new come to me After all I am a sort of successTickets migrations worries property debts changes of name and changes back once these came about from reading many books So from Kentucky to New York to Boston to Maine to Europe carried along on a river of paragraphs and chapters of blank verse of little books translated from the Polish large books from the Russian — all consumed in a sedentary sleeplessness Is that sufficient — never mind that it is the truth It certainly hasn’t the drama of I saw the old white bearded frigate master on the dock and signed up for the journey But after all “I” am a womanAt our high school dances in the winter small cheap local events We had our curls red taffeta dresses satin shoes with their new dye fading in the rain puddles; and most of all we were dressed in our ferocious hope for popularity This was a hot blanket an airless tent; gasping grinning we stood anxious eyed next to the piano hovering about Fats Waller who had come from Cincinnati for the occasion Reuests insolent glances drunken teen agers nodding teacher chaperones these we offered to the music looking upon it I suppose as something inevitable effortlessly pushing up from the common soilI like to remember the patience of old spinsters some that looked like sea captains with their clear blue eyes hair of soft snowy whiteness dazzling cheerfulness Solitary music teachers themselves bred on toil leading the young by way of pain and discipline to their own honorable impasse teaching in that way the scales of disappointmentI am alone here in New York no longer a we Years decades even passed Then one is out of the commonest of plurals out of the strange partnership that begins as a flat empty plain and soon turns into a town of rooms and garages little grocery stores in the pantry dress shops in the closets and a bank with your names printed together for the transaction of business