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Miss Lonelyhearts / The Day of the Locust

Miss Lonelyhearts The Day of the Locust Miss LonelyheartsMiss Lonelyhearts was a newspaper reporter so named because he had been assigned to write the agony column to answer the letters from Desperate Sick of It All Disillusioned A joke

  • Title: Miss Lonelyhearts / The Day of the Locust
  • Author: Nathanael West
  • ISBN: 9780811202152
  • Page: 161
  • Format: Paperback
  • Miss LonelyheartsMiss Lonelyhearts was a newspaper reporter, so named because he had been assigned to write the agony column, to answer the letters from Desperate, Sick of It All, Disillusioned A joke at first but then he was caught up, terrifyingly, in a vision of suffering, and he sought a way out, turning first here, then there Art, Sex, Religion Shrike, the cynicalMiss LonelyheartsMiss Lonelyhearts was a newspaper reporter, so named because he had been assigned to write the agony column, to answer the letters from Desperate, Sick of It All, Disillusioned A joke at first but then he was caught up, terrifyingly, in a vision of suffering, and he sought a way out, turning first here, then there Art, Sex, Religion Shrike, the cynical editor, the friend and enemy, compulsively destroyed each of his friend s gestures toward idealism Together, in the city s dim underworld, Shrike and Miss Lonelyhearts turn round and round in a loathsome dance, unresolvable, hating until death The Day of the LocustTo Hollywood comes Tod Hackett, hoping for a career in scene designing, but he finds the way hard and falls in with others extras, technicians, old vaudeville hands who are also in difficulty Around him he sees the great mass of inland Americans who have retired to California in expectation of health and ease But boredom consumes them, their own emptiness maddens them they search out any abnormality in their lust for excitement drugs, perversion, crime In the end only blood will serve unreasoned, undirected violence The day of the locust is at hand

    • [PDF] Miss Lonelyhearts / The Day of the Locust | by ☆ Nathanael West
      Nathanael West

    About "Nathanael West"

    1. Nathanael West

      Born Nathanael von Wallenstein Weinstein to prosperous Jewish parents from the first West set about creating his own legend, and anglicising his name was part of that process At Brown University in New York, he befriended writer and humourist S J Perelman who later married his sister , and started writing and drawing cartoons As his cousin Nathan Wallenstein also attended Brown, West took to borrowing his work and presenting it as his own He almost didn t graduate at all, on account of failing a crucial course in modern drama West indulged in a little dramatics of his own and, in tearful contrition, convinced a gullible professor to upgrade his marks.After spending a couple of years in Paris, where he wrote his first novel, The Dream Life of Balso Snell, he returned to New York, where he managed badly by all accounts a small hotel, the Sutton, owned by his family As well as providing free board for struggling friends like Dashiell Hammett, the job also gave West ample opportunity to observe the strange collection of misfits and drifters who congregated in the hotel s drugstore Some of these would appear in West s novel Miss Lonelyhearts.West spent the rest of his days in Hollywood, writing B movie screenplays for small studios and immersing himself in the unglamorous underworld of Tinseltown, with its dope dealers, extras, gangsters, whores and has beens All would end up in West s final masterpiece, The Day of the Locust.West s life ultimately ended as tragically as his fictions Recently married, and with better paid script work coming in, West was happy and successful Then, returning from a trip to Mexico with his wife Eileen, he crashed his car after ignoring a stop sign and killed them both This was just one day after the death of his friend F Scott Fitzgerald.

    112 Comments

    1. To be honest, I was expecting something lighter Here was the hook Miss Lonelyhearts, an advice columnist in the early 30 s, is really a man Sounds like a role for Jimmy Stewart at his gosh darned chirpiest, doesn t it But the first few pages put a different image in mind it was Pottersville without benefit of George Bailey The letters in to Miss Lonelyhearts were just so bleak Of course, it was a time when deprivations were de rigueur Those lacking money, health, or wedded bliss had very little [...]


    2. Miss Lonelyhearts, a novella that made the 1001 Books You Must Read list, is a type of companion piece to Salinger s maudlin, crude, symbolic works about humanity It is about an advice columnist who thinks he is a demi god, who ignores the troubles of everyone around him to the point of satire, who makes fun of the people he should save Think a lazy, lost, heartless Frasier Crane His co workers are assholes as well The plot takes an unexpected turn at the climax the antihero s fate is sealed he [...]


    3. Do you know what s wrong with this New Direction edition of West s most famous two little novels Nothing It s a perfect book And it s a work that never gets old The ultimate Hollywood nove Day of the l that is almost spiritual West got it right away and very few could match his greatness or snickering A snicker that becomes passionate.Miss Lonelyhearts is awesome beyond one s favorite mustard It s a nasty little book that still stings Hail West



    4. Unsettling, harsh, and wildly inappropriate mixed with a blandness that could put a reader to sleep in seconds This book has weighed on my mind in a way others haven t in a while My finger hovered above the two and four stars button far too long due to my struggle with content versus writing style CONTENT I m just floored by the amount of crude and offensive material this author covered in such a nonchalant way Abrupt topic introductions that led me to either reread to make sure what I perceived [...]


    5. If one moral prevails throughout the two novels that Nathanael West has become famous for, it would probably be that, even in the dreariest of times, people can find salvation or refuge from suffering through art At least this is what Miss Lonelyheart s boss, Mr Shrike informs him of as a substitute for religion In Shrike s own words he asks Why don t you give them something new and hopeful Tell them about art Here, I ll dictate Art Is a Way Out The only problem with this suggestion is that, whe [...]


    6. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts I am in such pain I dont know what to do sometimes I think I will kill myself my kidneys hurt so much My husband thinks no woman can be a good catholic and not have children irregardless of the pain I was married honorable for our church but I never knew what married life meant as I never was told about man and wife My grandmother never told me and she was the only mother I had but made a big mistake by not telling me as it dont pay to be inocent and is only a big disappoi [...]


    7. I re read these two short novels in a fit of sentimentality When I was a sopho at USC, I took an American Literature class, ENGL 263 Taught by a man named Gustafson, this was my only venture into properly studying books written on this continent During my undergraduate years, I really concentrated in stuffy, dead English writers Every day, we d dutifully appear for class, and he would show up a few minutes late, looking like he had just spent all night running around in a tizzy He had young chil [...]


    8. I didn t really like reading this book It is so very world weary, its beauty melancholy and even mundane Miss Lonelyhearts eponymous character tries to beat the despair of reading people s problems for a living andrt of, almost, succeeds In The Day of the Locust, men and women flock to Hollywood seeking The Prize be it a beautiful woman, fame, or simply an improved quality of life eating tropical fruits under palm trees complications arise It s mostly a downer But it s not completely a downer, b [...]


    9. West is a prophet of the 20th century American wasteland, with one crucial difference whereas Isaiah s wheel within a wheel is evidence of god s presence and mystery, West s trembling metaphors sing only Absence, Absence False signs in other words, like whoopee cushions that someone God, we hope, or think we hope has left under the various sofa cushions of human existence But what is the difference between a sign and a false sign I wonder that while reading the various movie related descriptions [...]


    10. Like all black humor, these works are informed by a serious and intensely troubled view of man s existence specifically our contemporary existence where advertising tries to sell something a shaving lotion, a film, vitamins by molding our ideas of what we should be, physically, emotionally and spiritually But Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust also contain considerable realism amidst their raucous and hilarious satire, and the two don t sit well beside each other To give one example, at [...]


    11. So far I ve only read Miss Lonelyhearts What an odd little story Sex and booze and a Christ fixation and a melancholy madness brought on by immersion in the woes of complete strangers I m not sure what the point is, except to say that if you set out to fool or poke fun at others, you may find that the joke s on you I ve satisfied my curiosity, anyway I don t know that Nathanael West is the author for me I ll have to try one just to be sure.


    12. Violence in America is idiomatic Nathanael West Nathan Weinstein Reading West is to be struck, as in the face, again and again by his visceral sexual violence It s frustrating but not surprising that the main literary legacy of West is a generic brutality without acknowledgment that much of that violence is sexual in nature and theme This shines brightest in Day of the Locust, where the very West ian Homer Simpson could it be a coincidence struggles hourly as though sex was a virus in him, stru [...]


    13. I rebelled and struggled against reading these two stories, and had to force myself to press on nearly all the way through In the end I found some redemption value, but very little of the experience was anything I d call enjoyable These stories are populated, by bitter, disenfranchised men who fantasize about rape as an appropriate corrective to uppity women They are certainly not the source of their own ugliness all are struggling in a Depression era world but still, the first scene in which a [...]


    14. i ve always loved a black comedy and this one always has the ability to make me want to burst out into cackles and cry for three days at the same time.whenever i meet someone who hasn t read this yet, i m shocked it seems like it should be required reading for life some of this is hard to take the plight of miss lonelyhearts and his conflicts with the human condition, misery and religion would be unbearable to read if he had a real name miss lonelyhearts isn t a likable man nothing pretty happen [...]


    15. As West is considered a name writer, thought I d try this one.Read Day of the Locust first, which turned out to be a good idea Liked it a lot for its sense of time and place 1930 s L A , as well as finding the characters interesting for the most part, although The Cowboy and The Mexican in the final chapters made the ending drag out Between 3 and 4 stars.Miss Lonelyhearts, on the other hand, never really engaged me He seemed a cold, selfish guy the rest seemed pathetic Moreover, there wasn t a s [...]


    16. I really enjoyed The Day of the Locusts Any book that features a drunk dwarf in the first ten pages is ok by me His clean, realistic style, crossing into deep psychological insight, makes me wonder what else Mr West would have written had he not bit the bullet so early Miss Lonelyhearts didn t do as much for me, I must admit Maybe I should read it again Anyway, add Mr West to the list of why isn t this guy popular authors Mr West, meet Mr Sherwood Anderson.


    17. According to the back cover Nathanael West died almost unknown in 1940 fairly young in a car crash Miss Lonelyhearts is about a newspaper columnist who gets emotionally sucked into the dilemmas of the people who write in to him A novel of conscience, set in an often conscienceless profession The Day of the Locust is a critique of Hollywood later made into a Hollywood movie I m reviewing his 4 novels here out of my usual alphabetical order that I m working thru my lit section in b c I just read t [...]


    18. Miss Lonelyhearts is Dostoevskiana at its best Also reminiscent of The Stranger and Hunger, both heirs to Dostoevsky s aimless, misanthropic but morally conflicted by misery, properly modern men of which the underground man, from Notes from Underground, is the true original Great powerful little book.Day of the Locust is a classic California novel full of wonderful little surprises, not the least of which is a supremely repressed, awkward character named Homer Simpson Others include cock fightin [...]


    19. It s possible to write compelling fiction revolving around despicable characters in hopeless situations Authors who do so successfully allegorize the morally bankrupt, unlikable world in the lives of their characters, with a healthy dose of humor and cynicism Nabokov, most famously, has done it, Franzen has done it successfully, Conrad has, Faber has, Wells Tower has, and Shteyngart has made a career of making light of the genre But there s a thin line between writing sly commentary on our hopel [...]


    20. Well, I have to say that I am sorely disappointed that I have to part with these two novellas I feel like I am going through a bad breakup Fitting Perhaps I have a professor novelist friend from Denmark who considers books like lovers If you are reading a book the first question he will ask you is, Sowas it a good lover did it make you breakfast in the morning and rub your back or did it leave a note and take your money out of your wallet West was good real good taught me a few things and left m [...]


    21. West sometimes gets lumped along with his contemporary John Steinbeck two writers of the Great Depression But West had the original view of America, and expressed it with an acidic clarity He saw, as few others could, that hysteria was the price of the American dream When the crowd in The Day of the Locust turns violent, it s cathartic for West s entire oeuvre.An original voice that died too young.


    22. Nathanael West s 1933 novella, Miss Lonelyhearts, has passionate defenders Harold Bloom declares it his favorite modern novel in his chapter on it in How to Read and Why, he notes that Flannery O Connor s own two favorite modern novels, which she saw as akin to each other, were As I Lay Dying and Miss Lonelyhearts And there is a blurb inside my New Directions edition from Stanley Edgar Hyman calling it one of the three best American novels of the first half of our century with The Sun Also Rises [...]


    23. Nathanael West was a master of tense humor, finding laughs even in the bleakest of settings Both novels properly called novellas in this set are perfect examples of his skill These stories of a sad advice to the lovelorn columnist and people on the gritty edge of Hollywood are rich with West s worldview of a chaotic world going to madness If you enjoy well placed metaphor, West will not disappoint From the first page, where he speaks of letters seeking advice, all of them alike, stamped from th [...]



    24. I just read Miss Lonelyhearts What a strange, dark book It has a fairly fast pace but is also brooding and introspective The main character is depressed and desperate He treats women as though they were abstract concepts and not human beings His choices are poorly thought out, and often increase his dilemmas He is obsessed with Christ as a path out of suffering There is a lot of sarcasm and social commentary in this book, which was copyrighted in 1933 I will be reading some critical reviews to b [...]



    25. I picked this book out years ago at The Book Thing in Balti because I thought the cover looked charming I still see it all the time in indie bookstores If you look at its reviews, you ll see that they are overwhelmingly positive Nathanael West definitely has a bit of a cult following BUT if you look a little closer, you ll realize that most of these 4 and 5 star reviews are made by intellectual looking white men You know the type I think this says a lot about what sort of novel la s Miss Lonelyh [...]


    26. Locust 1 star Lonelyhearts 2 stars.Locust One of the rape iest books I ve ever read, as it features an assortment of male character preoccupied with a sex worker named Faye, who is as alluring to them as she is unattainable The main male character, Tod, considers rape a viable option at multiple points in the book, begins to plan it, and actually seems to act on it, though he s unsuccessful His lust is convincing, but not compelling A leading louse is fine enough if done well Here it is not I th [...]


    27. Time for a little classic I just don t get it, usually these classics are the ones that I don t finish, or muddle through just because they re short Does depressing and sad always equal classic This is a set of 2 short stories written in 1933, so during the depression and also prohibition The first is how a Miss Lonelyhearts is driven crazy from not being able to help those who ask They have Real Problems, not like the bridezilla angst letters of today When he yes, it s a he offers up suicide as [...]


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