Monday, February 16, 2009

New "Lost" Story by John Cheever

I'm pleased to direct my distinguished readers' attention to a story only recently unearthed called "Of Love: A Testimony." the story was part of cheever's first story collection, from 1943,fell out of print for decades,  and it's now up on the site, which is typically dedicated to work of contemporary authors.

(this post is also the latest in my "WASP writers of the 20th c" series. good scotch and unseasoned food will be served.)

cheever watchers should know that blake bailey, author of "a tragic honesty," the acclaimed richard yates' biography, will soon publish is cheever bio, and the library of america will put out everything the bard of westchester ever wrote, edited by bailey.

i cant think of too many writers who've given me more reading pleasure than cheever. discovered him not in college or grad school, where he is very rarely taught, but while living in a WASP milieu in connecticut -- it would be a commonplace to say that his work transcends that setting. what i most admire about cheever's work is his control, his insistence on making every sentence nearly perfect and elegant, and his ability to bring things to a persuasive emotional pitch. simply unbelievable writer -- the art tatum or teddy wilson of the short story.

curious what my readers thing of this new (old) one.

Photo credit: Flickr user 25


Paul Levine said...

I just read "Why Death Doesn't End the Debate on Updike" in today's L.A. Times. I'm the same age as Harry Angstrom in "Rabbit at Rest," so maybe that explains my take on this. But I just wonder if those literary critics cannot forgive Updike for his ability, output, and fame. When I read his work, I want to break all my fingers and never sit at the keyboard again.

Scott Timberg said...

i think envy, indeed is part of this.