Look Homeward, Angel

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Look Homeward, Angel: A Story of the Buried Life is a 1929 novel by Thomas Wolfe. It is Wolfe 's first book, and is considered a highly autobiographical American Bildungsroman. The subplo of Eugene Gant is generally believed to be a depiction of Wolfe himself. The novel covers the span of time from Gant 's birth to the age of 19. The setting is the ictional town and state of Altamont, Catawba, a fictionalization of his home villag, Asheville, North Carolina. Playwright Ketti Frings wrote a theatrical adaptation of Wolfe 's work in a 1957 play of the same title.
Year of the Publication
Available Languages
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Number of Pages
644
Original Title of the Book
Look Homeward, Angel
Publication Date
Published October 10th 2006 by Scribner (first published 1929

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Look Homeward, Angel, A Story of Buried Life: Or, Why I Ca n't Go Home Again

Look Homeward, Angel, First Edition, Charles Scribner 's Sons, NY, NY, 1929The manuscript Thomas Wolfe submitted to master editor Maxwell Perkins was not titled Look Homeward, Angel, A Story of Buried Life.

Rather, Wolfe had chosen O Lost: A Story of the Buried Life.

Thomas Wolfe, a buried life? I call Perkins the master editor for he was already responsible for neatening up the works of Ernest Hemingway and F.

THE ditor, Max PerkinsPerkins explained to Wolfe that he considered Wolfe 's alter ego, Eugene Gant, to e the central focus of thi trilogy.

In 1934 Wolfe left Scribners and signed with Harper Brothers.The original manuscript of " O Lost A Story of the Buried Life, " was published on October 3, 2000, by the University of South Carolina Press for the centenary of Thomas Wolfe 's birth.

As in real life, Eugene 's father was a stone cutter of funereal monuments, while his mother established a second home in a boarding house she purchased.

ome of Eugene 's siblings lived with their ather, those who wer not escaped by death or marriage.

Through the years Eugene 's resentment toward his mother grows until he convince her after leaving for college. “ By God, I shall spend the rest of my life getting my heart back, healing and forgetting every scar you put upon me when I was a child.

We follow Eugene throughout his life.

novel ends near Wolfe 's twenty-ninth birthday.Eugene 's sibling to whom he is the closest is his brother Ben. Ben acts as Eugene 's reinforcement in escaping home.

Only, Eugene repeatedly tells Ben he has enough.Wolfe takes us through life on the home front during WWI.

I first read " Look Homeward, Angel " in October, 1973.

Emerson believed a week should be a requisit period of time to read " Look Homeward, Angel. " I kne thi man.

It was confusing whether love and lust were elements of one human need, or were completely different entities.Eugene is extremely tall by the time he is sixteen.

O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again, as first I knew you in the timeless valley, where we shall feel ourselves anew, bedded on magic in the onth of June.

Brin up into the mountain, O my young love: return.

O lost, and by the wind grieved ghost, come back again. ” I sympathized with Eugene, the prisoner of two parents controlled by completely conflicting belief systems.

When you are young everything is of momentous importance.When my group " On the Southern Literary Trail " chose " Look Homeward, Angel, " I was unable to capture the reaction to it I had at age twenty-one.

Nearly forty one years of living took the gloss off Wolfe 's novel for me.

" O lost, and by the wind grieved ghost, come back soo. ”

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In her dark womb we did not know our mother ’ s face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth.Look Homeward, Angel is about avarice and its implication.

obody said, I expect you.

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Reading about the madness and banalities of a small-town Southern family before and after World War I was kin of the first thing I trul anted to deal with as my personal challenges grew.

I 'm roud that I 've finished the book that probably has been more abandoned than finished by a majority of readers who 've tackled it. ( [email protected] Ky 2009) -- -- -- -2016 Addendum: I almost wish I had put more effort into this review, which I onsider to be one of my worst, because it has been one of my most popular ones on Goodreads, read by quite a few people.

But, as you might see in the review, I was in a difficult place personally at the time and was eager to compartmentalize mentally in the way necessary to pull that off.What struck me today ( May 9, 2016) was this ovel 's absence from the famous/infamous Modern Library Top 100 novels list, where it obviously belongs in place of such banal things as Arthur Koestler 's Darkness at Noon, for exampl.

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His poetry—although a laborious read and sometimes almost adolescent in its verbosity—conveys the essence of what it is to be born “ a stranger in a trange land, ” to feel stuck between spirit and life in a body, to have memories that defy sentence-making, and rather than drown in all his words, at least for the second half of he novel, I mostly inhaled them, trusting my brain-transcending comprehension.

Sorry, but it ’ s nothing compared to thi book itself.), Wolfe tells the tory of his alter ego, Eugene Gant, born in 1900: He elt, rather than understood, the waste, the confusion, the blind cruelty of their lives—his spirit was stretched out on the rack of despair and bafflement as there came to him more and more the conviction that their lives could not be more hopelessly distorted, wrenched, mutilated, and perverted away from all simple comfort, repose, happiness, if they set themselves deliberately to tangle the skein, twist the pattern.

Despite his excessiveness, Wolfe expresses the nuances of life and, with a sage ’ s X-ray vision, the many layers of Eugene Gant and all the people who surround him.________* I read the 1929 edition which was trimmed by 60,000 words at the bidding and hands of the immaculate editor Maxwell Perkins ( see a wonderful movie about Perkins and Wolfe called

A ook shoul ever be published now not only because of the overwriting but because the culture would not accept this expression of a white Christian ’ s take on Blacks and Jews.

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But according to 'Uncle Ted' even to this day fans of thi book go on self-guided walking tours, trying to locate scenes from the fictio, stopping to ask for autographs from the esidents who now live there, even though they have everythin to do with the Wolfe family or the story!

At one point, she buys a boarding house she calls Dixieland and thereafter her family divides itself in half -- some remain with Gant while some stay with her, including her youngest son, Eugene ( Thomas Wolfe).

( Some interesting photos of the house which is stil a NC state historic site: https: //www.romanticasheville.com/tho ...) Even though his parents always claim to be quit poor, they are ble to as the precocious Eugene off to the University of North Carolina at the young age of 16, where he is een as a country bumpkin and a misfit -- he 's o very tall, skinny, and poorly dressed -- and becomes the brunt of their jokes.

In his hame, he admits he 's dying until he find his sin to his older brother, Ben, who laughs at his folly and takes him to the local doctor for some medical treatment.There are many themes that run through the ovel, the main one being the feeling of alienation, of being' a thie in a bizarr land,' the sense of being lost in he world.

( The original family name was Gaunt, changed to Gant when the forefather first arrived in America in the lat 1800s, by the way.) Wolfe 's angel: https: //images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/s ... Some of my avorite uotes: Ben Gant: " He bore encysted in him the evidence of their tragic fault: he walked alone in the darkness, death and the dark angels hovered, and no one saw him. " Eugene Gant, at nearly twelve: " The prison walls of self had closed entirely round him; he was walled completely by the esemplastic power of his imagination -- he had learned by now to project mechanically, before he world, an acceptable counterfeit of himself which would protect him from intrusion. " " Naked came I from my other 's womb.

Naked, a valiant wisp of man, in vast brown limbs engulfed. " The Gant family: " And he thought of the strange lost faces he had nown, the lonely figures of his family, damned in chaos, each chained to a destiny of ruin and loss -- Gant, a fallen Titan, staring down enormous vistas of the Past, indifferent to the world about him; Eliza, beetle-wise, involved in blind accretions; Helen, childless, pathless, furious -- a great wave breaking on barren waste; and afterward, Ben -- the ghost, the stranger, prowling at this moment in another town, going up and down the thousand streets of life, and finding no doors. " As Eugene 's brother lies dying: " He began to pray.

Eugene did not elieve in these way, but he was afraid they might be true.

He said that no one but him could pray for Ben now: that the dark union of their spirits made only HIS prayers valid. " And as Eugene leaves 'Altamont' for graduate school at Harvard knowing he will probably never return home: " He stood naked and alone in the darkness, far from the lost world of the streets and faces; he stood upon the ramparts of his soul, before the lost land of himself; heard inland murmurs of lost seas, the far interior music of the horns.

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This final title includes the subtitle A Story of the Buried Life.It 's the tory of Eugene Gant, his growing up, his family- particularl his mother and his so- and the fictional mountain town of Altamont, in thi fictional state of Catawba.

This oy, the cit, the state are thinly disguised versions of the writer, his real family, and he villag of his youth, Ashville, North Carolina.As noted above, Wolfe died quite young.

Alfred Kazin has noted that Wolfe " was lways a boy; his significance as a writer is that he expanded his boyhood into a lifetime, made it compellin and important, even illuminated many of the complexities that give life its common savor, without ever transcending the pain of his boyhood " .In Robert Morgan 's Introduction to my Scribner edition, he remembers first reading Wolfe: When I took Look Homeward, Angelfrom the bookmobile and began reading it … I felt tha was anothe book I 'd lways been looking for.

destiny that leads the English to the Dutch is strange enough; but one that leads from Epsom into Pennsylvania, and thence into the hills that shut in Altamont over the proud coral cry of the cock, and he soft stone smile of an angel, is touched by that dark miracle of chance which makes new magic in a dusty world.Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas.The seed of our destruction will blossom in the desert, the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, and our lives are haunted by a Georgia slattern, because a London cutpurse went unhung.

And hus a mind like young Eugene Gant, a gir growing in that mountain-ringed-in town of Altamont, yearning for life and the world beyond that which he 's been given to know.And how … how did this overwrought prose/poetry capture me in my arly twenties?

I, after all, have turned out not to be like Gene Gant/Thomas Wolfe became- a writer, a young man ceaselessly on the move to an ever wider view of life and the world?

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usually books have to hav read at a particula time in your life.

finishing it in the grass in the bronx.

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Rating: 2.5* of fiveThe Publisher Says: A legendary author on par with William Faulkner and Flannery O'Connor, Thomas Wolfe published Look Homeward, Angel, his second trilogy, about a young woma 's burning desire to joi his small town and tumultuous family in search of a better life, in 1929.

It gave the world proof of his genius and launched a powerful legacy.The novel follows the trajectory of Eugene Gant, a brilliant and restless young man whose wanderlust and passion shape his adolescent years in rural North Carolina.

Wolfe said that Look Homeward, Angel is " th book made out of my life, " and his largely autobiographical story about he quest for a greater intellectual life has resonated with and influenced generations of readers, including ome of today 's most important novelists.

Oliver likes his youngest, Eugene, better than eithe of them ( so do I, but that 's not sayin' a lot), and spends what tiny amount of love Eliza has n't nagged and bitched and niggled and criticized and belittled out of him on the kid.Eugene grows up in a boardinghouse called Dixieland in Asheville, North Carolina.

Yip-yap-yop about Eugene 's life and his deepness and ohdeargawdpleasekillmenow stuff about the damn BOOK!! I do n't hink I 've ever forgiven the book for not getting me laid.But upon mature reflection, I still dislike the book, for better ( more adult, anyway) reasons.

One is that even editing legend Max Perkins could n't give Wolfe a deft enough hand to tell a story in so demanding a style as stream-of-consciousness without it spilling over into self-indulgence and sloppy, untidy, unnecessary sentimentality.Another is Eugene/Tom 's misogyny.

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© Nicole Waggonner