A Meaningful Life (New York Review Books Classics) by L. J. Davis

By L. J. Davis

L. J. Davis's 1971 novel, A significant Life, is a blistering black comedy in regards to the American quest for redemption via genuine property and a gritty photograph of recent York urban in cave in. simply out of school, Lowell Lake, the Western-born hero of Davis's novel, heads to manhattan, the place he plans to make it enormous as a author. as an alternative he reveals a task as a technical editor, at which he toils away whereas ardour leaks out of his marriage to a pleasant Jewish lady. Then Lowell discovers a stunning crumbling mansion in a crime-ridden component of Brooklyn, and opposed to all suggestion, let alone his wife's will, sinks his each penny into paying for it. He quits his task, strikes in, and spends day and evening on demolition and building. eventually he has a venture: he'll dig up the misplaced background of his apartment; he'll restoration it to its prior grandeur. he'll make solid on every little thing that's long past flawed along with his lifestyles, and he'll even homicide to do it.

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Extra info for A Meaningful Life (New York Review Books Classics)

Sample text

It was a very puky [sic] radio and was just like having a damned soul in the house. So another radio came out today, with an old typical Cuban loony in charge, one of those who knows everything and immediately burns out all the fuses in the house. I am not a partisan of the radio normally but now that we are waiting to hear of England being invaded I am glad to have it. Ernest on the other hand is a fiend for the radio and cannot leave this one alone. It is very handsome and complicated and a round green light goes on and wavers about, and if the circle of light is closed that shows you have everything perfect.

By contrast, antiwar writers disbelieved, to the final months of the prewar period, that the next war would differ from the last war in any meaningful ways. 26 Trumbo, for instance, published two novels during this period, Johnny Got His Gun in 1939 and Remarkable Andrew in 1941. The harrowing story centering on a quadruple amputee, the former is today firmly part of the canon of modern pacifist literature. Since its initial publication this novel has had a way of slipping back into print to galvanize new generations of antiwar activists each time the United States mired itself in a costly military adventure overseas.

The listener and the announcer see, hear, and think about (but never listen to) the villagers, but the latter cannot look back at the listener and the announcer, despite the illusion that they all occupy the same fictional space. Despite their witnessing the scene, the position of the announcer and the listener is essentially spectatorial or even voyeuristic. They are with but not of the village. There is also an infinitesimal gap between the listener and the announcer. While the announcer’s direct address forms the illusion of the unified “we” between the addresser and the addressed, the listener relies on the announcer for the means of transportation and the prompts for what the listener should see and hear (the village women are pathetically misinformed, the dive bombers won’t discriminate, and so forth).

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