The Sky Changes (American Literature (Dalkey Archive)) Free download ¸ eBook ePUB or Kindle PDF

Free download Æ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF æ Gilbert Sorrentino

E imaginable damage they inflict upon each other in order to force themselves towards divorce Along the way their two children become victims of the parents' failures and are dragged throughout the torment of this disintegrating marriageNo other novel in American. Though I have at this point read only four of his novels all of them from the first half of his career 1966 1983 I have a sense of Gilbert Sorrentino as a protean chameleonic writer adapting himself to the specific demands of each project and imagine that like Georges Perec and Harry Mathews he was a connoisseur not only of puzzles but of disparate games with their corresponding rules Each Sorrentino novel seems to have demanded fidelity to its own protocols Each of us is multiple a population and Sorrentino represent this he is several If he would seem at times to be a fellow traveler of “post modernists” an ironist dabbler in metatextuality uncommonly attentive to form often appearing to enjoy making play of his work his debut novel THE SKY CHANGES published originally in 1966 and tinkered with a little by the author before Dalkey Archive would bring it back into circulation impresses as representing a kind of necessary precursor to what follows Some artists seem very clearly to start out by grappling with themselves Heimlich maneuvering a kind of puttering exorcism Sorrentino would seem to have been very much such an artist Believe it or not “exorcism” may not even be strong enough This seems practically to be a case of legitimate reanimation the second life perhaps really a first life the dead man from a world of the dead a purgatory America risen and moving his fingers as if to test them out jumpstarted mercifully by his métier Our author sees himself it would seem in his pre life dead life plunged by impertinence of birth into the company of people and “their impossibly cadaverous relations with the life surrounding them” So then is THE SKY CHANGES some kind of earnest appointment with grim destiny A necessary though probably painful procedure Yes and no Sorrentino would seem to grasp well in advance of David Foster Wallace that earnestness itself is but a refined form of irony meant to help mend and sustain THE SKY CHANGES is perhaps above all else a remarkable work of covert irony and this is testified to by its efforts to occlude obscure and obfuscate We know that Sorrentino is writing about himself about his own first marriage how it caved devastatingly in on itself and about his children but we are also aware of a studied poetics of distancing most especially apparent in the vertigo of pronouns and the slippery almost disingenuous third person We may think of the implicit toxicity of explicit self mythologizers like Henry Miller and Norman Mailer Sorrentino is clearly thinking of them but those men in their transvaluation of values managed not to become violently ill with shame something Sorrentino was unable to avoid doing What we end up with is shame tableau a pretty merciless bearing of defects like so many pieces of evidence for the prosecution But we also have the dance the parry the suirming style avoiding the pins This bearing witness against oneself and balking at having to do so the broken window pane of the novel’s forensic voice produces a certain kind of existentialist’s nausea and cosmological diseuilibrium THE SKY CHANGES ends up being a novel of disconsolation’s nth degree and Sorrentino not at all hidden behind ‘husband’ ‘him’ serves as the ultimate pathetic manifestation of Nietzsche’s reactive man showcasing all the ressentiment of the students of the Old Testament and all the bad conscience of the students of the New truly grotesue in his own hindsight grotesue especially in his self pity and his callow shameless mendacity There is cruelty in fact there is outright physical abuse There is the worst kind of stupid unnecessary lying and deceit The problem drinker’s regular suspension of all scruple and subseuent shuddering hangovers The misogyny that materializes is a very clear extension of sexual desire and disgust of self spilling over and becoming disgust of All Husband ejaculates and imagines he is ejaculating vinegar A conviction “that the ugliness must surface as scum or else it poisons the innards the very entrails” It is my distinct impression that this is very often truly the case THE SKY CHANGES has invested a lot in the probibility that this indeed is the proper recourse From the first use of the word “cunt” which could not possibly have been deployed inelegantly and knows it I knew I was engaging an intentionally unpleasant book This is not a novel engineered for reclining and for pleasure It is a confrontation with self of the kind that probably lives and dies by its ability to provoke in the reader like reflection I remember the final days of two long romantic relationships and how mentally physically and spiritually sick making it all was We come best to realize that we build our own worlds perhaps most especially when we are in a bad way and our worlds become overhung by clouds of poison I know what it is to perform this magick because I have done so THE SKY CHANGES charts the final sputterings of a marriage and a pervasive spiritual infirmity as husband wife children and driver emasculating freinemy make their way West across America and this becomes the ideal medium for revealing how our blighted spirits construct blighted terrain “Hopper paintings barred store fronts an anonymity of evil there is no life behind them there is nothing on the streets they are drowned in a glare of fluorescence and nothing moves on them At the very edge the edges surrounding the dead cornfields” We are talking about people whose conduct is wretched whose thinking is wretched we are reading about people it would be ridiculous for us to believe we might like to know intimately especially one man who “treasured up his misery carefully” but we already know them as surely as we know the worst of ourselves and at the same time they are not presented to us in a realist or naturalist mien but rather in a novel of fortuitous poetic inspiration I spent a lot of this novel judging somebody who was not me When I was doing that I was reading it wrong It is hard not to regularly read this novel wrong just as it is hard not to regularly read life wrong The mandate should be to identify rather than to compare If you were omniscient you would not be able to judge anyone The novel moves forwards in fragments Across America You will note if you have read Sorrentino’s BLUE PASTORAL another road novel that the frolicsome countercultural bonhomie of its visit to New Orleans for example could not be different than our visit to that city in his debut Sometimes the novel leaps back in time Moments stolen here and there Buried and uncovered The author’s Brooklyn At its most trying the novel might be too much like a dog lording over its own puke The best passage may well be the one recounting a memory of a childhood Christmas in Brooklyn; it is beyond finely wrought effortlessly heartbreaking triumph of the exemplary detail It is nice that this comes late in the book It hit me pretty hard Right I suddenly remembered practically out of breath how dare I judge anyone God knows I have learned over the years to be far easier on myself I ought to spread the gift around It’s not just a forgive them they know not what they do trip I wouldn’t want to be so patronizing It’s just that even when we overcome our programming that shit is contingent on the programming Not everybody gets to be reborn Whether through novel writing or other means Those that do know grace Its triumph is in the general nobody possesses their triumphs their author the changing sky

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The Sky Changes American Literature Dalkey ArchiveLiterature is so narrowly dedicated to recording close up the devastating pain of a marriage falling apart and the doomed to fail efforts to make it work And no other novel so perfectly captures the moral bankruptcy of the United States as a background to divorc. Intimate observation of the excruciating decay of a romantic relationship is near impossible unless one is a party to said relationship For those craving insight without the actual experience there is this book to consider The unnamed narrator in third person limited POV drags the reader through a mechanistic deconstruction of the male brain one instance of it at least as it processes the slow motion failure of marriage The couple and their two children accompanied by the husband's friend known only as 'the driver' are traveling across the United States toward Mexico where they intend to live for a year or so in part as a final effort to save the marriage The husband's mother has recently died leaving him with a significant inheritance enough to bankroll the trip and then some Along the way the group spends time with various acuaintances and family members With the exception of the husband most characters are either flat or gauzy lacking in fixed detail and instead reflective of whatever passing feelings the husband projects onto them Even the husband can be hard to pin down His main characteristics are passivity and an intermittent sleaziness as he is prone to getting drunk and pursuing whatever woman is close at hand often with his wife nearby The story is told in alternating flashbacks flash forwards and shifting present moments chopped up into geographic chunks The husband's present disillusionment is juxtaposed with his past youthful idealism and simplistic views of love and relationships He feels guilt over his children and rage alternating with lust and futility toward his wife His over thinking of events and motivations in place of effective communication with his wife leads to assumptions that further corrode their relationship He wants to make it work at times though not obvious through his actions while at other times he is looking forward to its ultimate destruction Parallel to this exists his sensitivity to place in perpetual flux as it is during the trip and acting on this insular New Yorker as either mood stimulant or depressant Middle America impales him with its winter bleakness while parts of the lush South open him to the possiblities of redemption however illusory they may be So he smoked on and gazed at the house across the street mistaking the peace that this old city gave him with a peace that he could only have made solid through his own manufacture his own mind This was Sorrentino's first novel and he revised it 20 years later for the Dalkey edition I hadn't realized this until I started reading it about a month after I picked it up for free at The Book Thing Generally I'm skeptical of such writerly practice due to the likelihood of disturbing the integrity of the original text especially in a case like this where a first novel gets reconsidered 20 years later I have to wonder at Sorrentino's motivation especially given his claim that it is not my practice to revise previously published writings

Gilbert Sorrentino æ 8 Summary

The Sky Changes (American Literature (Dalkey Archive)) Free download ¸ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ↠ Divorce in America is the subject of Gilbert Sorrentino's relentlessly disturbing first novel Tracing the New York to San Francisco journey of a family as the husband and wife try to maiDivorce in America is the subject of Gilbert Sorrentino's relentlessly disturbing first novel Tracing the New York to San Francisco journey of a family as the husband and wife try to maintain the illusion that the marriage can be rescued The Sky Changesrecords th. I've only read one road trip book before uirky girl gets over old love meets new love feel good but not too good lots of asides about those bits of the US y'all laugh at Not my cup of tea though it sold lots of copies and it won't surprise me if the movie version pops up on your sic netflix menuI didn't realise when I opened this that it was a road trip novel For a start it takes some pages to figure out what's going on And I found the poetry of it stopped any flow It has an Under Milkwood beguiling sense that it should be read aloud I would read a couple of pages and then go back and read it aloud in my head Maybe half way through the book I stopped doing that and I'm not sure if that was just taking for granted what earlier distracted me or if the style of writing somewhat changes I should note that I read the 1986 edition a revision of the 1966 edition itself the author's first novelFeel good but not too good girly lit this is not I'm not surprised to see that he takes on the mantle and the cause of William Carlos Williams the similarities are obvious For on Sorrentino's work and his relationship with WCW see Ken Bolton's article in Jacket MagazineIt you read Sorrentino's wiki page you are immediately hit by 'post modernist' and 'meta fiction' and that makes you go to goodreads with a sneaking feelingyes the only one of your friends to have reviewed this is MJ Fortunately I only did this after finishing the book Post modern Meta fiction Absolutely not and perhaps that's why MJ excoriated it after his first reading It's just a straightforward tale of the breakdown of social relations at a time we now remember fondly for the social devastation wreaked I wonder if you needed to be closer in generation to that period in order to feel the heat of this book Sorrentino muses on the nature of memory I love thisIf they hadn't built that fucking house we would have stayed he thought we would have stayed and everything would have been OK What he meant by OK was that everything would have remained in its long ago attained state of rot but it would have been submerged rot He needed however the monumentally trite fable of the good old days to avoid their drab truth in his heart he suspected even that the time would come when he would speak and perhaps even think of this trip as fun as adventure this very moment would become part of the good old daysThis book is incredibly dense it's short but has so much in it His inept relationship with his kids the false nature of friendship The pissing away of life through alcohol in particular that was integral to the scene he is part of The changing geography and social fabric of the America they pass through as they head from NY to Mexico The North South divide Lying and denial as the basis of relationships It's uite misleading to talk of this as a book about divorce It is about relationships of all sorts and their fraught dishonest basesrest here