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By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept (original 1945; edition 1992)

by Elizabeth Smart

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6441614,998 (3.67)35
Member:gaskella
Title:By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
Authors:Elizabeth Smart
Info:Flamingo (1992), Paperback
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:
Tags:Novella, Fiction, TBR

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By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart (1945)

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» See also 35 mentions

English (15)  Swedish (1)  All languages (16)
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I first read this book fresh out of high school, and I adored it. Back then, I wanted nothing but poetry that evoked the obsessive, tragic love that I thought I wanted.

Now, rereading this over a decade later, it failed to move me and seemed disingenuous. Maybe my tastes have evolved. Maybe I've become such an embittered curmudgeon that I can't get excited about books anymore.

Still love Morrissey's lyrics though. ( )
  xicohtli | Jul 20, 2016 |
Nope!
  martinhughharvey | May 26, 2016 |
Way back in the early '90s, I came across Ashley Hutchings' album "By Gloucester Docks I sat down and wept", an intensely personal folk rock concept album telling the story of a doomed relationship. This book is referenced not just by the title, but because a few lines of it are quoted at a key point in the story. Hutchings' sleeve note says "those who have not read it are recommended to as soon as possible". It took me more than 20 yeasr, but when I saw the book, I was curious enough to buy it.

Elizabeth Smart's novella is an impressionistic "prose poem" short of conventional plot but full of striking language - a book more about feeling than action, but something of a gem nonetheless ( )
  bodachliath | Jul 6, 2015 |
Started off thinking I’d hate this modern classic, having read Brigid Brophy’s foreword describing it as a masterpiece of poetic prose. We’re in love triangle territory, with the underlying tale running from seduction to abandonment, although the reader has to pull the pieces together. The focus is on the narrator’s emotions and she lays claim to a grand passion with extravagant but precise language and imagery drawing on biblical texts and classical myths. As promised (threatened?), this book is more concerned with language, imagery and metaphor than story. However, I’m left with sharper pictures in my head than I ever get from detailed descriptions in straightforward narratives. And while By Grand Central Station could be entirely self indulgent, its unflinching honesty saves it. I enjoyed this book after all. ( )
  Bernadette877 | Feb 22, 2015 |
Loved this when I read it in my 20s. Depressing but so well-written. ( )
  Winspear | Dec 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Smartprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brophy, BrigidForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martel, YannForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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to Maximiliane von Upani Southwell
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I am standing on a corner in Monterey, waiting for the bus to come in, and all the muscles of my will are holding my terror to face the moment I most desire. Apprehension and the summer afternoon keep drying my lips, prepared at ten-minute intervals all through the five-hour wait.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0586090398, Paperback)

Elizabeth Smart's passionate fictional account of her intense love-affair with the poet George Barker, described by Angela Carter as 'Like MADAME BOVARY blasted by lightening ...A masterpiece'. One day, while browsing in a London bookshop, Elizabeth Smart chanced upon a slim volume of poetry by George Barker - and fell passionately in love with him through the printed word. Eventually they communicated directly and, as a result of Barker's impecunious circumstances, Elizabeth Smart flew both him and his wife from Japan, where he was teaching, to join her in the United States. Thus began one of the most extraordinary, intense and ultimately tragic love affairs of our time. They never married but Elizabeth bore George Barker four children and their relationship provided the impassioned inspiration for one of the most moving and immediate chronicles of a love affair ever written - By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept. Originally published in 1945, this remarkable book is now widely identified as a classic work of poetic prose which, more than six decades later, has retained all of its searing poignancy, beauty and power of impact.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:04 -0400)

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