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Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West

Miss Lonelyhearts (original 1933; edition 2011)

by Nathanael West (Author)

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Title:Miss Lonelyhearts
Authors:Nathanael West (Author)
Collections:Your library
Tags:english, lingua inglese, ebook, narrativa, narrativa nordamericana

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Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West (1933)


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English (19)  Italian (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
I'd read this book in my 20's and decided to try it again at age 40. While I may have gotten more out of it this time around, I suspect my reaction was the same as it was the first time. This is one bleak book. Worth reading, though. Or re-reading. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Jul 6, 2013 |
Breve nota sull'edizione kindle (pagata ben 0.89€): una porcheria. Le spaziature tra le lettere sono totalmente a caso, tutte le parole a fine riga sono spezzate (non sillabate però).

Miss Lonelyhearts, in realtà un uomo, cura una rubrica su un giornale a New York; è un punto di riferimento per tutte le donne vessate e maltrattate che le scrivono continuamente.
Miss Lonelyhearts però non ce la fa più a sentirsi raccontare di tutto il male intorno a sè, inoltre il suo ruolo è deriso dai colleghi di ufficio che non prendono sul serio come lei la gravità delle lettere.
Il romanzo ci dà all'inizio un assaggio di quello che Miss Lonelyhearts deve sopportare ogni giorno, poi segue i vari tentativi che il protagonista fa per allontanare e superare il problema: la fuga in campagna, la ricerca di una donna, l'alcol e la religione.
Ironicamente la situazione precipiterà quando Miss Lonelyhearts incontrerà l'unica donna non vessata, non maltrattata (che però crede di esserlo) e il suo vessato e maltrattato marito (ovvero l'unico uomo dotato di una qualche qualità positiva nel romanzo). ( )
  Saretta.L | Apr 10, 2013 |
i like the premise - that someone gets so overwhelmed by the tragedy in other's lives (that he courts knowledge of because of his work) that it starts to ruin his life. (this is very realistic to me as it mirrors my own life a year ago.) but the writing, the dialogue, the stereotyping, the other characters, the storytelling - very disappointing all around. ( )
  elisa.saphier | Apr 3, 2013 |
I would say this novella is more like a 3 1/2 but Goodreads won't allow it. This is one of those works that tells about a place in time and a certain sense of loneliness that seems timeless that never seemed to get its due recognition.

Miss Lonelyhearts ia actually a man who must answer the advice letters that come into the paper...and these letters enlist is help in every topic that seems imaginable. Meanwhile, Miss Lonelyhearts himself is ensnared in his own problems, namely the adulterous situation he finds himself in. There is a great deal in here about society and religion. The writing is also a sign of the times as well and can get quite sexist against female writers, for instance, but it does indeed make me hopeful to see how far we've come as a country and a society from the 1930s anyways.

Passages I liked:

pg 9 "He knew now what this thing was-hysteria, a snake whose scales are tiny mirrors i which the dead world takes on a semblance of life. And how dead the world is...a world of doorknobs. He wondered if hysteria were really too steep a price to pay for bringing it to life."

pg 17 Miss Lonelyhearts put his arm around the old man. Tell us the story of your life," he sad, loading his voice with sympathy.

"I have no story."

"You must have. Every one has a life story."

pg. 31 The physical world had a tropism for disorder, entropy. Man against Nature...the battle of the centuries. Keys yearn to mix with change. Mandolins strive to get out of tune. Every order has within it the germ of destruction. All order is doomed, yet the battle is worth while."

( )
  kirstiecat | Mar 31, 2013 |
Book Circle Reads 100

Rating: 4.75* of five

The Book Description: Praised by great writers from Flannery O'Conner to Jonathan Lethem, Miss Lonelyhearts is an American classic. A newspaper reporter assigned to write the agony column in the depths of the Great Depression seeks respite from the poor souls who send in their sad letters, only to be further tormented by his viciously cynical editor, Shrike. This single volume of Miss Lonelyhearts features its original Alvin Lustig jacket design, as well as a new introduction by Harold Bloom, who calls it "my favorite work of modern American fiction."

My Review: Totally with Harold Bloom here, this is one of the USA's cultural treasures. In just under 100pp, anomie and alienation and the Problem of Evil (theodicy) are examined thoroughly and from several viewpoints. While telling a louche little tale of drinking, fucking, and cheating, West also manages to incorporate an acid bath of gallows humor into the proceedings. His nudges and winks at the audience are almost post-modern: Shrike, who is the otherwise-unnamed Miss Lonelyhearts' editor, is named for a particularly nasty bird of prey, and the man we call Miss Lonelyhearts is both emasculated and depersonalized by his yclepture.

It's hard to imagine a more complete telling of the tale of man's bitter fate than this one. Trudge along in your path, you dumb oxen, and this is what will overtake you; lift your heads, look at the sky, and dare to yearn? This is what will overtake you. West knew it, felt it, and ultimately lived it by dying early as he drove drunk. Fitting, isn't it. ( )
2 vote richardderus | Feb 18, 2013 |
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The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?-Do-you-need-advice?-Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard.
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In MISS LONELYHEARTS a male reporter struggles to write his advice column, and THE DAY OF THE LOCUST is about new immigrants to California who expected a life of health and ease.

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