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Because I Was Flesh by Edward Dahlberg

Because I Was Flesh (original 1964; edition 1967)

by Edward Dahlberg

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831145,226 (3.79)1 / 3
Title:Because I Was Flesh
Authors:Edward Dahlberg
Info:New Directions (1967), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Tags:memoir, new directions, autobiography

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Because I Was Flesh: The Autobiography of Edward Dahlberg by Edward Dahlberg (1964)



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A revelatory masterpiece that I have had on my shelves for forty-one years without reading; just as much an autobiography of Dahlberg's early years as it is a portrait of his hapless mother. She brought up Edward working as a "lady barber" in Kansas City at the beginnings of the twentieth century. Lizzie Dahlberg emerges as a fabulous figure, so beautifully wrought by her son's descriptions of the enduring love he holds for her, despite disgust, pity, poverty and the hopelessness of the men in her life.

There is much humour here as well, including this gem of a sentence:
"After all, he had answered her matrimonial advertisement and his second visit, like the first, was already so prolix that again she realized she would be too tired after he left to take an enema."

It is time to revive Edward Dahlberg. He was put down by that professional Irishman, Frank McCourt who concocted "Angela's Ashes". He held modern writing as rubbish. Dahlberg had such a store of classical, mythological and theological knowledge that his story glistens with spectacular allusions.
Read this man, buy his books. Demand his resurrection. ( )
  ivanfranko | Apr 22, 2016 |
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...Poiché ero carne, ed alito che svanisce e non ritorna.
"Perché piangi, Agar? Levati, togli il fanciullo, e fortificati ad averne cura; perciò che Dio ha udito la tua voce, e ha visto il fanciullo". E Iddio le aperse gli occhi, ed ella vide un pozzo d'acqua, ed andò, ed empiè il bariletto d'acqua, e diè da bere al fanciullo; e si levò e andò nel deserto di Paran.
A mia moglie Rlene
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Kansas City è una vasta città nell'interno del paese, e il suo fiume meraviglioso, il Missouri, riscalda i sensi; gli aceri, i sambuchi, gli olmi e i ciliegi, di cui la città è prodiga, sono canti di desiderio, e soltanto le mandorle dell'antica Palestina possono svegliare più profondamente i pori affamati. È una città selvaggia, concupiscente, dove quasi nessuno pensa alla morte finché non è vecchio o malato. Coloro soltanto che conoscono l'oceano, quando lo vedono, meditano sulla morte; invece gli uomini legati strettamente alla terra sono più sensuali.
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