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Angle of Repose (1971)

de Wallace Stegner

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
5,0271661,713 (4.27)506
Wallace Stegner's uniquely American classic centers on Lyman Ward, a noted historian, who relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family. Through a combination of research, memory, and exaggeration, Ward voices ideas concerning the relationship between history and the present, art and life, parents and children, husbands and wives. Like other great quests in literature, Lyman Ward's investigation leads him deep into the dark shadows of his own life.… (més)
  1. 41
    Gilead de Marilynne Robinson (quartzite)
    quartzite: The books both feature an elderly narrator looking back at family dynamics in the past and using those reminiscences to frame their own story. They also share beautiful use of language.
  2. 20
    Cançó de la plana de Kent Haruf (sturlington)
  3. 10
    A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West de Mary Hallock Foote (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: The novel Angle of Repose is based on the life of Mary Hallock Foote.
  4. 11
    Lonesome Dove de Larry McMurtry (sturlington)
  5. 00
    Winter Wheat de Mildred Walker (fountainoverflows)
  6. 00
    The Eighth Day de Thornton Wilder (charlie68)
    charlie68: Similar themes
  7. 11
    How Green Was My Valley de Richard Llewellyn (charlie68)
    charlie68: Similar themes
  8. 00
    Penguin Book of the American West de David Lavender (Polaris-)
  9. 00
    A Sudden Country de Karen Fisher (amelielyle)
    amelielyle: Both are novels of the American West. Both are the story of intelligent women constrained by the role of 19th century wife and mother. Part of the pathos of each story is the dissolution of those marriages. Lyrical and image-provoking writing style.
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» Mira també 506 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 165 (següent | mostra-les totes)
While I *loved* Crossing to Safety and Beyond the 100th Meridian, have admired Stegner for decades, and have a copy of Angle on my shelf to read, this recent article gives me pause:
https://www.altaonline.com/books/fiction/a39179237/wallace-stegner-mary-hallock-...

Perhaps better to read A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West: The Reminiscences of Mary Hallock Foote first.
  tkilgore | Apr 12, 2022 |
“Fifteen minutes into CATS, I had some doubts, but if you stick with anything long enough it will end.”
—“I Took My 58-Year-Old Dad to See CATS. This is His Review,” Justin Kirkland

This is the book that won a Pulitzer, from the author who was so inspirational to Wendell Berry that he decided to study writing under him in graduate school. Expectations were high and unmet.
Stegner is good at description, especially pinpointing human emotion and expression in the American West in the late 19th century. His plot was cyclical and miserable: the same family, the same marriage, only slight variations on the same questions. Every fifty or hundred pages I found myself paging to the end of the book, asking how many more times we would have to watch Susan Ward face the same questions and answer them by her own miserable failure of character and personality. In choosing to focus on this, and on his present-day narrator who is described and seems to exist only in relation to the women in his life, Stegner forgoes the promise that this book could have offered. If it had been on the family rather than the marriage, it could have been a fascinating look into the reality of failed Western endeavors, into what enterprise and engineering looked like in early Idaho when they did not end in triumph. If Stegner had been a little more open and resourceful and commissioned some of the sketches and watercolors of Susan Ward by a contemporary artist, he could have illuminated his story by an interesting visual corroboration or contradiction to what he wrote.
Stegner’s narrator draws parallels between himself and the grandfather he always looked up to, but what I did get out of this book that I think the author really did intend is a much closer resemblance to his grandmother, full of aspirations and wishes and bitterness and discontent. Both Lyman and Susan Ward blame their spouse for their place in life; both would like to hold themselves to a high moral standing, would like to have everyone’s respect without any real effort on their part: a deeply privileged stance. They see their work as a kind of holy calling, to support the family or preserve history, but in reality their writing and art give them an excuse to be too busy to solve their real problems. Both are dramatically more insufferable than the steady people around them (Oliver, Ada).
If Stegner’s point or theme or whatever was that the people in the West were frequently more of a problem than the physical and geographic challenges of the West itself, he certainly demonstrated that. But surely he could have done it in fewer pages and maybe shown us a little more of the interesting stuff while he was at it. ( )
  et.carole | Jan 21, 2022 |
Mostly about settler colonialism and heterosexuality. Not sure why I expected otherwise. Got bored and stopped reading. ( )
  essarbee | Dec 25, 2021 |
Found this review of mine under an old alias. LOL

Although I enjoyed it, this book took me forever to read. I liked that it jumped back and forth between Lyman's narration and the story of the book he was writing about his grandparents. It's a very meaty book. I hope Wallace Stegner's other books are like that. -- 2010 ( )
  Jinjer | Jul 19, 2021 |
I got this from the library as an audiobook to help pass the time on my long commute to and from work. The author is incredible in his command and use of the language. It's the pacing of the plot that did this in for me. I was afraid that if I kept listening, I'd drift off to sleep and end up in a ditch. Maybe I'll try again with the print edition.
  CrimsonWurm | Apr 11, 2021 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 165 (següent | mostra-les totes)
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When frontier historians theorize about the uprooted, the lawless, the purseless, and the socially cut-off who settled the West, they are not talking about people like my grandmother. So much that was cherished and loved, women like her had to give up; and the more they gave it up, the more they carried it helplessly with them. It was a process like ionization: what was subtracted from one pole was added to the other. For that sort of pioneer, the West was not a new country being created, but an old one being reproduced...
...the “angle of repose,” which means the angle at which dirt and pebbles stop rolling.
What interests me in all these papers is not Susan Burling Ward the novelist and illustrator, and not Oliver Ward the engineer, and not the West they spent their lives in. What really interests me is how two such unlike particles clung together, and under what strains, rolling downhill into their future until they reached the angle of repose where I knew them. That’s where the interest is. That's where the meaning will be if I find any.
Remember the one who wanted to know where you learned to handle so casually a technical term like “angle of repose”. I suppose you replied, “By living with an engineer,” but you were too alert to the figurative possibilities of words not to see the phrase as descriptive of human as well as detrital rest. As you said, it was too good for mere dirt; you tried to apply it to your own wandering and uneasy life. ... I wonder if you ever reached it. There was a time up there in Idaho when everything was wrong; your husband's career, your marriage, your sense of yourself, your confidence, all came unglued together. Did you come down out of that into some restful 30 degree angle and live happily ever after? … We shared this house all the years of my childhood, and a good many summers afterward. Was the quiet I always felt in you really repose?
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Wallace Stegner's uniquely American classic centers on Lyman Ward, a noted historian, who relates a fictionalized biography of his pioneer grandparents at a time when he has become estranged from his own family. Through a combination of research, memory, and exaggeration, Ward voices ideas concerning the relationship between history and the present, art and life, parents and children, husbands and wives. Like other great quests in literature, Lyman Ward's investigation leads him deep into the dark shadows of his own life.

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