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The Maytrees: A Novel de Annie Dillard
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The Maytrees: A Novel (2007 original; edició 2008)

de Annie Dillard

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1,1654712,842 (3.48)70
Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath. Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty. As he courts Lou, just out of college, her stillness draws him. Hands-off, he hides his serious wooing, and idly shows her his poems. Dillard traces the Maytrees' decades of loving and longing. They live cheaply among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts. Lou takes up painting. When their son Pete appears, their innocent Bohemian friend Deary helps care for him. These people are all loving, and ironic. As Dillard intimately depicts nature's vastness and nearness, she presents willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love.--From publisher description.… (més)
Membre:DanielJamesBrown
Títol:The Maytrees: A Novel
Autors:Annie Dillard
Informació:Harper Perennial (2008), Paperback, 240 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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The Maytrees: A Novel de Annie Dillard (2007)

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Es mostren 1-5 de 47 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I wasn't planning to revisit this book. I have a tree-book of it, and as I am the one who hooked my Young Gentleman Caller on Author Dillard's [Pilgrim at Tinker Creek] (his comment: "Fuck Walden! This is what {nature writing} should be!"), when he was Kindleshopping here this afternoon and saw this was $1.99, I said he could take the tree-book and not spend the money. We flipped through it together for a while....
Three days a week she helped at the Manor Nursing Home, where people proved their keenness by reciting received analyses of current events. All the Manor residents watched television day and night, informed to the eyeballs like everyone else and rushed for time, toward what end no one asked. Their cupidity and self-love were no worse than anyone else's, but their many experiences having taught them so little irked Lou. One hated tourists, another southerners; another despised immigrants. Even dying, they still held themselves in highest regard. Lou would have to watch herself. For this way of thinking began to look like human nature—as if each person of two or three billion would spend his last vital drop to sustain his self-importance.
That made us both laugh out loud. I mean, given where I am, I'm in a position to say "oh HELL yeah" to the truth imbued in that. And Rob, since he actually seeks my company out, asks me things, and *listens* when I answer (!!), is au fait with it, too. (I preen a little that he speaks without scorn of them, exasperating as they are; he commented once that I was not to plan to go down that road or he'd biff me one.)

But that, most regrettably, was as good as it got.
If she…had known how much her first half-inch beginning to let go would take—and how long her noticing and renouncing owning and her turning her habits, and beginning the slimmest self-mastery whose end was nowhere in sight—would she have begun?
–and–
What was it she wanted to think about? Here it was, all she ever wanted: a free mind. She wanted to figure out. With which unknown should she begin? Why are we here, we four billion equals who seem significant to ourselves alone? She rejected religion. She knew Christianity stressed the Ten Commandments, Jesus Christ as the only son of God who walked on water and rose up after dying on the cross, the Good Samaritan, and cleanliness is next to godliness. Buddhism and Taoism could handle all those galaxies, but Taoism was self-evident—although it kept slipping her mind—and Buddhism made you just sit there. Judaism wanted her like a hole in the head. And religions all said—early or late—that holiness was within. Either they were crazy or she was. She had looked long ago and learned: not within her. It was fearsome down there, a crusty cast-iron pot. Within she was empty. She would never poke around in those terrors and wastes again, so help her God.
We kept reading to each other (I've made my hmmfyness about that well-known, but ya know what? it's different when you're in love with the reader! Go know from this shocking revelation, right?) as the hours ticked by and after about two were spent, we silently agreed to stop.

It's in the Little Free Library if anyone wants to go get it. So very disappointing. ( )
  richardderus | Feb 27, 2021 |
The Maytrees is a dense, lyrical book written in the style of the Beat poets, about a couple of bohemians who meet in Provincetown in the 1950s. Annie Dillard bounces around in time, flashing forward to the ends of the couple's lives, then back to their childhoods. Her well-read characters are as familiar with Greek philosophers as with friends living down the street, yet know how to keep a beach shack in good repair and fish for nearly anything. There's not much plot to it, but it's a beautifully written meditation on love, life, and dying. I listened to this book on CD, and I'm ordering a paperback copy so I can read it again and take my time. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
A potent soporific. One of the most excruciatingly boring books I’ve ever read. ( )
  fountainoverflows | Jan 1, 2020 |
Toby and Lou Maytree, meet, fall in love and marry, in post-war Cape Cod. The second half of the novel, shows them drifting apart. Much of Dillard's prose is lovely but the tone of the book feels cool and aloof. The characters are kept at a distance. Silhouettes. I wanted more depth and feeling. This may work better in poetry but I don't think it fits here, although other readers have praised this novel highly.
I loved Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, so I wonder if she writes better nonfiction. I did not dislike it. I just wanted more. ( )
  msf59 | Nov 6, 2016 |
This is a signed first edition
  Herbert66 | Sep 6, 2016 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 47 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Annie Dillard has always been at her best when considering death; the contemplation of mortality gives her writing an extraordinarily fierce and burnished quality. Her central, crucial question remains that posed in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek: "What was it, exactly - or even roughly - that we people are meant to be doing here? Or, how best to use one's short time?"
afegit per eereed | editaThe Guardian, Olivia Laing (Dec 8, 2007)
 
Ultimately, their story wins out and there is not the faintest sound of a wheel squeaking. In two beautifully told death scenes, Dillard has managed to achieve what Chekhov did with death in “The Bishop.” He “takes the mystery out of dying, makes it almost an ordinary occurrence,” Foote wrote to Percy. “And in the course of doing it, makes dying more of a mystery than ever.” Now, after a lifetime of probing, pontificating, huffing and puffing, Dillard has accomplished the reader’s payoff she so relentlessly detailed almost 20 years ago in “The Writing Life.” She too has pressed upon us “the deepest mysteries.”
afegit per eereed | editaNew York Times, Julia Reed (Jul 29, 2007)
 
You have to be wise to write in this kind of shorthand. You have to know something about what words can and cannot do. "Love so sprang at her," she writes of Lou, "she honestly thought no one had ever looked into it. Where was it in literature? Someone would have written something. She must not have recognized it. Time to read everything again." It takes depth and width of experience to write lean and still drag your readers under the surface of their own awareness to that place where it's all vaguely familiar and, yes, universal.
 
Annie Dillard's books are like comets, like celestial events that remind us that the reality we inhabit is itself a celestial event, the business of eons and galaxies, however persistently we mistake its local manifestations for mere dust, mere sea, mere self, mere thought. The beauty and obsession of her work are always the integration of being, at the grandest scales of our knowledge of it, with the intimate and momentary sense of life lived.

The Maytrees is about wonder -- in the terms of this novel, life's one truth. It is wonder indeed that is invoked here, vast and elusive and inexhaustible and intimate and timeless. There is a resolute this-worldliness that startles the reader again and again with recognition. How much we overlook! What a world this is, after all, and how profound on its own terms.
 
For Dillard, a sense of exile seems always to accompany intimations of the holy, leaving her to ask, in many different ways, how time can be redeemed or restored, how the broken can be made whole.
 

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Toby Maytree first sees Lou Bigelow on her bicycle in postwar Provincetown, Massachusetts. Her laughter and loveliness catch his breath. Maytree is a Provincetown native, an educated poet of thirty. As he courts Lou, just out of college, her stillness draws him. Hands-off, he hides his serious wooing, and idly shows her his poems. Dillard traces the Maytrees' decades of loving and longing. They live cheaply among the nonconformist artists and writers that the bare tip of Cape Cod attracts. Lou takes up painting. When their son Pete appears, their innocent Bohemian friend Deary helps care for him. These people are all loving, and ironic. As Dillard intimately depicts nature's vastness and nearness, she presents willed bonds of loyalty, friendship, and abiding love.--From publisher description.

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