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By Blake Bailey

The first biography of acclaimed American novelist and tale author Richard Yates

Celebrated in his major, forgotten in his ultimate years, simply to be championed anew via our best modern authors, Richard Yates has constantly uncovered readers to the unsettling hypocrisies of our glossy age. vintage novels such as innovative Road and The Easter Parade are incomparable chronicles of the quiet and not-so-quiet desperation of the yankee middle-class. Lonely housewives, addled businessmen, determined career-girls and apprehensive boys and squaddies, Yates's the US used to be a landscape of excessive dwelling, self-doubt and self-deception. And within the culture of different nice reasonable writers of his time (Fitzgerald and Hemingway, Cheever and Updike), Yates's fictional international reflected his personal. A manic-depressive alcoholic and unapologetic gentleman, his lifestyles used to be a hornets' nest of early life ghosts, the horrors of battle, cash woes, and ebullient cocktailed evenings in manhattan, Hollywood, and the Riviera.

A Tragic Honesty is a masterful evocation of a guy who in lots of methods embodied the struggles of the nice American author within the latter 1/2 the 20th century. repute and present by means of heartbreak and obscurity, Richard Yates the following stands for what the author needs to sacrifice for his craft, the devil's discount of artistry for happiness, compliment for sanity.

Awards
National publication Critics Circle Award Nominee for Biography (2003)

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Extra info for A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates

Sample text

But the task ne'er could await the mood to come: The music of the iron is a law: a law that lay its heavy hand Upon the soul, still sore from yesterday. Evidently Frost was a practicing American workers' poet before most of the noisy academic "proletarians" of the nineteen­thirties were out of rompers.  Withheld from publication until 1920, and never collected, it is the angriest and bitterest poem Frost ever wrote; referring as it does to a process of building a city which should not have been and then working to populate it with people degraded by their employment.

It is not to be wondered at that it went over the heads of most of the auditors, for it was as cryptic in style as it was compressed. 2 The close of his valediction seemed abrupt to some in the audience who failed to realize how it was pointed dramatically toward the last line of the class hymn: To all old school associations here we show our purposed way in one bell­toned Farewell!  To Robert's words, printed in the Order of Exercises distributed to the audience, Elinor's mother had arranged the music from Beethoven: There is a nook among the alders Still sleeping to the cat­bird's "Hush"; Below, a long stone­bridge is bending Above a runnel's silent rush.

At first, that is, like many another critic then and an occasional one even today, Frost was swept away by the earnestness and eloquence with which Lanier insisted that the laws of music and verse are identical, that every foot represents a mathematically equal time interval, and therefore that length of interval, not accent, is the determining element in prosody.

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