Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vintage Novels {By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept}

Elizabeth Smart's novel written in prose poetry was first published in 1945 and only 2000 copies were printed, but it built up a following until it was reissued in 1966. The novel is a fictionalized account of Miss Smart's on again, off again decades-long affair with the married poet George Barker, with whom she had four children.
By Grand Central Station is a beautiful and heart breaking book. The narrator tells the story of how she met and fell in love with a married man in a lyrical and dream-like stream of conscious style where words and sentences flow across the page. We feel for and understand the narrator as she defies all objects made by strangers and family to her affair and it is understandable why the narrator begins to find pleasure in the suffering that her status as an outcast from society brings her.
The book is so terribly sad, but the use of language is just so beautiful to read that you don't mind the sadness and the pain.
Try to find an edition with the forward by Brigid Brophy and read that first in order to understand the book better. I would recommend reading this book in one sitting, which is easy to do since it's only about a hundred pages and it is a masterpiece.

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