My Other Loneliness: Letters of Thomas Wolfe and Aline Bernstein

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UNC Press Books, 1983 - 390 ページ
Written over an eleven-year period, these letters between Thomas Wolfe and Aline Bernstein chronicle a love affair that was by turns stormy, tender, bitter, and contrite.



When Wolfe met Mrs. Bernstein shortly before his twenty-fifth birthday in 1925, she was forty-four, married, and at the pinnacle of a successful career as a stage and costume designer. Bernstein gave the young writer not only the unstinting love of an experienced older woman but the financial assistance and belief in his ability that enabled him to create Look Homeward, Angel. "I am deliberately writing the book for two or three people," he writes to her, "first and chiefest, for you."



In letters written while Wolfe traveled in Europe, Bernstein describes the exciting world of the theater in New York and her own work on countless productions. Wolfe's descriptions of life, culture, and language from Oxford to Budapest rank with the best of his collected writings. Reproach becomes a more common theme in the letters as the affair continues, however, by 1931 Wolfe acknowledges that his feelings for Bernstein have altered: "I need your help, and I need your friendship, and I need your love and belief--but the time of madness, darkness, passion is over, we can never relive that, we can never live through it again."



That time continues to live, however, in these letters and in the books that both Wolfe and Mrs. Bernstein wrote about their relationship. For those who have read Wolfe's Of Time and the River, The Web and the Rock, or You Can't Go Home Again, or Aline Bernstein's Three Blue Suits or The Journey Down, this correspondence provides remarkable insights into the authors' sources.

 

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目次

Introduction
i
Idyllic Years
13
The Grand Renunciation
113
The Long Bitter War of Separation
263
The Final Break
291
19331934 OneSided Love
321
Friendship
343
Bibliography
349
Index
351
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著者について (1983)

Thomas Wolfe was born in Asheville, North Carolina. He received his M.A. from Harvard University, taught at New York University from 1924 to 1930, and traveled abroad when he could. His long autobiographical series of novels begins with Look Homeward, Angel published in 1929, an account of a sensitive young man named Eugene Gant. Eugene's story is continued in Of Time and the River, publishing in 1935, in which a publisher's note announced that "this novel is the second in a series of six" and gave the six titles. Wolfe lived to complete only four. Hurt and troubled by widespread rumors that his undisciplined manuscripts had been shaped into publishable form by Scribner's famous editor Maxwell Perkins, Wolfe changed publishers, moving from Scribner to Harper, and for legal reasons found it necessary to change the name of his fictional surrogate. The George Webber of The Web and the Rock, published in 1939 and You Can't Go Home Again, published 1940 is essentially Eugene Gant continuing his search for the meaning of life. Wolfe traces the turbulent path of his hero through his European experiences, which have shown George the beginnings of Hitlerism, so that he tells his editor that henceforth he will write fiction of social protest. Wolfe did not live to write the books so bravely announced. From an early bout with pneumonia, he suffered from tuberculosis of the lungs, which led to fatal tuberculosis of the brain. He died following brain surgery at age 38. In addition to the four installments of the one long autobiographical novel on which his reputation must chiefly rest, Wolfe wrote some short stories that are collected in The Hills Beyond, published in 1941 and From Death to Morning, publishd in 1935. As a student in the famous 47 Workshop at Harvard, and afterward on his own, Wolfe wrote several plays, including Welcome to Our City. Wolfe's own plays were not as successful in the theater as Ketti Frings's adaptation of Look Homeward, Angel as a comedy-drama in three acts; that work won a Pulitzer Prize in 1958 as well as the New York Drama Critics Circle Award as the best play of the season.

Suzanne Stutman is professor of English at Pennsylvania State University-Ogontz.

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