A Son of the Middle Border

Grosset & Dunlap, 1917 - 466 ページ
Garland's coming-of-age autobiography that established him as a master of American realism.

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A son of the middle border

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In this brace of literary autobiographies (the individual titles were released in 1921 and 1917, respectively), the Pulitzer Prize-winning Garland unfurled his life growing up in Wisconsin farm ... レビュー全文を読む

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As a midwesterner I knew the early pioneers had it tough but it was really very bleak. It is comparable to Giants in the Earth. レビュー全文を読む

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141 ページ - It was our brief season of imaginative life. In one day — in a part of one day — we gained a thousand new conceptions of the world and of human nature. It was an embodiment of all that was skillful and beautiful in manly action. It was a compendium of biologic research but more important still, it brought to our ears the latest band pieces and taught us the most popular songs. It furnished us with jokes. It relieved our dullness. It gave us something to talk about.
383 ページ - Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems, You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are millions of suns left,) You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books...
415 ページ - ... a bird willing to foul his own nest" was an amazement. Editorials and criticisms poured into the office, all written to prove that my pictures of the middle border were utterly false. Statistics were employed to show that pianos and Brussels carpets adorned almost every Iowa farmhouse. Tilling the prairie soil was declared to be "the noblest vocation in the world, not in the least like the pictures this eastern author has drawn of it.
151 ページ - ... before such abundance as we then enjoyed. Deep as the breast of a man, wide as the sea, heavyheaded, supple-stocked, many-voiced, full of multitudinous, secret, whispered colloquies, — a meeting place of winds and of sunlight, — our fields ran to the world's end. We trembled when the storm lay hard upon the wheat, we exulted as the lilac shadows of noon-day drifted over it! We went out into it at noon when all was still — so still we could hear the pulse of the transforming sap as it crept...
414 ページ - Mainly it is long and wearyful, and has a dull little town at one end and a home of toil at the other. Like the maintravelled road of life it is traversed by many classes of people, but the poor and the weary predominate.
48 ページ - That you long have neglected your plow and your cart, Your horses, sheep, cattle at random do run, And your new Sunday jacket goes every day on. Oh, stay on your farm and you'll suffer no loss, For the stone that keeps rolling will gather no moss.
365 ページ - In addition to the work of being cook and scrub-woman, she was now a mother and nurse. As I looked around upon her worn chairs, faded rag carpets, and sagging sofas, — the bare walls of her pitiful little house seemed a prison. I thought of her as she was in the days of her radiant girlhood and my throat filled with rebellious pain. All the gilding of farm life melted away. The hard and bitter realities came back upon me in a flood. Nature was as beautiful as ever. The soaring sky was filled with...
415 ページ - To my father and mother whose half-century pilgrimage on the main-travelled road of life has brought them only toil and deprivation, this book of stories is dedicated by a son to whom every day brings a deepening sense of his parents
131 ページ - ... larks and plover called and the gray badgers stared with disapproving bitterness from their ravaged hills. Maledictions on that tough northwest forty! How many times I harrowed and cross-harrowed it I cannot say, but I well remember the maddening persistency with which the masses of hazel roots clogged the teeth of the drag, making it necessary for me to raise the corner of it — a million times a day! This had to be done while the team was in motion, and you can see I did not lack for exercise....
59 ページ - ... for more speed. Frank swung his lash and yelled at the straining horses, the sleepy growl of the cylinder rose to a howl and the wheat came pulsing out at the spout in such a stream that the carriers were forced to trot on their path to and from the granary in order to keep the grain from piling up around the measurer. — There was a kind of splendid rivalry in this backbreaking toil — for each sack weighed ninety pounds.

著者について (1917)

Hamlin Garland was born and raised on pioneer farms in the upper Midwest, and his earliest and best fiction (most of it collected in Main Travelled Roads, 1891) deals with the unremitting hardship of frontier life---angry, realistic stories about the toil and abuses to which farmers of the time were subjected. As his fiction became more popular and romantic, its quality seriously declined, and Garland is remembered today chiefly for a handful of stories, such as "Under the Lion's Paw" and "Rose of Dutcher's Coolly." His only contribution to literary theory is Crumbling Idols (1894), in which he argued for an art that was truthful, humanitarian, and rooted in a specific locale. The first volume of his autobiography, A Son of the Middle Border (1917), was followed by the much-admired second volume, A Daughter of the Middle Border (1921), which was awarded a Pulitzer Prize. He published several other volumes of reminiscence, all of which are once more available with the reprinting of the 45-volume collection of his works.