Download e-book for iPad: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

By Edith Wharton

Un joven ingeniero retenido por su trabajo en una pequeña localidad de Massachussets observa a un hombre lisiado y envejecido que recoge en l. a. oficina de correos una revista y un sobre con medicamentos. Es invierno y el ambiente del pueblo es claustrofóbico. El aspecto educado del hombre, l. a. edad que no corresponde a su físico, los misteriosos silencios y prevenciones que despierta su presencia en los demás, su vida casi aislada en una destartalada granja con dos mujeres, llevan a preguntarse al ingeniero por qué sigue viviendo en un sitio de donde, como dicen los lugareños, «casi todos los listos se marchan». Pero el hombre tiene un motivo para no haberse marchado, o para haberlo intentado y nunca conseguido: una historia en los angeles que se mezclan los angeles fatalidad del destino y todas las sutilezas del amor prohibido.

Ethan Frome (1911) es una nouvelle cuyo escenario −los pueblos y bosques de Nueva Inglaterra− es toda una tradición de l. a. más distinguida literatura norteamericana (de Hawthorne a Lovecraft) pero una excepción en una novelista esencialmente moderna y urbana como Edith Wharton. Sin embargo, desde su publicación, no dejaría de ser una de sus obras más características, uno de los ejemplos más celebrados de su sensibilidad y de su estilo. Un auténtico clásico norteamericano y una auténtica lección de arte narrativo.

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In recent years, when I wanted to teach Twain again, I turned to the novel Pudd舖nhead Wilson, with its own tangled problems of racial and national masks and masquerades; to short fiction and essays (including perhaps his funniest piece of writing, 舠Fenimore Cooper舗s Literary Offenses舡; see 舠For Further Reading舡), and to The Mysterious Stranger, in which wry, darkly wise Satan drops in on a hamlet very much like the ones of Twain舗s best-known fictions, including Huckleberry Finn. One of Satan舗s messages is close to Huck舗s, too: that it is better to be dead than to endure the ordinary villager舗s humdrum (and very violent) life.

1858 Sam舗s brother Henry dies in a steamboat accident. 1859 Samuel Clemens becomes a fully licensed river pilot. 1861 The American Civil War erupts, putting an abrupt stop to river trade between North and South. Sam serves with a Confederate militia for two weeks before venturing to the Nevada Territory with Orion, who had been appointed by President Abraham Lin coln as secretary of the new Territory. 1862 After an unsuccessful stint as a miner and prospector for gold and silver, Clemens begins reporting for the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada.

In the key instance of Huckleberry Finn舗s 舠hypercanonization,舡 Hemingway wrote these famous sweeping words about the novel: 舠All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn ... It舗s the best book we舗ve had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. 舡 Hemingway舗s other key sentences, hidden in the ellipsis above, are usually not quoted: 舠If you read it you must stop where the Nigger Jim [there it is again: Hemingway舗s phrase, not Twain舖s] is stolen from the boys.

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