By L. J. Davis

ISBN-10: 1590173945

ISBN-13: 9781590173947

L. J. Davis's 1971 novel, A significant Life, is a blistering black comedy concerning the American quest for redemption via genuine property and a gritty photograph of latest York urban in cave in. simply out of faculty, Lowell Lake, the Western-born hero of Davis's novel, heads to long island, the place he plans to make it monstrous as a author. as a substitute he unearths a task as a technical editor, at which he toils away whereas ardour leaks out of his marriage to a pleasant Jewish lady. Then Lowell discovers a stunning crumbling mansion in a crime-ridden part of Brooklyn, and opposed to all recommendation, let alone his wife's will, sinks his each penny into procuring it. He quits his task, strikes in, and spends day and evening on demolition and building. eventually he has a challenge: he'll dig up the misplaced background of his apartment; he'll restoration it to its previous grandeur. he'll make reliable on every little thing that's long gone incorrect along with his lifestyles, and he'll even homicide to do it.

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Extra info for A Meaningful Life (New York Review Books Classics)

Sample text

For writers, then, a broad readership seemed within easy reach. The wealthy, the middle class, and even the literate poor read in order to educate and entertain themselves. Judging by their content, magazines and newspapers were aimed at a largely middle-class audience, and among whites the middle class was large. Without an inherited aristocracy, American society lacked the most extreme differences between rich and poor found in Europe; the eighteenth-century mansions still standing today often seem small to contemporary visitors.

Weems also wrote The Life of Dr. Benjamin Franklin (1815); his biography of Washington, along with Franklin’s autobiography, were the two biographical works from the era that remained popular throughout the nineteenth century. Many of the most famous biographies and autobiographies of the period are readily available in multiple editions and in textbooks of American literature. Elizabeth Ashbridge’s narrative can be found in Journeys in New Worlds: Early American Women’s Narratives, edited by William L.

Laurence Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey Through France and Italy (1768) combined sentimentality with the travel genre, which was usually more outwardly focused; in Sterne’s version of travel, the personal encounters and reflections of the traveler become the focus. Sterne’s A Sentimental Journey was widely read and appreciated in America. Along with Richardson’s works, Sterne’s helped to establish the sentimental mode that dominated much of American literature. Sterne’s mixture of sensibility with the occasional hint of bawdiness was sometimes denounced by more-conservative American readers, but his influence can be seen in sometimes suggestive novels such as Tabitha Gilman Tenney’s Female Quixotism (1801) and Brackenridge’s Modern Chivalry.

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