Sunday, February 14, 2010

Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West

An advice columnist realizes some problems can never be solved, certainly not with a witty paragraph answer.

And now that Miss Lonelyhearts knows about these sad people and their horrible unfixable problems he can’t go on living normally – that is the drinking, whoring, lying the other characters all participate in. He needs to find a substitute – he thought he had a substitute in God, but that doesn’t work either. What is it all about? That’s what the characters want to know. You can’t make cripples whole – that’s the answer. A savage book! Not comforting at all. The prose style lapidary, powerful, nothing is wasted. It’s like a scream.

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