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Sophie's Choice Paperback – Mar 3 1992
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"Students preparing research papers and students boning up for class will reach eagerly for these well-designed additions to accessible literary criticism for high school students." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
Three stories are told: a young Southerner wants to become a writer; a turbulent love-hate affair between a brilliant Jew and a beautiful Polish woman; and of an awful wound in that woman's past--one that impels both Sophie and Nathan toward destruction.See all Product description
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Being the southern gentleman that he is, I was surprised and impressed by the skill with which Styron wrote of male lust; it preoccupied the narrator to a frenzied yet comic extent and any writer who can write of male lust well will get a tip of the hat from me.
I've been reading a lot of contemporary fiction lately and Styron has a refreshing moral seriousness (and not at the expence of intelligence or art) that many writers now do not attempt. The antithesis of this type of writing would be someone like John Barth, who in his own plodding adademic way seems to think that he himself is very clever and funny. Styron seems to have the weight of the world on his poor shoulders, and in this respect, and in the clarity of his descriptions, he reminds me of Tolstoy.
However I am wary of writers who often take on humungous subjects which they have no intimate, personal experience with. And this is the main thing that bothered me about Sophie's Choice. I of course understand that writers must tackle things they have no experience of (unless they are alarmingly solipsistic and self-absorbed, like Updike) but when a writer living in the comforts of America goes on and on about Auschwitz for some reason it really bothers me. Some things should not be spoken. Also the catalog of cruelty often came off the same way that sensationalistic journalism comes off; it almost makes light of the cruelty by attempting to understand it.
Must also recommend any book by Elmore Leonard or Thomas Wolfe
Somehow It makes me believe that a great portion of this accomplishment is not fiction at all, but a real life story with characters that get so much into the deepest inner self of the reader inciting him to not want to stop reading.
There are three aspects of this production extraordinarily remarkable:
Firstly, the use of great prose and vocabulary. Styron plays with words to conceive the greatest work of description I have read.
Secondly, all the details of the horrendous, not forgivable, indescribable, examples of crimes executed during the Holocaust. Specifically in Auschwitz, Birkenau concentration camps, with its crematory installations, and of the way some polish people acted, and so many of them also died, leads me to believe that 100% of the facts did occur as utterly wrong as Styron relates them. This seems no fiction but reality
And last but not least, Sophie, the beautiful, fair, polish woman that relates her story during those years. She relates her life intermittently positioning lies between true events all throughout this piece of literature.
And almost at the end relates how she is imminently condemned to take the most hideous choice of her life. The one that leads her to the most shaking end .
To closure my summary, I shouldn't fail to convey that the idiosyncrasies of the personalities are anything but conventional, and the narration, done by the young and naive writer Stingo, whose life seems to be a self-portrayal of Willian Styron himself.
No wonder it has earned a National Price Award.
Please anyone send me suggestions about other Titles as good as this
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Finished it last Saturday, then watched the movie starring Meryl Streep and...Read more
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