By Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom
- provides vital and scholarly feedback on significant works from The Odyssey via glossy literature - The severe essays mirror quite a few colleges of feedback - comprises notes at the contributing critics, a chronology of the author's existence, and an index - Introductory essay via Harold Bloom
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Additional resources for Carson McCullers' The Ballad Of The Sad Cafe (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)
Their worth is calculated in terms of dollars and cents. Of course, as McCullers writes, there is “no feeling of joy in the transaction,” only the determination not to risk too much. And so, among a people “unused to gathering together for the sake of pleasure” the experience of joy cannot be sustained. To expend the soul in an open give-and-take relationship with another is too much of a risk; it seems safer, and more expedient, to approach another only to take rather than to risk being taken.
Her characters react irrationally in their frustrations or their anxiety and seem as fascinated by evil as repelled by it. She also assumes, as did many early gothic writers, that a close relationship exists between evil and human solitude or loneliness. Although in McCullers’ ﬁrst novel Singer cannot survive his anguish, she emphasized the optimism of Mick Kelly and Portia Copeland in the face of suffering. In Reﬂections in a Golden Eye and in The Ballad of the Sad Café she recognized more decisively that irrationality and evil lie as close to the heart of human experience as do the hunger for love and its possible redemptive inﬂuence.
John B. Vickery, “Carson McCullers: A Map of Love,” Wisconsin Studies in Contemporary Literature, I (Winter 1960), p. 15. 7. The Mortgaged Heart, p. 294. 30 Panthea Reid Broughton 8. Karl Stern, The Flight from Woman (New York: Noonday Press, 1970), p. 38. 9. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter: The Novels and Stories of Carson McCullers (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1951), p. 273. 10. The Mortgaged Heart, p. 171. 11. See The Art of Loving (New York: Bantam Books, 1967), pp. 15–17. 12. Stern, p. 3. 13.
Carson McCullers' The Ballad Of The Sad Cafe (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations) by Sterling Professor of the Humanities Harold Bloom