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Omensetter's Luck (Penguin Twentieth Century…
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Omensetter's Luck (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) (original: 1966; edição: 1997)

de William Gass (Autor)

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5951229,435 (4.03)23
"The most important work of fiction by an American in this literary generation." -The New Republic Now celebrating the 50th anniversary of its publication, Omensetter's Luck is the masterful first novel by the author of The Tunnel, Middle C, On Being Blue, and Eyes: Novellas and Stories. Greeted as a masterpiece when it was first published in 1966, Omensetter's Luck is the quirky, impressionistic, and breathtakingly original story of an ordinary community galvanized by the presence of an extraordinary man. Set in a small Ohio town in the 1890s, it chronicles - through the voices of various participants and observers - the confrontation between Brackett Omensetter, a man of preternatural goodness, and the Reverend Jethro Furber, a preacher crazed with a propensity for violent thoughts. Omensetter's Luck meticulously brings to life a specific time and place as it illuminates timeless questions about life, love, good, and evil. This edition includes an afterword written by William Gass in 1997. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.… (mais)
Membro:MARizzo72
Título:Omensetter's Luck (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics)
Autores:William Gass (Autor)
Informação:Penguin Classics (1997), Edition: New edition, 336 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Detalhes da Obra

Omensetter's Luck de William H. Gass (Author) (1966)

Adicionado recentemente porbiblioteca privada, jordanr2, eshaundo, Thicksinpg, giovannaz63, D.Prisson, atyler, dllh
Bibliotecas HistóricasWilliam Gaddis, David Foster Wallace, Walker Percy
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I started Gass's The Tunnel a few years ago and stalled. I decided to try Omensetter's Luck as a shorter entre into Gass's work. It's not an easy book. It's often called "impressionistic," and for much of it, I thought it was much like Joyce at his (non-Wake) hardest (but thankfully briefer). I began to doubt my fitness to read such a book. But then it began clicking, and the last half or so goes down more smoothly. It's a book that needs rereading, and it's worth picking up for the afterword if nothing else. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
Apparently I've been delegated to write the dissenting opinion on this one. I first read it in college and was so unimpressed that I gave the book away (a bad idea in retrospect, it's nice to have around). I was equally unimpressed this time, despite, I flatter myself, being a much better reader, and, particularly, having read much more Gass. But Omensetter's Luck (one of the great *titles* of the twentieth century) inspires a lot of rapture from reviewers, and I'm not sure I've come across any book that inspires people to write more creative responses. Well, well, what do we live for but to disagree about books.

The Gass you may know and love from The Tunnel, Middle C and his essays (possibly novellas too, which are next on my Gass reading itinerary) is absent for all but a few pages of this one. Instead of the post-Bernhardian rants of his later novels, OL is mostly post-Joyceian stream of consciousness, or quasi-Gaddisian dialogue. It's also interesting to note that there's a real plot in this book, and that The Tunnel, for instance, seems to have been written at least in part to prove that even a 700 page book (probably closer to 800 standard sized pages) can be written with literally no plot other than "I dug a tunnel, but didn't get anywhere".

Stream of consciousness: I have to come up with some rules for what I will and won't read. I'm getting older, and reading more, but there's still an infinite number of books, good books, that I will never get to read. So, I will no longer be reading books written after... 1945, say, which feature stream of consciousness that is not obviously parodic. Contrary to what is sometimes suggested, nobody's internal world looks like that. Which wouldn't matter at all, if it was formally, intellectually or emotionally invigorating. It is not. Even a master of prose and ideas like Gass can't make silk from a series of sow's ears. "That's mighty funny, you know that. He wore a fur hat like a hunter's. Thin hot face. Determined. Splotched. Knox on his arm like a cane. Pride, Furber suggested. Pride. Domestic tiff" etc etc... This kind of thing is almost deliberately destructive of everything that Gass does well: here there's no syntactical or rhythmic complexity, and little rhetorical bloat (a good thing, in his case).

Dialogue: there's almost no dialogue in the later novels, and now I know why--Gass is the anti-Gaddis. While double D can conjure the entire history of financial capital in a few words spoken over the phone by a middle-school student, Gass's dialogue (particularly towards the end, when Furber starts defending Omensetter) is less interesting and a good deal more repetitive than his narration (though more interesting and less repetitive than the stream of consciousness stuff).

In other words, this book comprises, for the most part, three thing that Gass is not good at, or that nobody is good at, plot, dialogue and stream of consciousness. And yet people love it, and occasionally give reasons for loving it. And there are things here I like, I admit. Furber is a glorious character, halfway between a Gaddis creation and Gass's later ranters. His sermon certainly points toward the latter, as does his general position as an intelligent man driven mad by stupidity (and, presumably, religion).

Also, the afterword is wonderful. The afterword is actually better than the novel, inasmuch as Gass's style has matured into its acid and hate, and the little tale he spins about the book is truly fascinating. You should read Gass, but if you're looking for someone to tell you to start elsewhere, I'm your man. Start with Middle C (pending the re-release of In the Heart of the Heart of the Country). ( )
  stillatim | Oct 23, 2020 |
This is the first Gass novel I've tried. I was slightly disappointed because the novel started out convincing and extremely polished. The transition into Furber's stream of consciousness was a tad jarring. There is a lot of punning, wandering narration, Biblical rap lyrics, odd juxtapositions, and I am convinced that Gass is frequently nonsensical. However, the novel is not overlong, and is likely to surprise you once or twice per paragraph with some verbal trickery.

Gass's highly amusing Afterword goes on to explain the history of the book's publication. It is told in the manner of an autobiographical short story and I found it one of the best parts of the volume, though, like much of what came before, not strictly necessary.

Omensetter's Luck, as a novel, was an interesting experiment, an experience in self-indulgent images and voices, sort of reverberating prose, a suggestive, bleak, detailed, unique reading challenge. The examination of character is pretty one-sided, but that does not stop it from being interesting. I had the feeling that Gass is a capable writer, one who could have gone on for 500 more pages in this manner without running out of quirky ideas. But he restrains himself (for the most part). It is not all one thing. It could have been all sadness or all farce. It is both and much more. The variety is refreshing, and though the plot isn't that complicated, its obfuscated by lyrical labyrinths.

I recommend reading a summary. Spoiling the plot won't detract from your enjoyment of the novel. Then relish the sheer breadth of language contortions to follow. You could isolate many situations in the first sections of the book, and examine their symbolism. Gass invites you to pick apart what he is getting at. But if writing book reports is not your speed, you can also simply sit back and contemplate his impressionistic gusto. It is possible to feel the repressive strictures of the tormented Furber and the wily fascinations of Israbestis and the other inhabitants of Gilean so lovingly depicted by the author, like flashes of lightning, and I find myself thinking about them after reluctantly finishing the book. ( )
  LSPopovich | Apr 8, 2020 |
OMENSETTER'S LUCK is an impressionistic steam-of-consciousness novel featuring many voices. A dense yet playful fiction that isn't easy to grasp (never mind keep hold of!). In many ways it is reminiscent of a vivid dream - a dream reflecting a long-lost North American past - quirky, nostalgic, full of merging meaning, colours and scenes. I would say this is primarily a work for prose-lovers: surreal and wondrous descriptions mingle with gritty realism, stark machinations and crazy-clunky confabs. A book to either get joyously lost in or be utterly bemused by. ( )
1 vote BlackGlove | Jan 20, 2018 |
Hmmm, I expected more from this. I'll give it 3.5 stars. I really thought this book was going to take off and I was going to be in love with it, but it never did.
Takes place in the late 1800s (or maybe the first part is in the early 1900s). The first part is 29 pages and fun to read. I would really like to re-read it actually, as it takes place after the rest of the book. It's a fun way of introducing Furber, Pimber and Omensetter. The next part is the earliest section, and talks about Pimber and how Omensetter came to town and his 'luck'. Another 40 pages or so.
Then we have 330 pages of crazy Furber. He's fun and all, but sometimes I'm just lost and bored. Sort of like The Sound and the Fury. And the ending was good, but sort of anti-climactic.
Maybe I'm missing something.
Oh well. ( )
  weberam2 | Nov 24, 2017 |
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"The most important work of fiction by an American in this literary generation." -The New Republic Now celebrating the 50th anniversary of its publication, Omensetter's Luck is the masterful first novel by the author of The Tunnel, Middle C, On Being Blue, and Eyes: Novellas and Stories. Greeted as a masterpiece when it was first published in 1966, Omensetter's Luck is the quirky, impressionistic, and breathtakingly original story of an ordinary community galvanized by the presence of an extraordinary man. Set in a small Ohio town in the 1890s, it chronicles - through the voices of various participants and observers - the confrontation between Brackett Omensetter, a man of preternatural goodness, and the Reverend Jethro Furber, a preacher crazed with a propensity for violent thoughts. Omensetter's Luck meticulously brings to life a specific time and place as it illuminates timeless questions about life, love, good, and evil. This edition includes an afterword written by William Gass in 1997. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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