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The Ballad of the Sad Café and Other Stories (1951)

de Carson McCullers

Outros autores: Veja a seção outros autores.

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2,493566,040 (3.89)156
A classic work that has charmed generations of readers, this collection assembles Carson McCullers's best stories, including her beloved novella "The Ballad of the Sad Caf." A haunting tale of a human triangle that culminates in an astonishing brawl, the novella introduces readers to Miss Amelia, a formidable southern woman whose caf serves as the town's gathering place. Among other fine works, the collection also includes "Wunderkind," McCullers's first published story written when she was only seventeen about a musical prodigy who suddenly realizes she will not go on to become a great pianist. The Ballad of the Sad Caf is a brilliant study of love and longing from one of the South's finest writers.… (mais)
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The question of nurture versus nature. Every major character with The Ballad of the Sad Cafe has a tendency to instigate and agitate. Everyone stirs up trouble in one way or another. Did the impulse to do this come from something nefarious in childhood or were they born to rattle cages from the very beginning? Miss Amelia Evans is a person who, if she didn't completely understand a situation well enough to have an opinion about it, ignored it completely. Cousin Lymon is a southern Iago, prone to stirring things up with cruel intentions. When Marvin Macy comes to town it is like two criminals recognizing themselves in total strangers; they are kindred spirits, born to raise hell as a team.
Confessional: Everything about the story was sad. I think that was because you didn't really know why everyone was so uncaring and cruel. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Mar 19, 2024 |
��
  AnkaraLibrary | Feb 23, 2024 |
NOTE: Read only the tititular story (for book club).

Thought it had potential based on the set-up, but the set-up seemed to span about 90% of the story. The "climax" was anticlimactic and I was left with more questions by the end than I had started with. The characters interested me and I found the setting to be quite lifelike and captivating, but the plot just didn't deliver. ( )
  Spyder227 | Feb 5, 2024 |
Only the Lonely

Published in 1951, the title story is of novella length with six other shorter stories. It is the The Ballad of the Sad Cafe that dominates this reading experience and it was the first thing that I have read by this author. It is set in the deep South of the U. S. A. in a run down town with 100 yards of high street. Miss Amelia Evans a tall strong Amazon of a woman owns the biggest store in town which she has built up and financed by her own hard work and guile. She has a still and some land out in the swamps and makes the best liquor in town. Some years ago she married a local no good, but charismatic man (Marvin Macy) who only lasted 10 days before she kicked him out. She has had no truck with any other man since and so when a hunchbacked man arrives in town claiming to be a cousin everybody is surprised when she takes him in. Cousin Lymon's presence in the house causes Amelia to open the downstairs as a bar and restaurant which soon becomes a place where most of the social men come to drink. Marvin Macy is released from the penitentiary and comes back to find Amelia.................

The novella has similar themes to some of the short stories. The unlikely love stories of strong, self sufficient characters, the mystery of unequal power in a relationship: why should Amelia choose Marvin for a husband and why should she entertain Cousin Lymon. These are mysteries that get everybody in town thinking and talking, but nobody can predict the outcomes. The reader is left in suspense, sees how the story pans out, but can offer no explanation for the events, which stay as secret as the characters McCullers presents. As the story is told in a third person narrative it is for the reader to imagine the passions that drive the characters in this story. The setting of the story, the daily life in the small town, the sharp changes in climate, will all have their effect. It is a fascinating story, told superbly well.

The second story Wunderkind shows how a female musical child prodigy finally realises that she has not got that extra something that will make her a star. Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland is another story that has a musical theme. Madame Zilensky is a conductor seeking employment as a teacher, she is a pathological liar, but her male employers are willing to accept this side of her character. The Sojourner tells of a man meeting his ex wife by chance and being invited home to meet her new family and A Domestic Dilemma tells how a husband will forgive and protect his wife who he knows has become an alcoholic and a danger to their children. A Tree, a Rock and a Cloud has a 12 year old paper boy listening to a story told to him by a man in a cafe; of his impossible love for a woman who will not entertain him.

Apart from stories of unrequited, impossible, or overwhelming love, music features strongly in some of them. At the end of The Ballad of the Sad cafe as a sort of postscript; a chain gang of seven black and 5 white convicts usually start songs or a chant while they work, which well up from out of them and swell up to a climax before petering out. It follows the graphical line of the story. I enjoyed and was impressed by my first delving into the work of Carson McCullers - 4 stars. ( )
2 vote baswood | Jan 20, 2024 |
Dopo aver finito questo libro, mi pongo ancora una domanda: perché la casa editrice ha cassato quel “and other stories” che compariva nel titolo originale? Aveva forse paura che il lettore italiano capisse che si tratta di una raccolta di storia brevi? Misteri dell'editoria italiana.

Detto questo, l'ho trovata una raccolta di storie sorprendentemente puntuale nel descrivere l'animo umano quando perde qualcosa a cui teneva. Tutti i racconti, infatti, ruotano intorno alla perdita di qualcosa (o di qualcuno): la sensibilità della McCullers mi ha davvero colpita molto, aveva una capacità straordinaria nel tratteggiare persone e situazioni.

In alcuni racconti, colpisce il realismo crudo (come in Dilemma domestico), mentre il altri il gotico del sud ha la prevalenza e compaiono personaggi strampalati (come in La ballata del caffè triste, il racconto più lungo che dà il titolo alla raccolta). ( )
  lasiepedimore | Aug 30, 2023 |
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Nome do autorFunçãoTipo de autorObra?Status
McCullers, Carsonautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Ledoux, DavidNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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The ballad of the Sad Café: The town itself is dreary; not much is there except the cotton-mill, the two-room houses where the workers live, a few peach trees, a church with two coloured windows, and a miserable main street only a hundred yards long.
Wunderkind: She came into the living-room, her music satchel plopping against her winter-stockinged legs and her other arm weighted down with school books, and stood for a moment listening to the sounds from the studio.
The jockey: The jockey came to the doorway of the dining-room, then after a moment stepped to one side and stood motionless, with his back to the wall.
Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland: To Mr Brook, the head of the music department at Ryder College, was due all the dredit for getting Madame Zilensky on the faculty.
The sojourner: The twilight border between sleep and waking was a Roman one this morning: splashing fountains and arched, narrow streets, the golden lavish city of blossoms and age-soft stone.
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This selection contains: The ballad of the sad café --
Wunderkind --
The jockey --
Madame Zilensky and the King of Finland --
The sojourner --
A domestic dilemma --
A tree, a rock, a cloud --
Please do not combine with volumes containing only the short story.

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This is the selection published as a Penguin and now as a Penguin Classic, though under the title of the short story
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A classic work that has charmed generations of readers, this collection assembles Carson McCullers's best stories, including her beloved novella "The Ballad of the Sad Caf." A haunting tale of a human triangle that culminates in an astonishing brawl, the novella introduces readers to Miss Amelia, a formidable southern woman whose caf serves as the town's gathering place. Among other fine works, the collection also includes "Wunderkind," McCullers's first published story written when she was only seventeen about a musical prodigy who suddenly realizes she will not go on to become a great pianist. The Ballad of the Sad Caf is a brilliant study of love and longing from one of the South's finest writers.

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