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A Childhood: The Biography of a Place (Anglais) Relié – 31 octobre 1995

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A Childhood "A Childhood" is the unforgettable memoir of Harry Crews' earliest years, a sharply remembered portrait of the people, locales, and circumstances that shaped him--and destined him to be a storyteller. Crews was born in the middle of the Great Depression, in a one-room sharecropper's cabin at the end of a dirt road in rural South Georgia. If Bacon County was a place of grinding poverty, poor soil, ... Full description

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MY FIRST MEMORY is of a time ten years before I was born, and the memory takes place where I have never been and involves my daddy whom I never knew. Lire la première page
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Couverture | Copyright | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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Format: Relié
Harry Crews est un auteur de romans noirs, pas assez reconnu au goût de ceux qui aiment ses livres qui fleurent bon le Sud rural le plus poisseux, avec leur cortège de personnages et de situations déjantés, comme son formidable premier opus, The Gospel Singer (1968), ou A Feast of Snakes (1976). Pour aller vite, on pourrait dire de Crews qu'il est l'enfant naturel d'Erskine Caldwell et de Jim Thompson, ce qui n'est pas une mince ascendance à lui prêter, j'en conviens, mais dont il a su dans ses meilleurs ouvrages être digne (voir également la biographie de l'auteur fournie ci-dessus).

En 1978, c'est justement en quête de mémoire et de ses ascendants biologiques qu'il se met, en rédigeant des mémoires intitulés en anglais A Childhood: The Biography of a Place. Le titre français, Des mules et des hommes : Une enfance, un lieu, est particulièrement bien trouvé, même s'il ne restitue pas le fait que s'il va bien s'agir de l'enfance de l'auteur, c'est aussi la biographie d'un lieu qui est proposée.
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2 commentaires 3 sur 3 ont trouvé cela utile. Avez-vous trouvé ce commentaire utile ? Oui Non Commentaire en cours d'envoi...
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x92ebd210) étoiles sur 5 22 commentaires
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92efc264) étoiles sur 5 Harry Crews' Materpiece 15 mars 2000
Par T. Bravender - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Although this book is not a typical work by the literate master of the hard South, it is a testament to his talent. This book made me see and feel the life of a 6 year old dirt farmer in Bacon Co, Georgia, and also give some insight into the basis of characters in Crews' fictional works. This is one of the best quasi-memoirs ever written, and even has a slight belief in human goodness not seen in his other work. Mr. Crews' more typical works (such as Feast of Snakes or All We Need of Hell) are very good novels in their own right, yet Childhood stands apart and above all of his other books combined. If you read nothing else by Harry Crews (which is not a good idea--you should read many of his books), this is the one to choose.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92efc2b8) étoiles sur 5 This is a book that defies definition. 30 juillet 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Crew's A Childhood: Biography of a Place is not a novel, nor is it a history, biography, autobiography, or memoir in any traditional sense,
rather it seems to be all these quilted together.
A Childhood recounts the author's earliest memories of his upbringing in rural Georgia, as well as a fictionalized account of his father who died before the author's birth. This book is a testament to his childhood playmates and the folks that were kind to his poverty stricken family, as well as to the first fictional characters he conjured up out of the Sears and Roebuck Catalog.
The book recounts a great many firsts, from the first time he ate grapefruit, to the first time he
"started and nearly finished a detective novel, although at the time I had never seen a novel, detective or otherwise," to the first personal encounter with death.
The "place" made mention of in the subtitle is the author's home of Bacon County, which has become a mythic landscape for me; I think of it in the same way many think
12 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92efc48c) étoiles sur 5 A must read for Yankees and children of the south alike 1 janvier 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I was assigned this book in a tutorial class on the "mind of the south" by a professor during my senior year of college. I was immediately drawn to the author's experiences with tenant farming; being the son of a mother whose own father was a farmer that oversaw several tenents to his own farming operation prior to, and shortly after WWII. Crew's accurate depection of tenant farmer life was valididated, to this reader at least, by his portrayal of an agricultural system that was difficult to not only rural agricultural African Americans, but their white supervisors. Crews has done a wonderful job of incorporating the distinctly southern phrases and dialogue of the rural, agrarian south. I though my own mother was the only person who pronounced "hurricane" as "harrakin". Charachters such as Willalee Bookatee and his family were strikingly similar to those poor blacks, and whites, described in my mother's stories of working in the tobacco fields of rural NC. This book will shed some much needed light on the fact that the hard-core, rural south is not so far removed from the remodeled "New South".
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92efc9c0) étoiles sur 5 A Deep South, Deep Depression, childhood memoir... 5 décembre 2011
Par John P. Jones III - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
I received an excellent recommendation on this book, from Annie Dillard. I had written her to express my admiration for her moving memoir An American Childhood, concerning her upbringing in Pittsburgh during the Eisenhower `50's. She responded, with thanks, and made a singular recommendation: another memoir of childhood, this one, by Harry Crews. In terms of childhood experiences, they are poles apart. Crews' was raised, dirt poor as the expression has it, in Bacon County, deep rural southeast Georgia, during the Depression. Dillard's was a middle class upbringing, during the post-World War II prosperity years.

Crews is still with us, so the events that he so evocatively describes, have occurred in the span of one lifetime. He grew up in a one room sharecropper's cabin. In the era where agriculture is dominated by multinationals, it is useful to recall that "sharecropping," that is, farming someone else's land for a percentage of the take, was one of the most fundamental principles that permitted grave inequalities in income. Crews prose is earthy and unpretentious, and he has a keen ear for the patois of rural Georgia. Despite, or is rather because of the poverty, there was a strong sense of family and the community which he aptly depicts.

The scene that I most vividly recall is when the children were playing "crack the whip." In this era of endless electronic distractions for kids, does the game still exist? Each child hold hands, the leader makes a sudden turn, and the centripetal force throws the last child off. In Crews' case, it was a bright, cold February, 1941, when there was much joy since they were slaughtering hogs, and knew lots of meat would be available. In the process, a large trough of scalding water is set up, to facilitate the removal of the hair and bristles. "Crack the whip" threw Crews into the trough, one of those childhood accidents that are too often fatal. The author obviously survived. He describes how burns were treated, ultimately at home, long before the worries of will the health insurance pay.

"Did you git your commodity?" Crews explains that he has subsequently learned several other definitions for the word "commodity": "...but in my secret heart I'll always know what commodity means: `free food that comes on a truck.'" Crews was in the Marines during the Korean War, and returned to Bacon County in 1956. He looked up, and cursed the sun. He writes: "And in Bacon County you don't curse the sun or the rain or the land or God. They are all the same thing. To curse any of them is an ultimate blasphemy."

The University of Georgia Press did an outstanding job in publishing this work, utilizing the service of Michael McCurdy, a renowned illustrator and designer who provided drawings not only for the cover, but another around 20 throughout the text. Aspiring writers should take heart: he applied, and was denied a place as a student in the University of Florida's Creative Writing program. After the publication of some of his work, he was invited back as a professor for the program. 5-stars for this work.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x92efc240) étoiles sur 5 A Childhood: The Biography of a Place 7 août 2002
Par Timothy Jason Lowery - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I would suggest this book to anyone who has ever read anything published by Harry Crews; specifically to those who haven't read anything by him, but who are interested in this magnificent author. After reading it, I found myself wondering how Crews was able to escape childhood, much less become of the the greatest Southern authors since Faulkner. Truly a fantastic book that will stand the test of time and inevitably cast Crews as one of the greatest authors of the 20th century!
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