The Grass Harp (Anglais) Broché – 28 septembre 1993
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Revue de presse
“The Grass Harp charms you into sharing the author’s feeling that there is a special poetry—a spontaneity and wonder and delight—in lives untarnished by conformity and common sense.” —The Atlantic
Biographie de l'auteur
Mr. Capote twice won the O.Henry Memorial Short Story Prize and was a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He died in August 1984, shortly before his sixtieth birthday.
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For years I've known about this work but never read it until now. I've been fishing about in contemporary fiction, looking for something entertaining, enlightening, and superbly well written, but my search ended entirely when I finally read this novel, written in 1951. Set in the South, in the countryside, this story brilliantly draws you into its magical surroundings. Its three main characters, Dolly, Collin, and Catherine, are real presences that emerge from the lush southern environs as complex, blooming beings whose lives take time to develop and understand. There is nothing slick about this writing; it's just classically elegant and clear. The story is packed with interesting people and proceeds as if inspired by Twain. It is entertaining, poetic, and meaningful all at once. I found myself rereading the opening pages, picturing the scene, and feeling how brilliant the writing was in its elegiac and inspired imagery. The story is simple: a young boy, orphaned, lives with his two eccentric aunts in a small town in the South. One aunt is mean-spirited and selfish, and the other is sweet, other-worldly, and gentle. When the mean aunt tries to exploit the sweet one by mass producing a folk medicine remedy the sweet aunt learned about from a traveling gypsy woman, the sweet aunt runs away from home with the orphan boy and her best friend, a strange Indian woman. They don't run too far, however, just to a tree house in a nearby China tree. From that point on, everyone learns something about themselves. This southern world is a generous place to Truman Capote, and it has mercies to give and lessons to be learned. In fact, it's something of a magical world, almost a precursor of the magical realism of Marquez and others. But as the characters learn about themselves, so we the readers learn too, about what love is, about change, and about what we accept in life. For Capote to have written this book at the age of 26 is truly a miracle. This book alone puts him in league with the literary giants. I highly recommend "The Grass Harp" to anyone looking for that one great book to read and treasure.
Capote's prose is beautiful and lucid as it carries the reader through the book at a swift pace, and this novel achieves the rare combination of ease of reading with depth of thought and emotion.
two old ladies take a young boy to live in a tree after a beloved tincture recipie is stolen from one of the women. they don't stay in the tree long, but while they do- a strange cast of character's pass by, drop by, & stay for awhile.
this is the first thing of capote's i've read, although i am well aware of his more famous works. i was truly delighted by this short, sweet, book (the version appearing here says it's 200 odd pages- my copy was under 100), and i recommend it to anyone who searches for profound lovlieness immersed in oddity.