By James Agee
40 years after its unique e-book, James Agee's final novel turns out, greater than ever, an American vintage. For in his lyrical, sorrowful account of a man's demise and its effect on his relatives, Agee painstakingly created a small global of household happiness after which confirmed how fast and casually it can be destroyed.On a sultry summer season evening in 1915, Jay Follet leaves his residence in Knoxville, Tennessee, to are inclined to his father, whom he believes is loss of life. The summons seems to be a fake alarm, yet on his as far back as his relatives, Jay has a vehicle twist of fate and is killed immediately. Dancing backward and forward in time and braiding the viewpoints of Jay's spouse, brother, and younger son, Rufus, Agee creates an overwhelmingly robust novel of innocence, tenderness, and loss that are meant to be learn aloud for the sheer song of its prose.
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Extra info for A Death in the Family: A Novel
Splendid depravity, sweet and kindly, which enables one to love those who are ugly, dirty and disfigured! ” “I get along,” he answered showing his few black teeth. ” The Thief's Journal 39 The Thief's Journal With faithful regularity he was still fulfilling his simple function. His begging was stagnant. It had become a still, transparent lake, never disturbed by a breath, and this poor shameful creature was the perfect image of what I would have liked to be. It was then perhaps that, had I met my mother and had she been humbler than I, we would have pursued together the ascension—though language seems to call for the word “fall” or any other that indicates a downward movement—the difficult, painful ascension which leads to humiliation.
What security in the carpets, in the mirrors, in the very intimacy of the palace latrines! Nowhere else does the act of shitting in the early morning assume the solemn importance which can result only from its being performed in a closet through whose frosted windows can be discerned the sculptured facade, the guards, the statues and the court of honor; in a little privy where the tissue paper is of the usual kind but where some uncombed, unpowdered, powdery maid of honor in a satin dressing−gown and pink slippers will shortly come to leave a heavy load; in a little privy from which the husky guards do not brutally expel me, for shitting there becomes an important act which has its place in a life to which a king has invited me.
At times, in the interior of this negative life, I would allow myself to perform an act, occasional thefts to the detriment of poor wretches, the gravity of which gave me a certain awareness. The palms! They were gilded by a morning sun. The light quivered, not the palms. I came upon the first of them. They lined the Mediterranean. Frost on window−panes in winter had more variety, but the palms swept me in like manner—better perhaps —into a Christmas scene born paradoxically of the verse about the holy day preceding the death of God, about the entrance into Jerusalem, about the palms strewn beneath the feet of Jesus.