A Slipping-Down Life by Anne Tyler

April 3, 2017 | American Literature | By admin | 0 Comments

By Anne Tyler

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Evie Decker is a shy, a little bit plump teen, lonely and silent. yet her quiet existence is shattered while she hears the voice of Drumstrings Casey at the radio and turns into immediately interested in him. She manages to fulfill him, bursting out of her lonely shell--and into the attentive gaze of the intangible guy who turns into all too real....

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724; author’s ellipsis). For Ozier (1975: 206), though, this radiance is realized in “pure being”, the “realm of mystical fullness”, or transformation of time in eternity. The description of gravity’s rainbow as “an interface between one order of things and another” (302) suggests a dimensional realm wherein exists a possi7 Ozier describes Rilke’s pure being after J. B. Leishman and Stephen Spender as “the hypostatization of the idea of a perfect consciousness – of a being in whom the limitations and contradictions of present human nature have been transcended”.

Klar is fertilization and birth, Entlüftung is the breath, the soul [– these are the female letters]. Zündung and Vorstufe are the male signs, the activities, fire and preparation or building. And in the center, here, Hauptstufe. It is the pen where we kept the sacred cattle. The souls of the ancestors. At the same here. Birth, soul, fire, building. Male and female, together” (563). The symbol of the Rocket accommodates both male and female principles. Mandate is also Slothrop’s sign: “gymnastic symbols FFFF in a circle symmetrically upside down and backwards, Frisch, Fromm, Frölich, Frei” (624), as well as “the cross in circle” (another mandala) – church and the rocket – a crossroad into which Slothrop turns.

Selfish, kind and cruel ... profane and a puritan, libertine and prude, ... sweet of temper and virulent, tolerant and abruptly intolerant, generous and conservative, polemicist and escapist, respectful of intellect and suspicious of intellectual pursuits, loving novelty and hating experiment ... sentimentalist and satirist, romanticist and realist, blessed––or damned––with an extraordinary verbal skill and no style; ... Paul Riesling and George F. Babbitt. (Shorer 1961: 810) Along the lines of the same intertextual reading, Gotham City (New York) merges with Zenith, where the Joker now lives as Babbitt who – as Sinclair Lewis would describe it ([1922] 1992a: 490) – “made nothing in particular, neither butter nor shoes nor poetry, but ...

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