Sunday, February 22, 2009
A book of the very first order, of a quality such that I'm sure it will change the way I live. I thought John Williams' other two novels (Augustus and Butcher's Crossing) were exquisite, but having moved through William Stoner's life in a few hundred finely-wrought pages I now see Williams at the top of his form.
Can education rescue us from a life shallowly lived, or do we simply appreciate more fully the ways we're trapped? Can knowledge and skill insulate us from Nature, or do we benefit from them only in feeling our sufferings more keenly?
Stoner is top-shelf, next to The Ambassadors and To the Lighthouse and Joyce's "The Dead." I find myself curiously unable to comment--as though I need to absorb it more.