Monday, February 10, 2014

"The Rescue" by V.S. Pritchett

I'm on a new kick which is to read the work of classic authors whose work I should already be well familiar with (because it's that good!) but am not (because, well, to be fair there's a lot of good stuff out there.) I'm starting with V.S. Pritchett's "The Rescue."

Eudora Welty, in a 1978 review of Pritchett's collection, had this to say:

As ever, the writing spouts with energy, Dialogue, in constant exchange, frisks like a school of dolphin. These are social stories: Life goes on in them without flagging. The characters that fill them--erratic, unsure, unsafe, devious, stubborn, restless and desirous, absurd and passionate, all peculiar unto themselves--hold a claim on us that is not to be denied. They demand and get our rapt attention for in their revelation of their lives, the secrets of our own lives come into view. How much the eccentric has to tell us of what is central. (Read full review here.) 

"The Rescue" by V.S. Pritchett as read by Jonathan Lethem for The New Yorker. (Sorry couldn't find a full text link for you. If you know of one, please share.)

What I love most about this, and there's much to love, is something that Lethem touches on after his reading and that is the attitude the story has about this teenage girl teasing and seducing the lonely librarian. The story doesn't frown on it, but simply recognizes it as life. Sometimes teenage girls have sex with older men and nobody goes to jail or dies or suffers emotionally or is branded with a scarlet letter. Not always, but sometimes, sometimes, it's just a part of life and growth. It's simply humanity.

V.S. Pritchett

Jonathan Lethem

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