Reflections in a Golden Eye PDF ´ Reflections in

Reflections in a Golden Eye This reads like a ghost story even though there is nothing supernatural in it at all It is rather like an analysis of the inner ghosts people carry with them making them act irrationally on an objective level while being perfectly logical according to the specific haunting that makes up their identity It also reads like a crime story running backwards for we know from page one that one of the main characters is going to be murdered and we know the entire cast of the tragedy as well Over the course of the unfolding drama we can see that there are no motives or a million motives for all actors involved and we can see the everyday nothingness of life being mixed with the all consuming passion of suppressed desire and ambitionIt is a story of overwhelming frustration with status uo and it doesn't really matter whether that status uo means being a lover or a spouse or a secretly infatuated unconnected person Status uo as a slow killer and a murder as a means of breaking the collective lethargy? What made Carson McCullers write this piece of painful truth? A cautionary tale with a morale? Beware of boredom for it triggers insane action? Beware of desire for it makes you unhappy? Or maybe beware of convention for it triggers rule breaking?Whatever her intention the result is a breathtaking description of life as we know it dull and dramatic meaningless and important difficult and easy going Brilliantly written in softly flowing proseRecommended Carson’s biographer tells us that her family got an anonymous phone call just after this novel was published An alleged Ku Klux Klansman called to say that he and his friends were going to get her that night She had been a “nigger lover” in her first book he said and now she had proven herself “a ueer” as well Carson’s indignant father waited all night on the front porch of their Starke Avenue home to greet the Klansman with a loaded shotgun and was disappointed when no one attempted to carry out the threatHere is the very house and the very porchThis novel is a novella – 124 large font pages – stuffed with lurid characters and incidents including one which some readers will find most upsetting – a man shoves a live kitten into a mail box – and it was written when Carson was 23In fact she had a career uite similar to some notable musicians from the 1960s who did almost everything before the age of 30 and kind of coasted after that I’m looking at you Ray Davies John Sebastian Brian Wilson and others you know who you are And like some of those guys Carson did have legitimate reasons because she was really ill a lot of the time So this is a bonkers little tale of closeted gay men and horrible marriages and I did like it but I kind of thought as I do when I listen to the magnificent run of Kinks singles from You Really Got Me to Lola what could this writer not have done if only if only An impending sense of dread interlaces the lives of five characters set on an army base in the American South of the 1930s They are all prey of the remorse that goes along with secret liaisons inner frustrations and repressed sexual preferences With the rigidness of the secluded military system and the inherent loneliness in hermetic marriages imposed by social convention as a backdrop resentments and obsessions will fester in contained aggressiveness and will inevitably escalate towards a virulent eruptionCaptain Penderton wrestles against his strong attraction to men in self loathing while his wife Leonora has an affair with Major Morris Langdon Officer Williams performs nocturnal voyeuristic rituals in a state of trance revealing his suppressed fascination for the female sexAlison Langdon’s mental state is fragile after a traumatic event and is repelled by her husband’s dalliance with LeonoraWorthy of a Tennessee Williams’ play these excessively temperamental anomalous and aimless characters drawn in opaue languidness live locked within self imposed isolation and disguise their torments with overwrought refinement and menacing politeness The title of this novelette Reflections in a Golden Eye evokes the mismatched glances the missed opportunities of crossed looks that never found each other It’s in the eye where the seed of unresolved passions remains embedded where a primal and inexplicable fixation for the other is fostered where unconsummated lust clouds discernment in the threshold of desire “A peacock of a sort of ghastly green With one immense golden eye And in it the reflections of something tiny and grotesue” 86 The symphonic motifs played in “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” are revisited in this novella They might be accused of lacking in thematic magnitude if compared to McCullers' opera prima but the dismal melody of her prose seeps in relentlessly subjugating the reader taking him to the pit of human desolation and leaving him alone with the discordant echoes of characters who live trapped within themselves and are incapable to communicate in a claustrophobic setting which in turn gives shape to the ongoing metaphor that condemns the societal hierarchy of the American South of the thirties Yes we have encountered this theme before but the masterful precision in design and the deliberate structure of the work at hand that leads to a dramatically distilled outcome offers a nuanced reading experience of a reflective order than McCullers’ famous masterpiece The result is this brutal short story which is much than a “Greek Tragedy” played by misshapen creatures It is a mirror refracting the Sense of absolute Dread that plagues mankind’s existence and dyes inexorable darkness with forged gold A short and strange story full of dread Reflections in a Golden Eye reflects on the nuances of illicit attraction Set on a southern fort during WWII the nearly plotless novel follows a small cast of characters—two officers their wives a soldier and a servant—as they are alternately drawn to and repulsed by each other An undercurrent of gallows humor runs throughout the novel which’s written in haunting prose and filled with mesmerizing and unsettling imagery The work seems best approached as a series of lurid character studies each centering on a grotesue personality grappling with socially stigmatized desire I am humbled once again by the familiarity of Carson McCullers with pain loneliness and alienation the dark thread that ties together her novels and stories the silent scream of despair that unites the patrons of a sad cafe with the unsuccesful hunters for love in a mill town and now with the officers and their consorts on an army base somewhere in Georgia I am so immersed in my characters that their motives are my own When I write about a thief I become one; when I write about Captain Penderton I become a homosexual man I become the characters I write about and I bless the Latin poet Terence who said 'Nothing human is alien to me' declares the author in an interview about this novel It makes me wonder though when she claims to be familiar with all forms of human emotion if she ever came across happy people? Because her characters are struggling in vain for peace and contenment They are as described by Captain Pendleton suare pegs trying to fit into round holes pushed to the fringes of acceptable behaviour by a moralistic society much too concerned with 'normalcy' You mean Captain Penderton said that any fulfilment obtained at the expense of normalcy is wrong and should not be allowed to bring happiness In short it is better because it is morally honorable for the suare peg to keep scraping about the rounded hole rather than to discover and use the unorthodox suare that would fit it? An army camp is a world in miniature a diorama here for the study of human behaviour in isolated conditions the boring routine of military life needs to be compensated by emotional adventures whose appeal relies on secrecy and the forbidden fruit than in actual passionate feelings Some people are better suited for this game than others predators who are only concerned for their well being and prey who get their hearts broken like fine porcelain vases dropped casually from the common table view spoiler They found Mrs Langdon unconscious and she had cut off the tender nipples of her breasts with the garden shears hide spoiler This novel Carson McCullers's second first came out serialized in Harper's Bazaar in 1940 The following year it was published as a book She wrote it in 1939 originally entitled Army Post The idea for the book grew from both a visit she had made as an adolescent to Fort Benning in Georgia and then later her husband's mention of a peeking Tom incident at Fort Bragg in North Carolina I assume you know what a peeping Tom is The story is laid up as a mystery You are told at the beginning that it concerns two officers two women a soldier a Filipino and a horse and that there will be a murder You cannot help but be curious The characters are strange and you cannot help but wonder how the elements fit together There isn't a possibility of guessing what will happen I was surprised at how the characters and what they did ended up making complete sense What was strange to me in the beginning made complete sense What this says to me is that if we don't understand people it is simply because we lack adeuate information For me this is a mystery because you want to figure out what has happened and why and how the people are as they areIt is through McCullers talented writing that you become curious The writing is sensual and tantalizing It is important to note that McCullers herself was bisexual and here she is writing about homosexuality She writes well of the pull the physical attraction between people and how you might act if how you feel is not acceptable The writing is not graphic She was ahead of her time not that that influences my rating My rating is purely personal The audiobook I listened to is narrated by Christopher Kipiniak I understood him but I disliked his dramatization I do not think his intonations fit the characters speaking I will give the narration two stars; it is just OK I like the book It kept my attention Details and lines are thrown in that had me thinking Why did the author put in that? Why did she express herself in that way? What is she trying to have us think? There is a conversation between two men discussing whether if you are a suare peg should you try to shove yourself into a round hole or should you look for a suare hole? The men disagree This says a lot about the two men I love the way McCullers's work is overrun with the most vivid ueens Some closeted like Lieutenant Penderton here but others gay and carefree like Anacleto Mrs Langdon's Filipino houseboy This is a story of sexual derangement of what happens when the love impulse is forced underground in an age when it dare not speak its name The novel is in its way almost unutterably sad It makes us glad that we live in comparatively happier times Despite the fact that McCullers has these moments of marginally uestionable usage say four or five instances where another word choice would have been better the book is a wonder And at 127 pages you can read it in one sitting The book holds us in thrall Highly recommended Private Ellgee Williams was accidentally the witness to a strange scene between Captain Penderton and his wife which took place one evening in the living room of their homePrivate Williams was a young man who lived a secretive and solitary life His eyes were a curious blend of amber and brown and he moved silently with the grace of a panther The captain's wife was voluptuous and beautiful She was a woman who feared neither man beast nor the devil; God she had never knownCaptain Penderton was regarded by his fellow officers with an obscure distrust Yet no one least of all the captain himself was aware of the dangerous compulsion which was driving him to desperate actsThat summer evening terrifying forces were unleashed What happened to the private the captain and the captain's wife is recorded in this bizarre and powerful story Leonora Penderton feared neither man beast nor the devil; God she had never known Reflections in a Golden Eye Carson McCullersPublished in 1941 RiaGE is McCuller's second novel after The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Anthony Slide considered RiaGE one of the four great pre 1950 gay English novels Djuna Barnes' Nightwood Capote's Other Voices Other Rooms and Vidal's The City and the Pillar To me it was patient beautiful and sad Nothing like the melodramatic movie that John Huston made in 1967 out of it later It's six fabulous characters drill into you Loneliness and repression run circuits throughout I felt like Patricia Highsmith's entire ouvre was hatched out of this one egg For me this is not so much gay lit as it is a fantastic psychological novel Carson can bend the tension in people like a ridding crop and let it snap at will I haven't read one way or the other if Highsmith EVER read this novel but it almost feels like Highsmith's later works A novella set in an army camp in the US south presumably around 1940 when it was written though it felt like the 50s or 60s It concerns six characters two officer couples a servant and a conscript each with an obsession with one of the others Unlike some of her books race barely comes into it but rank and sexuality do It's slow painful a little weird and beautiful As with all her writing there are literal and metaphorical lyrical aspects to the writing reflecting her musical training


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