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A Single Man (1964)

av Christopher Isherwood

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MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2,199837,083 (4.02)102
When A Single Man was originally published, it shocked many by its frank, sympathetic, and moving portrayal of a gay man in midlife. George, the protagonist, is adjusting to life on his own after the sudden death of his partner, and determines to persist in the routines of his daily life; the course of A Single Man spans twenty-four hours in an ordinary day. An Englishman and a professor living in suburban Southern California, he is an outsider in every way, and his internal reflections and interactions with others reveal a man who loves being alive despite everyday injustices and loneliness. Wry, suddenly manic, constantly funny, surprisingly sad, this novel catches the texture of life itself.… (mer)
  1. 10
    Efter många somrar av Aldous Huxley (SnootyBaronet)
    SnootyBaronet: The protagonist of "A Single Man" discusses "After Many A Summer" with his students.
  2. 11
    Onåd av J. M. Coetzee (chrisharpe)
  3. 00
    Trans-Sister Radio av Chris Bohjalian (FFortuna)
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» Se även 102 omnämnanden

engelska (82)  italienska (1)  Alla språk (83)
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I heard on a podcast recently the distinguished academic Katherine Bucknell - who will forget more about Isherwood than I will ever know - make an impassioned case for the late Isherwood prose style, indeed in an extract from this very book. I just can't hear it or see it as she does though, can't get past it. It feels to me dead on the page, artificial, cold.

Luckily, as Tom Ford's film showed, this book does not require my advocacy :) ( )
  djh_1962 | Jan 7, 2024 |
3.75 ( )
  Moshepit20 | Nov 4, 2023 |
In which a European in exile in 1964 manages to accurately convey the inner workings of those of us Antipodeans in 2012.

I've not yet seen the (apparently wonderful) film based on this book, which was probably a blessing, as I was able to approach it uninitiated. In a scant 150 pages, Isherwood details one mundane-yet-important day in the life of an English professor in the U.S. Digging deftly to the root of George's mind, Isherwood captures his moments of intelligence and pain, of arrogance, lust, self-loathing, confusion, alienation, connection, nostalgia, heartbreak, discovery. It's a taut little character study, which approaches a variety of '60s counter-culture/neo-romantic issues (social alienation, the rise of that loathsome word 'tolerance', man-made boundaries preventing connection), yet - because his focus is so clearly on George's character - Isherwood avoids that painfully on-the-nose attitude that so dates other writers of the era (if I cough Kerouac's name out of the corner of my mouth, will a thousand hipsters descend upon my house with torches and pitchforks?).

A beautiful little work. It worries me somewhat that I feel Isherwood has here predicted my future. And if not, all the better: he has allowed me an insight into a genuine mind. A complete human being laid bare in 150 pages. Perhaps the moral is to invite your neighbours over to dinner more often. Perhaps it's simply to say "yes" when asked. Or perhaps it is that we cannot expect any more. It's not the dinner, or the asking, or what we say when we're there, or even what we mean. It's about washing ourselves free of the rituals in which we drape our lives, or at least of questioning the rituals before we abandon ourselves to them. It's how we remove the past from its pedestal without removing its meaning. It's going forward knowing that, in some ways, everything we have learned is important to us, yet in other ways, we have learned nothing at all. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 24, 2023 |
This is a lovely, melancholy read. The protagonist, George, seems to be in the habit of putting everything in negative terms. The narrator shares this perspective and it results in some very funny moments, as American consumerist society and its social mores are cruelly disected. It also contributes to the sadness, as it is clear that George's grief has a long way to run before it's resolved. All of the characters are well drawn. The writing suffers from a somewhat pretentious opening, in my view, but recovers after a few pages and is lucid and subtle. When Isherwood describes people or locations it is often beautiful and the action is well paced and very real.

In many ways the story would be identical if it was about a man who had lost his wife, but for me as a gay man it carried special poignancy. It should be essential reading for university students, though, as George's thoughts about his students are very insightful and would have helped me at that time of my life.

I'd recommend this short book, provided you are in a situation where you can read it at a leisurely pace and enjoy getting to know the narrator and his protagonist. ( )
  robfwalter | Jul 31, 2023 |
Summary: "Welcome to sunny surburban 1960s Southern California. George is a gay middle-aged English professor, adjusting to solitude after the tragic death of his young partner. He is determined to persist in the routines of his former life. We follow him over the course of an ordinary twenty-four hours. Behind his British reserve, tides of grief, rage, and loneliness surge- but what is revealed is a man who loves being alive despite all the everyday injustices."--back cover ( )
  DSH-M-Library | Jun 30, 2023 |
Visa 1-5 av 83 (nästa | visa alla)
The remarkable thing about this book is that it starts off by looking like his most resounding failure so far, then gradually gets the reader involved until he is laughing, slapping his thigh, and experiencing the sensation described by Holden Caulfield - the desire to snatch up a pen and write the novelist a letter...

What comes over, like a spring breeze, is George’s essential sweetness - and Christopher Isherwood’s own essential goodness and kindness. This is no sour, nihilistic lament of a middle-aged man. It has humour - not even ‘wry’ humour, but the sunny humour of a man who is at peace with himself. When George daydreams about kidnapping the members of the local Purity League and forcing them to act in pornographic movies, the writing has an unexpected touch of Kingsley Amis.
tillagd av SnootyBaronet | ändraTwentieth Century Literature, Colin Wilson (Oct 1, 1976)
 

» Lägg till fler författare (31 möjliga)

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Isherwood, Christopherprimär författarealla utgåvorbekräftat
Bachardy, DonOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Brockway, James.Översättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Waking up begins with saying am and now.
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These books have not made George nobler or better or more truly wise. It is just that he likes listening to their voices, the one or the other, acording to his mood. He misuses them quite ruthlessly - despite the respectful way he has to talk about them in public - to put him to bed, to take his mind off the hands of the clock, to relax the nagging of his pyloric spasm, to gossip him out of his melancholy, to trigger the conditioned reflexes of his colon.
George picks it up, saying, “Let’s see if that old robot’ll know the difference,” and pretends to be about to punch another slit in the card. The girl laughs, but only after a split-second look of sheer terror; and the laugh itself is forced. George has uttered blasphemy.
He starts across the largish open space which is the midst of the campus, surrounded by the Art Building, the gymnasium, the Science Building and the Administration Building, and newly planted with grass and some hopeful little trees which should make it leafy and shadowy and pleasant within a few years: that is to say, about the time when they start tearing the whole place apart again.
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Please be careful not to combine the film with the book. Thank you.
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When A Single Man was originally published, it shocked many by its frank, sympathetic, and moving portrayal of a gay man in midlife. George, the protagonist, is adjusting to life on his own after the sudden death of his partner, and determines to persist in the routines of his daily life; the course of A Single Man spans twenty-four hours in an ordinary day. An Englishman and a professor living in suburban Southern California, he is an outsider in every way, and his internal reflections and interactions with others reveal a man who loves being alive despite everyday injustices and loneliness. Wry, suddenly manic, constantly funny, surprisingly sad, this novel catches the texture of life itself.

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