Philosophical Parsnip

Americana, good books, and the occasional poem

Posts tagged novel

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Kien imagines his old friends working on the land, slashing and burning in the dry season, weeding in the wet. Going to the jungle in the wet season to pick mushrooms and cut bamboo shoots. Catching fish and hunting animals, delivering crops. Hardening calloused hands, broadening muscled backs.

The sacks of salt and rice, the cassavas, the sweat of hard labor, would they have generated in him the joy in life which seemed to have forever forsaken him?

The Sorrow of War, Bao Ninh

Filed under farming country life farm peace happiness bao ninh the sorrow of war vietnam vietnam war literature fiction novel fishing rice

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Some of his loved ones he had not bothered to stay in contact with. Others had vanished. He had left yet others in his wake. He had lived selfishly these last years without looking back. Time and his work had taken over his life. He had sought neither  opportunities nor responsibilities. His memories that afternoon reawakened in him the sense of sacred duty. He felt he must press on to fulfill his obligations, his duty as a writer.

The Sorrow of War, Bao Ninh

Filed under vietnam novel fiction sorrow of war bao ninh vietnamese novels vietnam war

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Ever since she got out of college she’s been too rambunctious to live with—doesn’t know what she wants—well, I know what she wants!—all she wants is to marry a millionaire, and live in Europe, and hold some preacher’s hand, and simultaneously at the same time stay right here in Zenith and be some blooming kind of a socialist agitator or boss charity-worker or some damn thing!

—Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt

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The evening before, he had played poker at Vergil Gunch’s til midnight, and after such holidays he was irritable before breakfast. It may have been the tremendous home-brewed beer of the prohibition-era and the cigars to which that beer enticed him; it may have been resentment of return from this fine, bold man-world to a restricted region of wives and stenographers, and of suggestions not to smoke so much.

-Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt

Filed under cigar beer sinclair lewis babbitt novel zenith men