Download PDF by Blake Bailey: A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates

By Blake Bailey

The first biography of acclaimed American novelist and tale author Richard Yates

Celebrated in his major, forgotten in his ultimate years, simply to be championed anew by means of our best modern authors, Richard Yates has constantly uncovered readers to the unsettling hypocrisies of our glossy age. vintage novels such as progressive Road and The Easter Parade are incomparable chronicles of the quiet and not-so-quiet desperation of the yankee middle-class. Lonely housewives, addled businessmen, determined career-girls and frightened boys and infantrymen, Yates's the United States was once a landscape of excessive dwelling, self-doubt and self-deception. And within the culture of alternative nice life like writers of his time (Fitzgerald and Hemingway, Cheever and Updike), Yates's fictional international reflected his personal. A manic-depressive alcoholic and unapologetic gentleman, his existence used to be a hornets' nest of youth ghosts, the horrors of battle, cash woes, and ebullient cocktailed evenings in manhattan, Hollywood, and the Riviera.

A Tragic Honesty is a masterful evocation of a guy who in lots of methods embodied the struggles of the nice American author within the latter 1/2 the 20th century. repute and gift by means of heartbreak and obscurity, Richard Yates right here stands for what the author needs to sacrifice for his craft, the devil's discount of artistry for happiness, compliment for sanity.

National publication Critics Circle Award Nominee for Biography (2003)

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Additional info for A Tragic Honesty: The Life and Work of Richard Yates

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There is great danger, he claimed, in the practice. Whenever governors are tried after their term for corruption, the majority of the indictments are against the wives. Given the chance, women become ruthless intriguers, ambitious for power. 19 Women ambitious for themselves or for their sons were thought to be impervious to the kinds of restraint that kept men within the bounds of decency. Even the much-admired Cornelia was suspected of murdering her son-in-law, the great Scipio Aemilianus, with the help of her daughter, Sempronia, to prevent him from annulling the legislation of her sons.

As long as her lover was governor, Cicero maintains, Chelidon controlled contracts and settled civil cases for a price; men had to go through her to have their disputes settled. 26 Perhaps Sallust provides the best illustration of how the assessment of a women’s power could be hopelessly distorted. In his account of the conspiracy of Catiline (63 BC), the historian claims that Catiline attracted around him a number of women who had fallen into debt through their extravagance. These he hoped to recruit for a variety of purposes, supposedly to start fires in Rome, to win over their husbands to the cause or, if that failed, to murder them.

Drusus is highly relevant to the story of his granddaughter Agrippina. He was the first to establish a powerful and enduring link between her family and the northern legions. More importantly, through his personal charm and popularity, he laid the foundations for the legendary reputation of his son, Germanicus, Agrippina’s father. It was popularly believed that Drusus was committed to some sort of restoration of the republic. As the memory of the chaos of that era’s final decades receded, latent dissatisfaction over the imperial system made such a sentiment appealing.

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