By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
By Elizabeth Smart
Published in 1992 by Flamingo
Originally published in 1945
Finished reading: January 5th, 2010
Rating: 4 / 5
First published in 1945, Elizabeth Smart’s By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept is an enigmatic and nearly indescribable book, a small classic of poetic prose whose author has been compared with Anaïs Nin and Djuna Barnes. In lushly evocative language, Smart recounts her love affair with the poet George Barker with an operatic grandeur that takes in the tragedy of her passion; the suffering of Barker’s wife;the children the lovers conceived. Accompanied in this edition by The Assumption of the Rogues and Rascals, a short novel that may be read as its sequel, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept has been hailed by critics worldwide as a work of sheer genius.
The long days seduce all thought away, and we lie like the lizards in the sun, postponing our lives indefinitely.
It felt like reading a poem in prose form and like no other book I’ve read it felt very much like being inside the head of the protagonist. The language can be dense which I’m sure will turn some off, but it makes a short novel feel much more substantial.
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