Family Life

All the Little Live Things (Contemporary American Fiction) by Wallace Stegner

Posted On February 25, 2017 at 7:57 pm by / Comments Off on All the Little Live Things (Contemporary American Fiction) by Wallace Stegner

By Wallace Stegner

Joe Allston, the retired literary agent of Stegner's nationwide publication Award-winning novel, The Spectator fowl, returns during this disquieting and keenly saw novel. Scarred by means of the mindless demise in their son and baffled through the engulfing chaos of the Sixties, Allston and his spouse, Ruth, have left the coast for a California retreat. And even though their new domestic seems like Eden, it additionally has serpents: Jim Peck, a messianic exponent of gear, yoga, and intercourse; and Marian Catlin, an enticing younger girl whose otherworldly innocence is way extra appealing—and way more risky.

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Ruth said. He turned his head, big with hair, and pointed his bright eyes and anal lips at her, perhaps wondering if she was making fun of him. She was, but it would have taken somebody brighter than he to find it out for sure. After an inquiring pause he went on. “One night the cops ran us off campus; I slept out here. Right under this tree. ” Quick as little crabs among seaweed and moss, his eyes went over me. “I could have slept down here every night since without anybody knowing it,” he said.

Once, coming home in a downpour and seeing his tent blooming with light through threshing limbs and sheets of water, I half envied him his mixture of exposure and snugness. I can think of nothing pleasanter than to be close to danger or discomfort, but still to be protected, preferably by one’s own foresight and effort. Civilization began somewhere around that feeling, and I didn’t disagree with Ruth when she suggested that there was hope for any Caliban who displayed, however ineptly, the impulse to build his own shelter.

I said to myself, This is as stupid as you ever were, and you will undoubtedly regret it. Aloud I said, “All right. You can camp there, on certain conditions. The conditions are that you build no fires, shoot no guns, cut no trees, make a sanitary latrine, and bury your cans and garbage deep. ” I don’t know what I expected—a change of expression, at least. He only watched me with his eyebrow up. “All right,” he said. No thanks, no expressed pleasure or obligation. To force him, I put out my hand, and after a minute he shook it.

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