A great task lies before us, but first we sleep Small sorrows speak; great sorrows are silent. My current small sorrow is a daily flood of junk e-mail — cheap insurance, health nostrums, hernia repair, free loans, travel discounts, an app to find out if your spouse is unfaithful — a stream of crap generated in Orlando. Meanwhile the great sorrow, the troubled state of our democracy, hangs in the air, the beloved country riven by dishonesty and invincible ignorance. Truckloads of stuff have gone out the door and there is yet more.
Like another tall, skinny writer who came from a town just up the road a ways, Keillor has become an unmistakable presence on the American scene.
At age thirty-five, Sinclair Lewis was eight years younger than Keillor when he burst on the literary scene in with Main Street, a novel that, more than any other literary work of its time, redefined the way in which Americans thought about their small towns.
Main Street launched a series of novels that were intended to provide a panoramic view of American society. It was the "amazing skill with which he reproduces his world" that impressed T. Whipple, who viewed the novels as "triumphant feats of memory and observation.
Cloud, Mankato, Rochester, and Fergus Falls. To Carol, they were drab, ugly, uninviting. Cloud, northwest of St.
Cloud, and, more specifically, thirty-two miles from St. It could hardly be closer to Sauk Centre, which is just ten miles up Highway 52 from Freeport. Lewis was not deaf to the sounds of the town. I could hear his boots crunch in the snow, could hear a car not quite starting a long way away, and then the door slamming when the guy got out and him hitting the hood with his fist.
The volume of the world was turned up so the air molecules hummed a deep bass note. If the fire siren went off it would knock a person into the middle of next week. The authorial presence constantly weaves in and out of Lake Wobegon Days as Keillor varies stories about himself with those about other people in town.
Now, approximately seventy years after Carol first viewed Main Street, Keillor guides us on a tour of a town about one-third the size of Gopher Prairie.
Lewis calls his a "wheat-prairie town of something over three thousand people" while Keillor says his town contains "the homes of some nine hundred souls, most of them small white frame houses. For Keillor, a backslidden member of the fundamentalist Plymouth Brethren who still values much in that heritage, "soul" carries a heavy burden of meaning.
Viewing people as more than mechanical toys, Keillor also perceives the structures they live in not simply as houses but as homes. Even granting that seven decades have wrought a revolutionary transformation in American material life, the contrasting visions of Lewis and Keillor are necessary to explain why the former through his protagonist, Carol Kennicott sees "huddled low wooden" houses on the plains, "prosaic frame" houses with "small parched" lawns, and "square smug brown" houses, "rather damp," while the latter observes "small white frame houses sitting forward on their lots and boasting large tidy vegetable gardens and modest lawns, many featuring cast-iron deer, small windmills, clothespoles and clotheslines, various plaster animals such as squirrels and lambs and small elephants, white painted rocks at the end of the driveway, a nice bed of petunias planted within a white tire, and some with a shrine in the rock garden, the Blessed Virgin standing, demure, her eyes averted, arms slightly extended, above the peonies and marigolds.
If Lewis is a master of shape and form, Keillor excels with color.
Their criticisms of the town were balanced by the positive The entire section is 4, words.And to write out a check for flood relief. I go to the church where my wife and I were married twenty-three years ago in New York City. She was raised Episcopalian so I became a Piskie too, out of pure gratitude.
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Jun 15, · Garrison Keillor – (Born Gary Edward Keillor) American novelist, essayist, scriptwriter, and short story writer. The following entry presents an overview of Keillor.
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