Sunday, February 18, 2007

Wallace Stegner

Well what do you know? It is Wallace Stegner's birthday today. I used to not really like Stegner that much until I read his simple story which I can't really remember the title of. In any case the story is about a faculty party where, it seems, the faculty are getting progressively more drunk, more gloomy, and more disturbed. The story ends with the main characters peering into the dark abyss of an arroyo that is cut into the rock just off the patio where the characters have slipped away from the bustle of the inside world to confront with some sort of existential, essential angst. The simplicity of the event and the unimportance of the characters contrasted against the dark chasm (of Nature) struck me as a rather clever way of capturing the essence of that anxiety and uncertainty to life.

I rather liked the story and his other short stories. The novel Angle of Repose is interesting too. I have not yet cracked Big Rock Candy Mountain, however, but might just do it this summer.


  1. I too used to not like Stegner, did not like Crossing to Safety, but I do like the story you refer to. And I've always wanted to read Angle, but haven't yet. I'll put it on my list.

  2. View from the Balcony, right?

    hi, Clint. And
    Happy Birthday WS. :)

  3. Thank you, Kendra. That is the story. Funny that we read it in the defunct (or maybe it is not?) Austere group.

    Dr. Write: I find Stegner more relevant than ever.

  4. In spite of its lumbering pace, Angle of Repose is my favorite Stegner. The story is so compelling I've dragged myself through it three times.

  5. hi clint. glad i could be of help. would you like to read and comment on my most recent post? i know you would.

  6. If you remember the short story I'd like to know; I want to read more Stegner.

    We started off our book club (now almost 6 yrs ago) with Angle of Repose and then we revisited it a couple of months ago. Not too many books we would read twice in our bk club. It's the kind of book that works its way right into your bones.