Van Gogh's Room at Arles (American Literature (Dalkey Archive))

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9781564782809: Van Gogh's Room at Arles (American Literature (Dalkey Archive))
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The three novellas collected in Van Gogh's Room at Arles demonstrate once again Stanley Elkin's mastery of the English language, with exuberant rants on almost every page, unexpected plot twists, and jokes that leave readers torn between laughter and tears. Her Sense of Timing relates a destructive day in the life of a wheelchair-bound professor who is abandoned by his wife at the worst possible time, leaving him to preside -- helplessly -- over a party for his students that careens out of control. The second story in this collection tells of an unsuspecting commoner catapulted into royalty when she catches the wandering eye of Prince Larry of Wales. And in the title story, a community college professor searches for his scholarly identity in a land of academic giants while staying in Van Gogh's famous room at Arles and avoiding run-ins with the Club of the Portraits of the Descendants of the People Painted by Vincent Van Gogh.

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About the Author:

Stanley Elkin (1930-1995) was an award-winning author of novels, short stories, and essays. Born in the Bronx, Elkin received his BA and PhD from the University of Illinois and in 1960 became a professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis where he taught until his death. His critically acclaimed works include the National Book Critics Circle Award-winners "George Mills" (1982) and "Mrs. Ted Bliss" (1995), as well as the National Book Award finalists "The Dick Gibson Show" (1972), "Searches and Seizures "(1974), and "The MacGuffin" (1991). His book of novellas, "Van Gogh's Room at Arles", was a finalist for the PEN Faulkner Award.

From Publishers Weekly:

All three novellas in Elkin's ( The MacGuffin ) latest collection are occasionally funny, often painful and always beautifully written. As usual with this author's work, the plot is not really the point; his main concern is his protagonists' inner landscapes, conveyed in rich and convoluted monologues. The tales themselves are simple: a wheelchair-bound political geographer, deserted by his wife on the eve of his annual class party, tries to cope in "Her Sense of Timing"; a commoner formerly engaged to the Crown Prince of England explains the circumstances of her morganatic relationship in " Town Crier Exclusive, Confessions of a Manque: 'How Royals Found me "Unsuitable" to Marry Their Larry,' "; and in the title story, a teacher from Booth Tarkington Community College (BTCC), surrounded by the stars of academe at a foundation in Arles, searches for his intellectual bearings. The characters' musings are peppered with comic asides ranging from the political geographer's attempts to formulate an answering-machine message that will deter burglars to the BTCC professor's bungled French translations ("because Madame Celli had become invisible in the laundry two horses must begin to be"). In Elkin's hands, this trio's probings into (respectively) their physical, social and intellectual constraints are very human inquiries into the ever crotchety workings of fate.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781562829377: Van Gogh's Room at Arles: Three Novellas

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1562829378 ISBN 13:  9781562829377
Publisher: Hyperion, 1993
Hardcover

9780140236590: Van Gogh's Room at Arles: Three Novellas (Contemporary American Fiction)

Pengui..., 1994
Softcover

9781112708718: Van Goghs Room At Arles 1ST Edition

HYPERION, 1993
Hardcover

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