By Leonard Michaels
First acclaimed as a story-length memoir, then accelerated right into a novel, Sylvia attracts us into the lives of a tender couple whose fight to outlive big apple within the early Sixties consists of them in sexual fantasias, paranoia, medicines, and the extraordinary intimacy of self-destructive violence.
Reproducing a time and position with remarkable readability, Leonard Michaels explores with self-wounding honesty the excruciating details of a younger marriage headed for catastrophe.
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First acclaimed as a story-length memoir, then increased right into a novel, Sylvia attracts us into the lives of a tender couple whose fight to outlive ny within the early Nineteen Sixties contains them in sexual fantasias, paranoia, medications, and the extraordinary intimacy of self-destructive violence.
Reproducing a time and position with striking readability, Leonard Michaels explores with self-wounding honesty the excruciating details of a younger marriage headed for catastrophe.
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Extra info for Sylvia: A Novel
But in the last analysis, what matters is achievement, not motive (p. 344): I refuse to regret the energy spent writing polemics against war and fascism. Still less the energy given to helping a few, too few, men and women to escape the hell of German concentration camps, and then to keep them alive. Nothing in me is fiercer…than my loathing of the cruelty that issued in Auschwitz, except the sense that exile is only the human condition pushed to its farthest limit. These images have burned me to the bone.
Yet between 1930 and 1939, the publishing houses Chatto and Windus, Gollancz, Wishart, Jonathan Cape, Hamish Hamilton, Macmillan and John Murray all published important women writers, while the literary magazines included reviews of women’s fiction, poetry, autobiography and documentary writing throughout the 1930s—facts which have somehow passed unnoticed by the literary historians. 50 The claim to represent the consciousness of their generation is central to the work of Spender and Isherwood both in and after the 1930s.
47 Why, then, has this galaxy of female talent remained invisible to almost all historians’ telescopes? Sexual prejudice is an obvious explanation—and, up to a point, convincing. 48 On the other hand, there is no sign of misogynism in the notably fair-minded Samuel Hynes (who, incidentally, edited an anthology of Rebecca West’s writings in 1977: a decision which does not suggest a dislike of feminism). And it is difficult, to say the least, to think of Virginia Woolf as prejudiced against women writers.
Sylvia: A Novel by Leonard Michaels