- Title: Criers & Kibitzers, Kibitzers & Criers
- Author: Stanley Elkin
- ISBN: 9781564782342
- Page: 225
- Format: Paperback
These nine stories reveal a dazzling variety of styles, tones and subject matter Among them are some of Stanley Elkin s finest, including the fabulistic On a Field, Rampant, the farcical Perlmutter at the East Pole, and the stylized A Poetics for Bullies Despite the diversity of their form and matter, each of these stories shares Elkin s nimble, comic, antic imaginThese nine stories reveal a dazzling variety of styles, tones and subject matter Among them are some of Stanley Elkin s finest, including the fabulistic On a Field, Rampant, the farcical Perlmutter at the East Pole, and the stylized A Poetics for Bullies Despite the diversity of their form and matter, each of these stories shares Elkin s nimble, comic, antic imagination, a dedication to the value of form and language, and a concern with a single theme the tragic inadequacy of a simplistic response to life.
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We all, I would hazard, have someone in our life whose presence is pure pleasure, and whose habits, whose character traits, their ticks and tocks, often irritating to others, slip through us un-sensed, leave us unruffled and starry-eyed. Perhaps they talk too much about themselves. Perhaps they are always late. Perhaps they intend to vote conservative in the coming general election in the UK. The same, as you could predict I would say, applies to authors. I am sure you can all think of a book th [...]
Stanley Elkin’s stories are situated at the borderline of realism and postmodernism but he always remains fresh, highly original and scathingly sardonic. “Would a crier listen to another man’s complaints? Could a kibitzer kid a kidder? But it didn’t mean anything, he thought. Not the jokes, not the grief. It didn’t mean anything. They were like birds making noises in a tree. But try to catch them in a deal. They’d murder you.”That’s a portrait of modern society.Guest is the beat [...]
Sometimes an author who is very obviously right up your alley inexplicably manages to slip underneath your radar, and when you discover him years later you find yourself faced with a huge backlist and gnashing your teeth that you did not come across this astonishing body of work earlier. Stanley Elkin is just such a case for me; by all rights, I should have stumbled over him in the early to mid eighties when I was discovering contemporary American literature for myself and started reading the li [...]
These are some of the most heart wrenching American tales of disease and death and isolation and despair, but at the same time, they burst with life and language that no other author can provide. Critics often label Elkin as a comic writer, but these are not comedies. They are, perhaps, humorous tragedies, certainly not dark comedies, in that hope is lost for any sort of redemption for any character found within. But the stories and the language show so much of the intricacies of the stuff of li [...]
Stanley Elkin is the king of writing about the half glass empty. All his characters ride a delusional wave, seeking meaning in a fast-moving whirlwind where humanity is elusive and pain is prevalent. This collection of existential comedies is full of sad souls meandering urban spaces like dirty laundry left behind in the laundromat. Bodegas turn into temples of remorse. City parks become doom-ridden sanctuaries. Apartments turn into asylums. And every story feels like a complicated joke with a h [...]
These are wonderful stories full of the humanness of people just trying to cope with life. Humorous, touching, and all that. They are beautifully and meticulously written. Some stories remind me a bit of Malamud. Regardless, they are stories that are worth the time to be familiar with.
i liked when it got weird.
Ach. The story. The American story. The Garrison Keillor blurb of the front cover tells you a great deal in itself. This is, I guess, a purified, distilled dollop of early stuff from Elkin. I am only getting around to Elkin now. This is my first Elkin. His preface (written by he himself, for an edition published more than twenty years subsequent to the first) suggests that he would go on to be more of a stylist. Indeed, he was famous to me (through hearsay, natch) as a guy who can get wild and [...]
This was my first experience with Elkin, although I feel like he may have always been circling the sides of my reading lists like a guy at a bar it's too crowded to go and talk to, but you are both wearing the same NPR tote bag. The thing I was least prepared for was the first title story, which, far from being any fabulist comedy was full of the painful emotions and mundane realism of surviving after a tragedy to get back to the everyday drama of a sinking ship business.After that first story, [...]
Basicly my recomendation is where it's at. Now, I haven't finnished all the shorts in this yet, and they are a little long for today's standards, but they hard work has pay off and it isn't as hard as, say, Joyce or pick your fav unreadable authorere is a story about a mescline adict who is in a house going crazy for a day and it is how those people act. I've lived with them. the kid gets robbed (he's house sitting) and he says, well, they will think I'm worthless, and pitty me, so he robs a lit [...]
No other story in this collection quite matches "Push" in style or execution of concept, but there's plenty of humor and jazz to be found in several of the better ones, particularly the closer, which seems less beholden to naturalism than do some of the less exuberant attempts. I'm not sure when Elkin wrote which of these pieces, but the way they're assembled here allows them to gain momentum as the reader pages through.
A collection of short fiction by Stanley Elkin, this is a bit of a mixed bag. A few of these are sort of flat and inchoate, leading me to believe that the long form is really his strength, but in a few of them -- especially "In the Alley" and the hilarious "Perlmutter at the East Pole" -- are as good as anything he's done and show a real grasp of the medium.
Five out of nine ain't bad. Especially when one of those five is "A Poetics for Bullies," one of the best short stories I have read.
It wouldn't kill you to read this book.
Short story collections are a problem to rate. Some deserved 4 but I think overall 3 stars makes sense. This was not as strong as his later novels.
This is a great collection by Elkin who shines with the darkly comic short. Standouts for me were "I Lookout for Ed Wolfe", "Perlmutter at the East Pole" and "A Poetics for Bullies".
Read like period pieces. Didn't like the first one but read on.
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