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Master Cheever


Cheever and his little nugget metaphors dipped in sarcasm–bitter almonds covered with chocolate.

In the stories there is a stylish sarcastic outrage at everything, especially the mundane little buggers we collectively as a culture take for granted, then feed back to ourselves as commonplace. Also some incredibly succinct writing. From “A Vision of the World”:

Time, I thought, strips us rudely of the privileges of the bystander, and in the end that couple chatting loudly in bad French in the lobby of the Grand Bretagne (Athens) turns out to be us. Someone else has got our post behind the potted palms, our quiet corner in the bar and, exposed, perforce we cast around for other avenues of observation.



From → Readings

One Comment
  1. Grant permalink

    “Oh, what can you do with a man like that? What can you do? How can you dissuade his eye in a crowd from seeking out the cheek with acne, the infirm hand; how can you teach him to respond to the inestimable greatness of the race, the harsh surface beauty of life; how can you put his finger for him on the obdurate truths before which fear and horror are powerless? The sea that morning was iridescent and dark. My wife and my sister were swimming–Diana and Helen–and I saw their uncovered heads, black and gold in the dark water. I saw them come out and I saw that they were naked, unshy, beautiful, and full of grace, and I watched the naked women walk out of the sea.” —John Cheever

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