Nothing But the Night

Nothing But the Night Questa Stanza Come La Mia Anima Sporca E Disordinata L Anima Di Arthur Maxley Opaca, Stretta Nell Incertezza Della Giovane Et E In Una Biografia Familiare Amara, Dove La Protezione Dei Genitori Si Polverizzata Quando Era Ancora Un Ragazzino Arthur Spende La Giornata Estiva Che Fa Da Cornice A Questo Romanzo Breve A San Francisco Qui Ci Sono Le Feste Di Max Evartz, Dove Si Beve Troppo, E L Amico Stafford Lord, Sempre In Ritardo E Terribilmente Lamentoso, Un Giovane Viziato Da Sogni Irrealizzabili Ma Non Sono Le Frequentazioni Quanto I Pensieri Ad Affollare La Mente Di Arthur, Frammenti Di Ricordi Di Un Infanzia Che Ha Al Centro Una Voragine, Una Madre Perduta Senza Sapere Quale Sia Stata La Causa E Un Padre, Uomo D Affari Sempre In Giro Per I Continenti, Il Quale Proprio In Questo Giorno In Citt E Propone Al Figlio Un Incontro Ed Allora Che Le Parole Non Si Trovano E Quelle Che Vengono Pronunciate Sono Troppo Poche E Deboli, In Un Dialogo Che Non Concede Nulla Al Rapporto Tra Un Genitore E Un Figlio A Partire Da Luisant S, Un Club Immerso Nelle Strade Della Metropoli, Che Consuma La Notte E La Delusione, Un Cocktail Dopo L Altro Con Una Donna Che Diventa Compagna Di Solitudini E Seduzioni Nulla, Solo La Notte L Esordio Letterario Di John Williams, Che, A Soli Vent Anni, Raccont La Giornata Di Un Giovane Borghese Della California, Scrivendo Forsennatamente Nelle Lunghe Ore Vuote Che Caratterizzarono La Sua Esperienza Militare In India E Birmania Nel Secondo Conflitto Mondiale Al Rientro Negli Stati Uniti Riusc , Un Anno Prima Di Laurearsi, A Far Stampare Il Suo Primo Romanzo, Queste Prime Pagine Della Carriera Di Un Grande Scrittore, Osservatore Lucido E Sensibile Della Condizione Umana, Narratore Puntuale Delle Sue Fragilit

Librarian Note There is than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.John Edward Williams, Ph.D University of Missouri, 1954 M.A., University of Denver, 1950 B.A., U of D., 1949 , enlisted in the USAAF early in 1942, spending two and a half years as a sergeant in India and Burma His first novel, Nothing But the Night, was published in 1948, and his first volume of poems, Th

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  • Hardcover
  • 138 pages
  • Nothing But the Night
  • John Williams
  • Italian
  • 13 August 2019
  • 9788864117027

10 thoughts on “Nothing But the Night

  1. says:

    Night, not Day In all the endless road you tread There s nothing but the night. AE HousmanA young John Williams penned lush language to describe a single day in the life of another young man He minutely observes everything, however trivial two sentences to describe an envelope, and starting to sit down But it is profound and bewitching The multi sensory sights, sounds, textures, tastes, and smells of a dramatic day are poetic, sensuous, and sublime The sexual references are the least sensual Father, he thought It is a word. Arthur is traumatised by an incident involving his father A memory he strives to suppress A man he tries to avoid In contrast, his memories of his mother are fond, intimate, and intense Watery DreamsDreams are paradoxical you have strange powers, but also no power Such is the opening Such is Arthur s life The tool of a dark prankster, a grim little joker who creates worlds within world, lives within life, brains within brain. Arthur feels he is the victim of external forces, exacerbated by his drifting in and out of consciousness sleep, daydreams, and drunken haze With mind and memory he could go back in time into a dream which was actual than the unreality of his present existence. It s dripping with watery metaphors His pain flooded like a drowning wave. He goes with the flow one minute A bit of flotsam tossed and carried along between narrow banks. But resists it another Time rushed about him and he was dull and silent, an immovable rock in a rushing stream. Remembering to ForgetThe delicate heart of the story is an unspecified, but terrible, incident that Arthur tries to forget, as he was advised to do Awake or dreaming, he tiptoes around the edge of memories of the event itself, like picking a scab, but not daring to pull it off and expose the wound It is obscured by the habitual force of conscious will There is no escape Remembrance followed him as a ravenous animal follows its wounded prey There is another sort of repression clumsy and pejorative hints about the probable homosexuality of at least one character, but that is never fully explored.Power and PowerlessnessCartoon Don t kid yourself Free will is an illusion , one Bizarro puppet tells another.The dreaminess and conscious forgetting compound Arthur s sense of being controlled by events, by his father, and of course, his memories He projects that back to his whole life, and onto others People oozed onto the dance floor like so many dumb puppets manipulated by unseen hands. There s even a mesmerising showgirl called Volita, who dances like a puppet possessed, than of her own volition.Such a view can absolve one of guilt for anything and everything, but the price is to accept and entrench one s powerlessness Who wants to be a victim or a toy Isn t it better to face the truth and be free to feel, even if it s painful Falling Apart The thing which had been nameless could now be spoken He remembered. Confronting our demons is meant to be good But when the unexpected brutality that caused Arthur s likely PTSD is finally revealed emotional as much as physical , the exquisite writing slips away The delicately decorative words are suddenly mixed with clich s and awkward metaphors Drawn forward by a sanguine magnet of terror His arms were a resilient vice There was a swollen river in him , so the dam wouldn t hold.Maybe Williams lost the momentum to polish the final rough stones, and that is why he later disowned it Maybe it was a deliberate reflection of the arc of Arthur s life.Other Quotes Morning rays of sunlight poked inquisitive fingers through the half opened shutters and touched his face softly, warmly, impersonally Last night s cheap perfume, so strong that the sickening odor of morning food and the kitchen smell could not obscure it The drapes had been drawn aside to disclose the vapid stare of the windows They leered down at him The stern implacability of the college buildings a holocaust of faces which had no names The rain as it descended in light, wet thongs, inexorably graying and immobilizing the city which huddled patiently beneath its gentle lash There s nothing worse than being alone when you aren t strong enough to face your own thoughts You ve got to make yourself believe you re not alone, even if you are He breathed deeply, shuddering of the corrupt air Yes, of He who is alone in a desert is always aware of his own significance But one who is solitary in the midst of a teeming swarm loses awareness of himself as an individual He waited for the evening to reveal itself to him, sentence by sentence, like an unread book Remembering with sudden certainty the loveliness of unimportant, unostentatious little things The green velvet feel of damp grass beneath his feet the soughing of the wind through the maple trees a night bird s lonely call Moonlight slithered through the open lattices and later it sifted A sickly cloud of almost tangible sordidity In a nightclub Her warm moist breath crept daintily on his skin Williams OeuvreThree NovelsJohn Williams not the composer of Star Wars, Jaws, Close Encounters, Superman, ET, Jurassic Park, Schindler s List, Harry Potter, and others published three novels between 1960 and 1972 the era of the Cold War, of the Cuba crisis, the Vietnam War, the Black Panther movement The last of them, Augustus review HERE , winning the National Book Award But his works gradually gathered dust on forgotten shelves until Stoner nothing to do with dope see my review HERE was reissued in 2003 by Vintage and then by New York Review Books Classics in 2006 Its popularity slowly swelled, bringing Augustus and Butcher s Crossing review HERE in its wake Momentum built on GoodReads, too Stoner currently 10 July 2018 has 66,679 ratings, averaging 4.29 , with 8,138 reviews Butcher s Crossing has 8,997 ratings, averaging 4.11 , with 940 reviews Augustus has 6,259 ratings, averaging 4.19 , with 677 reviews.The Fourth Novel First and LastBut this, his first novel from 1948, was left behind He wrote it when he was only 22, while he was in Burma during the war, recovering from plane crash It has only 519 ratings, averaging a mere 3.11 , with 66 reviews But maybe that will change, now it s been reissued February 2019 by New York Review Books Classics.Having loved the other three, and knowing Williams had disowned this youthful aged 26 work, I was wary of reading it But I succumbed, and am glad I did, even though it could not and did not reach the brilliance of its successors Four Novels, ComparedAll four are about character than plot, and start with a young man breaking away from his roots, trying to find himself, and forge his life But whereas Stoner and Augusts chart a lifetime, and involve complicated relationships with wives and daughters, Butcher s Crossing is a few months, and this a mere 24 hours Butcher s Crossing has something of the detail of tiny sensation that are so noticeable here The relationships between men are generally complex, and often problematic women are significant, but have softer power Augustus is startlingly different in form, being epistolary and historical All have a degree of bleakness, but the better known trio have plenty of hope and beauty for balance See this interview with Nancy Gardner Williams HERE.Other Influences The novel of a single day, with incredible attention to detail, reminded me of Nicholson Baker s 1988 novel, The Mezzanine see my review, HERE And for a few chapters, the telephone assumed huge significance Not in a sexual way, but it again brought Baker to mind, for Vox see my review HERE I doubt there s a connection, but if so, Williams was first The strongest theme, of suppressing what one doesn t want to know or remember, has many parallels with Ford Madox Ford s 1915 novel, The Good Soldier see my review, HERE However, the protagonists of the two books are trying to ignore very different things Kafka is also relevant Like Arthur, he sometimes felt parasitic and controlled, and he had a very fraught relationship with his father, albeit for different reasons Kafka wrote his grievances in Letter to His Father, whereas Arthur receives a life changing letter from his father Read This Because This is a good book, but not a great one If I hadn t known the author and adored his later works, I think it would have been only 3 Its importance lies in seeing the early work of a superb writer I strongly suggest you read those greats first Then you can easily spot the gems in the shingle And they are many.

  2. says:

    nulla, appunto solo una noiosissima notte la pubblicazione degli esordi letterari dovrebbe essere regolata dal codice civile, articolo per i danni morali, paragrafo non aprite quel cassetto.sto valutando di chiederli a fazi i danni , perch stato davvero un colpo basso espormi ai tentennanti vagiti narrativi e stilistici del pap di stoner la storia qui inesistente e la famosa scrittura pulita di JW solo desertificazione, lessicale e sintattica a conferma che aprire i cassetti degli inediti pu essere perfino peggio che fidarsi di una recensione di d orrico in ogni caso la fase dibattimentale si interrotta ieri sera a pagina 45 un terzo del libro ed ero ancora come da titolo nel mezzo del nulla pi nulla quindi sai che c , buonanotte.

  3. says:

    Oh never fear, man, nought s to dread, Look not left nor right In all the endless road you tread There s nothing but the night. A E Housman As I was suffering from withdrawal symptoms after reading three excellent books in succession by John Williams and knowing that there was only a novella of his remaining for me to read, I jumped into the pages of this book with a very open mind This was Williams first novel published when he was twenty six Yes, it is raw in style and there were shades of The Ginger Man , by J.P Donleavy to be found there but in spite of this it is mesmerizing and it is evident that the author thoroughly enjoyed himself writing it I feel, however, that none of his following three books can be compared to this infant I guess Williams was still finding his voice This is an intriguing, dramatic and metaphysical but somewhat depressing story Nevertheless, there is a fascinating chiaroscuro effect that shines throughout the somewhat clipped prose and brilliance is to be found within.This is a day in the life of Arthur Maxley, who as a child suffered a very traumatic experience and the only way he can handle it is to put it to the back of his mind where it resides like an archived file Unfortunately, this hidden memory does from time to time escape with rather dire consequences.Arthur to the present day continues to be so traumatized that I wouldn t call him your average easy going individual He screams very easily and becomes distraught when shouting Mother, Mother, Mother Everything is thought about in minute detail but then he s an individual who spends a lot of time on his own It s odd but I felt that I was observing the internal mind of this individual and not the persona that he presents to the world Everything he did in life was either darkness or light His father Hollis has been abroad and naturally wishes to see his son This meeting in a restaurant in itself proves to be a painful experience for the pair of them and, with the tension visibly mounting, it soon becomes apparent how the mother wife fits into the scenario.It is the mother who fascinated me The descriptions of her are shown in minute detail As a child Arthur loved her dearly, in fact he appeared to treat her as if she were a kind of possession Then Arthur by chance meets lovely Claire Hegsic at Luisant s, a nightclub Regrettably at the time she was very drunk There is also a dancer there called Volita, who danced to mad excesses Then, with a shrieking clash of music, it was over And with that final discordant beat, Volita spanned the width of the floor in one tremendous, exultant leap and landed with panther like grace and ease only a few feet in front of his table. Upon her face there was an expression of deep, exultantly fierce, almost mad ecstasy And he was instantly unaware of his surroundings His eyes were compelled and frozen by that face before him which grew and grew in his vision, swelled to an unbelievable proportion, menacing and insatiable. And then he remembered.That part was remarkable.Then Arthur had a vision This section of the book becomes a mixture of romance and burlesque and then finally there is an event that is tantamount to a Greek tragedy The ending astounded me in fact.Williams may have disowned his first published novella Nevertheless, it was still the book that set him on the right track for his further three albeit latterly successful novels Consequently, I think it is worthwhile reading how this book saw the light of day In 1942 he was shipped to India, where he served as a radio dispatcher on missions that flew over the Himalayas to supply troops deep in the jungles of Burma flying the hump, as it was called After it was over, Williams rarely mentioned the two and a half years he spent in the China Burma India theatre, other than to note that he used much of his tedious downtime to write and rewrite his first novel, Nothing but the Night , a murky psychological study of a troubled young dandy that he would later emphatically renounce. In 1945 Williams returned to civilian life He spent some time with his family, who had moved to California, then drifted to Key West, where he helped launch a radio station He continued to tinker with his novel, sending drafts off to New York editors, who called it an overblown, overwritten short story Discouraged but stubborn, Williams sent the manuscript to Alan Swallow. It was a life changing move A Wyoming native, Swallow had founded a small press in Denver dedicated to bringing out serious new writers that mainstream publishers neglected He was also in the process of launching a creative writing doctorate program at the University of Denver that would be only the second of its kind in the country. Swallow found Nothing but the Night rather dreary and somewhat overdone but not so terrible for a first novel He told Williams he d publish it under his own imprint, even though he would certainly lose money on the deal You may well be a writer who needs to throw away two or three novels before the thing starts clicking, he wrote to the jubilant author. The book was published in 1948 and disappeared quickly.Nevertheless, I am actually rather taken with this book I don t know why either.

  4. says:

    A young man is traumatised by what he saw his parents do one night when he was ickle Oh you, it wasn t THAT, they weren t hugging in a special way But what was it The mystery slowly unravels in Nothing but the Night Eh not as good as Stoner John Williams first book is a quick read and not just because it s a novella but because Williams was a good writer right out the gate and his prose is very smooth and accessible The quality of the writing, the pacing and some of the scenes, particularly the key scene where we see what happened between his mum and dad, were ok But there s barely anything here to hold the attention a traumatised dude does not get up to much beyond going stir crazy in his apartment He meets a leech of a friend who begs for money, he has an awkward lunch with his dad and then goes on a disastrous drunken night out it just wasn t enough for me In this New York Review of Books edition, there s an interview included at the back with Williams widow, Nancy, who reveals that he wrote this short book at just 22 years old while serving in the Air Force during WW2 this was the only way he could go to university to have the government pay his way in exchange for service in the war an impressive fact alone He had been shot down on a mission over Burma and he was one of the three survivors from the crash the other five men died He wrote the book out of boredom as there was nothing else to do in the area he was convalescing But I wonder if the trauma the main character experiences in several rambling scenes, many hallucinated, was Williams subconsciously working through the trauma he experienced during the war dealing with being surrounded by so much death The interview is informative in many regards, not least as I found out Williams became an alcoholic in his final years, his wife intimating that the memories of the war were harder for him to deal with towards the end In that sense, perhaps this book is an accurate and illuminating portrayal of what it s like to live with trauma I m lucky enough not to know but, even if it is, it didn t make for compelling reading I found those sequences the ones where he imagines himself floating overly literary, like what a young writer might think they re supposed to write to be taken seriously, dull, and pretentious than anything Ultimately Nothing but the Night was too slight for my taste Nowt much happens, it doesn t really have anything to say, barring a couple scenes it s mostly forgettable, and if it weren t written by the author of Stoner, Butcher s Crossing and Augustus, I doubt we d be seeing a reprinting Fans only then, and for new readers interested in this author, I d rec Stoner over this one.

  5. says:

    This cover, man, I don t know This is the author s debut novel, which he wrote after dropping out of college The novel starts with a disturbing but memorable dream sequence The main character, Arthur, is a college dropout and seems to be suffering from PTSD, but from unknown circumstances He struggles to connect with others, and then his father comes to town Stoner by John Williams remains one of my favorite novels, and is not in danger of being replaced by this one This reads like psychological drama horror with some violence towards women and or commentary on loneliness This edition NYRB Classics has an interview with the author s wife, and that might have been my favorite thing I received a copy of this from the publisher through Edelweiss It came out 12 February 2019.

  6. says:

    I wanted to read this because I enjoyed all of John Williams three later novels Stoner, Butcher s Crossing and Augustus This odd, unsettling novella was his first, and is probably the least essential of the four.The book is a day in the life of Arthur Maxley, an indolent and purposeless young man who lives off his mother s inheritance He hears that his father is in town having returned from a long business trip to South America, and wants to see him for the first time It gradually emerges that Arthur is deeply traumatised by having witnessed the suicide of his mother when he was still a child, and this colours his perception of almost everything he does.It is a short book, so easy enough to read in a single sitting, but Arthur makes it very difficult for the reader to sympathise with him, and the ending is unpleasantly violent and melodramatic.

  7. says:

    I ve read John Williams s novel Stoner three or four times I ve studied it and consider it a perfect novel This novella, 123 pages, first published in 1948 and written by twenty two year old Williams when he was enlisted in the Army Air Force, portends the talent of Stoner and Williams s other books, so it is worth reading But it is young, overly earnest, self conscious, and sometimes even melodramatic as are many young writers first novels this is not a criticism, just a fact of immaturity It feels a little like an actor s sense memory exercise where you break things down to their essential beats and live every one of them in this case, at aha amplitude I can t find the reference, but I think I recall reading that Williams wanted to bury this novel, and I understand why He had grown, matured, turned into an artist, and this is the work of his child self I revere Williams and am interested in his genesis as a writer So that s a good enough reason to have read it.

  8. says:

    The much celebrated author of Stoner and The Butcher s Crossing failed to fully accomplish the purpose of his first novel s premise The prose is boringly wordy and somewhat lost in endless descriptions that subtract the desired effect of the substance The writing is quite good at times, but Williams genius seen in wonderful images and atmospheres is compromised by an excessive urge to explain too much, to uncover what should remain hidden Perhaps because the novel takes place in that thin line that separates dream from reality and Williams feared to lose the thread But the thread lost itself in the fear of the grip And I feel sorry for that I really do I feel frustrated for not seeing the potential of Nothing but the Night fully translated into the prose Because everything is there except for the rubber A restrained and disciplined hand would have done it Perhaps the author should have postponed his enterprise A mature Williams would have made a remarkable novel out of this draft of a thing to be.

  9. says:

    Was z hmt dich nach einem gewaltvollen Trauma Was l sst die Dunkelheit in dir letztlich wieder hervorbrechen In Nichts als die Nacht erz hlt John Williams novellenhaft von zw lf Stunden eines gescheiterten Lebens Lethargie, M digkeit, soziale ngste umgeben den 24 j hrigen Arthur Maxley In einer einzigen Nacht bestimmen drei Menschen den Fortgang des Ganzen und lassen ihn alles Elend sp ren Man merkt diesem ersten Werk John Williams eine unfassbare Angst vor dem Leben an Das schaurige, unheilvolle Leben wird in der Nacht durch alle Metaphern, die nur m glichst wenig Licht in eine verschattete Seele lassen, getrieben Was f r eine erz hlerische Kraft, was f r eine Energie Ich war von Beginn an sehr angetan von diesem St ck Kurzprosa und es hat mich definitiv von einer Sache berzeugt John Williams ist mittlerweile einer meiner liebsten Autoren Das Gef hl stellte sich bereits 2015 zur Lekt re von Stoner ein und setzte sich bei Butcher s Crossing und Augustus fort Wie viel Einsamkeit er eine einzige Person sp ren lassen kann und wie expressiv man eine Nacht beschreiben kann Sehr berzeugend insgesamt empfehle ich vor allem, wenn man davor bereits etwas von Williams las.

  10. says:

    Una giornata trascorsa con Arthur Maxley, parassita della societ , come si definisce lui stesso Un cerchio esatto da un estasi alcoolica all altra, da una notte all altra In realt Arthur un uomo spezzato, un grande dolore lo rende impermeabile a tutto, vive l alcool come allontanamento dalla realt e allo stesso tempo come unico filo che lo unisca ad un passato che ama, che a volte rinnega, che cerca di capire e che rivive nella sua mente in mille modi diversi Un giorno disturbante per certi versi, inutile, lontano dalla pacatezza delle pagine di Stoner rassicuranti.

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