Item description for Paul Bowles: Collected Stories and Later Writings (Library of America) by Paul Bowles...
Overview Collects the author's short stories, a novella titled "Up Above the World," and a travel book first published in 1963.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 7.25" Height: 8.25" Weight: 2 lbs.
Release Date Aug 26, 2002
Publisher Library of America
ISBN 1931082200 ISBN13 9781931082204
Availability 0 units.
More About Paul Bowles
Paul Bowlesis a graduate of the London School of Economics and is currently affiliated with universities in China, Mexicoand Canada. He has had a long-standing interest in capitalism and its evolution, recently doing research on the issue of "globalisation." He has published widely on both globalisation and East Asian development and has also been involved in a project looking at economic reform in China.
Reviews - What do customers think about Paul Bowles: Collected Stories and Later Writings (Library of America)?
The Master of Lucid Insanity and Polished Miscommunication Mar 3, 2005
Like H.P. Lovecraft, Paul Bowles was an early admirer of Edgar Allen Poe's work. His collected short works (67 stories and essays, and one stunning short novel) is a treasurehouse of polished gems of a most peculiar variety. Bowles' specialty is in leaving the reader disconcerted, uncomfortable--even annoyed and sometimes horrified. His prose is lapidary--effortless, clear, and dangerous in the extreme. His psychological realism focuses on the darker sides of humanity--the ignorant, the misguided, the superstitious, the incomprehending, and the insane. His stories often seem to end without resolution. However, "seem" is the key word: Bowles clearly revels in the creation of states of ill ease in his readers. One might deem him H.P. Lovecraft on Prozak: restrained, controlled, but nevertheless a master of horror. Bowles' horror is all the more powerful for being so eloquent and dispassionate.
By far the best work of this volume, and probably of Bowles' entire corpus, is the concluding short novel UP ABOVE THE WORLD. It's devastating. Nightmarish, even fiendish in its narrative technique, I'm surprised that Hollywood never has attempted a version. Its vision has been called, not inappropriately, nihilistic: the bad guys here quite clearly win. Nevertheless, it bears witness to a darkness that sincerely pervades our modern world, doubtlessly more than we would care to acknowledge.
Bowles specializes in exploring the minds of characters who don't comprehend their environments, whether social or physical. As readers, we ourselves beccome trapped by the limitations of these often pathetic, sometimes horrendous denizens of the global village. He's especially good at entering the minds of non-Western characters. I should think our forces in Iraq would do well to be intimate with Bowles' astute psychological voyages.
Bowles never will be for everyone. He's too intelligent, too polished, and too dark. I view him as a kind of vaccine against complacency in these current times of overwhelming anomie.