Nayad Monroe (nayad) wrote,
Nayad Monroe
nayad

2008 Books #34: Wild Nights! by Joyce Carol Oates

This story collection is the first work by Joyce Carol Oates that I've read, so here I am with my neophyte's perspective. Each of the stories in Wild Nights is an alternate ending to the life of a famous author: Poe, Dickinson, Twain, James, and Hemingway. Each revealed to me that I know almost nothing about the actual lives of those authors, so I don't know how to approach the stories. All of the authors-as-characters come across as being deeply self-involved, and since I'm new to Oates, I can't tell whether that's typical of her style and characters, or if she's expressing judgments about the real-life authors, or if she's showing what is widely thought about them and I don't know about it.

So: I'm frustrated, and I flail. Mostly due to my own inadequacies. I felt distanced by the stories, but maybe I wouldn't have if I'd been more familiar with the lives of the authors represented. She seemed to get the voices of Poe and Hemingway fairly well, anyway! I liked the near-future story, "EDickinsonRepliLuxe" the best, since it was literary science fiction in a modern setting.

Questions for audience participation and bonus points: Have you read anything by Oates? What did you think of it? Do you have recommendations for me?
Tags: 2008 books, joyce carol oates
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 0 comments