By Bernard Malamud
"An missed masterpiece. it will possibly nonetheless be undervalued as Malamud's funniest and such a lot embracing novel." —Jonathan Lethem
In a brand new lifestyles, Bernard Malamud—generally considered a surprisingly ny writer—took at the American fable of the West as a spot of non-public reinvention.
When Sy Levin, a highschool instructor beset by way of alcohol and undesirable judgements, leaves the town for the Pacific Northwest to begin over, it's no shock that he conjures a imaginative and prescient of the intense new lifestyles waiting for him there: "He imagined the pioneers in coated wagons getting into this valley for the 1st time. even supposing he had lived little in nature Levin had regularly enjoyed it, and the experience of getting performed definitely the right factor in leaving big apple was once renewed in him." quickly after his arrival at Cascadia university, although, Levin realizes he has been taken in by way of a mirage. The disasters pile up anew, and Levin, fired from his submit, reveals himself again the place he began and little the wiser for it.
A New Life—as Jonathan Lethem's creation makes clear—is Malamud at his top: along with his trust in good fortune and new beginnings Sy Levin embodies the thwarted longing for transcendence that's on the middle of all Malamud's paintings.
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Extra resources for A New Life
The pianist’s hands stop playing. Œ The train enters the tunnel, great piston breaches the oily cylinder, clockwork tide is driven to foam on the rocks, and the marriage is over. 26 Ca se History We live in God’s imagination, he whispers on the street to strangers. He needs to take his medication, But the angel of his unborn prescription squats with a sword of ﬂame at the pharmacy door. We live in God’s imagination. He sleeps in the black hole of a subway station, unexamined, unanalyzed, not able to remember He needs to take his medication So the voices of his inner congregation will sing in tune again.
The elevator kept trembling: the mechanism out of key, but the riders held their eyes ﬁxed on the dial, the reassuring arbitrary numbers. Œ Under the hood, where gear meshes integer, in the hamster wheel of the heart, a singularity appears, an homunculus, a social security number. Œ Wreckage washed ashore, fragments of fuselage and cowling, seat-backs, oxygen masks, and hermit crabs remade themselves of metal and bone. Œ A rat in the dark attic at midnight, bolt-cutter teeth incising insulation.
But what mind? The lovers lay on the bed, handcuffed, saying Please, and just for a moment one of them knew. Œ Sleeping, one of them moaned. It was the dream of the interpenetration of souls. Death is in everything, crystalline arsenic dissolved in alcohol. Œ They wore raptor masks. One used a small ﬂexible whip. Its marks were radiant traces of ichor. Thus the walls of the sanctum were broken. Œ They knew it was insanity, and accepted it, but differently. One thought: madness, endlessly. The other thought: madness, ﬁnally.
A New Life by Bernard Malamud