The Ballad of the Sad Café by Carson McCullers

I had not read any of Carson McCullers work until now and reading The Ballad of the Sad Café made me wish I had. The quiet clarity of her writing and her ability to observe such different characters has obviously influenced many of the American writers that I have read. I hear echoes of her voice in the edited Carver, in Flannery O’Connor and in Alice Munro. This is the kind of writing that makes you want to pick up your pen regardless of how good the outcome.

The greatest part of the book is taken up with the story ‘The Ballad of the Sad Café’. Behind the circus of the café with its manly cross-eyed owner and its hunchbacked resident, is the sound of the chain gang building modern American with a wistful, heartfelt chorus. There is something of this eerie resonance that plays throughout the collection. McCullers stories are not given straight-forwards resolutions, but show the complexities of human life as reality impacts upon our hopes and dreams. Our need to delude ourselves, our difficulty in mapping emotion onto reason, is revealed and responded to with breath-taking care.

Whilst I of course preferred some stories to others, The Ballad of the Sad Café is a remarkable collection whose reflective qualities made me think of Wordsworth’s definition of poetry as ‘emotion recollected in tranquility’. I’m not going to summarise the stories because I would urge you to read the book yourself.

Next week I’ll be reading A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride, then Father Melancholy’s Daughter by Gail Godwin.

27 thoughts on “The Ballad of the Sad Café by Carson McCullers”

  1. Hello to every one, for the reason that I am in fact eager of reading this web site’s post to be updated regularly.
    It carries nice information.

  2. If you wish for to increase your familiarity only keep visiting
    this site and be updated with the latest gossip posted here.

  3. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is valuable and all. However think about if you added
    some great visuals or video clips to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with pics and video clips, this website could certainly be
    one of the very best deals uk in its field.
    Excellent blog!

  4. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of space .
    Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this web site.
    Reading this information So i am satisfied to exhibit that
    I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed.
    I such a lot without a doubt will make certain to don?t omit this site and provides
    it a look on a relentless basis.

    Here is my page – ipv6 http proxy

  5. Wow! This blog looks exactly like my old one! It’s on a totally different subject but it has
    pretty much the same layout and design. Great choice of

    Also visit my page Lee

  6. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
    as though you relied on the video to make your point.

    You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to
    your site when you could be giving us something informative to

    my blog post

  7. With havin so much content do you ever run into
    any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it looks
    like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web
    without my permission. Do you know any methods to help stop content from
    being stolen? I’d truly appreciate it.

    Also visit my homepage perfume gift set offers

  8. I just like the valuable information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at again right here regularly.
    I’m relatively certain I’ll be told a lot of new stuff proper
    right here! Good luck for the following!

    Feel free to surf to my blog :: Rich

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.