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"...a lot more danger in not leaving it..."

Nice short passage here from Sherwood Anderson’s Windy McPherson’s Son. Sam McPherson, still young but rising rapidly in industry, is the wilds of Michigan, on his honeymoon.

One with whom he talked was a grocer from a town in Ohio, and when Sam asked him if coming to the woods with his family for an eight-weeks stay did not endanger the success of his business he agreed with Sam that it did, nodding his head and laughing.

”But there would be a lot more danger in not leaving it,” he said, “the danger of having my boys grow up to be men without my having any real fun with them.”

I have always agreed with the grocer’s sentiment, especially since becoming a father. The book has lost some momentum since Sam left Caxton, Iowa for big-city Chicago, and particularly since he fell in love, somewhat predictably, with Sue, the daughter of his boss. Since that point, the narrative has read like a 19th century soap opera, with frequent chauvinistic tones. Anderson was clearly still trying to find his way when he wrote this, his first novel.

August 24, 2014 in Books | Permalink

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