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Because They Wanted To: Stories por Mary…
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Because They Wanted To: Stories (original 1997; edição 2012)

por Mary Gaitskill (Autor)

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530445,706 (3.78)11
A New York Times Notable Book A man tells a story to a woman sitting beside him on a plane, little suspecting what it reveals about his capacity for cruelty and contempt. A callow runaway girl is stranded in a strange city with another woman's fractiously needy children. An uncomprehending father helplessly lashes out at the daughter he both loves and resents. In these raw, startling, and incandescently lovely stories, the author of Veronica yields twelve indelible portraits of people struggling with the disparity between what they want and what they know. Because They Wanted To is further evidence that Gaitskill is one of the fiercest, funniest, and most subversively compassionate writers at work today.… (mais)
Membro:Keelz09
Título:Because They Wanted To: Stories
Autores:Mary Gaitskill (Autor)
Informação:Simon & Schuster (2012), Edition: 1st Scribner Paperback Fiction Ed, 260 pages
Coleções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:to-read

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Because They Wanted to: Stories por Mary Gaitskill (1997)

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    Inside Madeleine por Paula Bomer (TheAmpersand)
    TheAmpersand: Mary Gaitskill might as well be Paula Bomer's fairy godmother, if fairy godmothers smoked Marlboro Lights, started the day with a screwdriver, and could put a condom on without using their hands.
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I first read this one back in the nineties when Mary Gaitskill was a bright, shocking young thing and, perhaps unsurprisingly, what struck me most about it was these stories was the frankness with which they treated sex, the easy cruelty with which the characters treated each other, and the author's cool, ironic attitude toward these subjects. Re-reading them fifteen years later, other aspects of Gaitskill's work seem more prominent. Her writer's voice may seem somewhat detached, but Gaitskill's characters are capable of intense emotion and longing. Her characters may treat sex and relationships somewhat casually, but she describes their emotional states and deeply felt-emotions in preternatural detail. What many people consider to be "important relationship issues" are tossed off in a sentence or two, but the author's not afraid to linger for paragraphs on a telling personal detail or a meaningful anecdote. Gaitskill's the kind of writer who's willing to spend three sentences discussing the significance of a character's keychain or describing their crow's feet. I suppose that this may lose the sort reader who might pick this book up on the strength of its outré reputation, but although this may seem like fine work, Gaitskill is, at the same time, a remarkably economical writer. In these stories, every detail, every off-kilter feeling, and every social interaction counts. The woman knows how to construct a character.

Gaitskill's reputation as a writer who specializes in human cruelty is probably closer to the mark. There are a few happy endings here, but not many. In a sense, she's a writer that specializes in collision and impact, both emotional and sexual. It's not that her characters are dead to the world, although many of them certainly feel numbed, it's that their capacity to experience emotion tends mostly toward various flavors of pain and anguish. Emotionally, they exist mostly in terms of the negative. But that's different than being emotionally dead: raw and emotionally vulnerable, the events described here threaten to collapse the strategies they've painstakingly constructed to make it through their lives. When a bit of transcendence does creep in, it's hard earned and feels especially gratifying. This is especially true of the linked set of short stories that ends the book. After a typically chaotic series of events involving professional disappointment, miscommunication, awkward casual sexual encounters, and substance abuse, the story ends with four friends -- and apparently occasional lovers -- sitting together in a nighttime garden, in the dark but wonderfully conscious of each other's presence. The relief I felt upon reading this scene was enormous. Human connection in these stories is a rare, hard-won thing, but Gaitskill seems to be arguing that it might actually be worth the trouble, too. ( )
2 vote TheAmpersand | Mar 4, 2019 |
This is a terrific collection of longish short stories by a writer with a very keen eye for the human condition and ear for language. In every story, I feel like I met real people, people who are, usually, floundering their way through our modern maze of fragile relationships and unrealistic and so often disappointed expectations. There are occasions where Gaitskill is guilty of overwriting, as the metaphors fly fast and furious and make it hard to see the story for the imagery. But that's only now and then. Overall, these are wonderfully written, if frequently uncomfortable, stories. ( )
  rocketjk | Jan 20, 2010 |
In short, a book about relationships and sex for grown-ups. Gaitskill’s characters occupy a mean, raw world; they are vulnerable, confused, and desperate, trying to find something (usually each other) to help them deal with a world that is threatening in its aggressive meaninglessness.

The characters in these stories are capable of breathless desire and genuineness, but also of heartless distance, banal cruelty or ugly, emotional viciousness. Plus there’s sex, lots of sex—treated completely unsentimentally and honestly; it’s complex, messy, often unsatisfying, and sometimes damaging.
( )
1 vote pharmakos555 | Sep 26, 2008 |
One of the most brutally (emphasis on that adjective) honest writers I have ever encountered, Gaitskill holds nothing back in this collection of short stories. Most of her writing concerns the everyday drama of human relationships; however, her characters are so vivid and actualized that you are forced to identify with them to the point of excruciating pain. This was the first work of Gaitskill's that I picked up, and quite honestly, her short stories easily outdo her novels, which are somewhat mediocre. ( )
  DoraBadollet | Jun 5, 2008 |
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The most outlandish people can be the stimulus for love. . . . A most mediocre person can be the object of a love which is wild, extravagant, and beautiful as the poision lilies of the swamp. A good man may be the stimulus for a love both violent and debased, or a jabbering madman may bring about in the soul of someone a tender and simple idyll. Therefore, the value and quality of any love is determined solely by the lover himself.

It is for this reason that most of us would rather love than be loved. Almost everyone wants to be the lover. And the curt truth is that, in a deep secret way, the state of being beloved is intolerable to many.
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He lay in his reclining chair, barely awake enough to feel the dream moving just under his thoughts.
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A New York Times Notable Book A man tells a story to a woman sitting beside him on a plane, little suspecting what it reveals about his capacity for cruelty and contempt. A callow runaway girl is stranded in a strange city with another woman's fractiously needy children. An uncomprehending father helplessly lashes out at the daughter he both loves and resents. In these raw, startling, and incandescently lovely stories, the author of Veronica yields twelve indelible portraits of people struggling with the disparity between what they want and what they know. Because They Wanted To is further evidence that Gaitskill is one of the fiercest, funniest, and most subversively compassionate writers at work today.

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