Kemilau Cinta - Brighter Than the Sun gUsness about this legendary writer is pitch perfectWe even talked like Hemingway characters though in travesty as if to deny our discipleship That is your bed and it is aood bed and you must make it and you must make it well Or Today is the day of meatloaf The meatloaf is swell It is swell but when it is one the not having meatloaf will be tragic and the meatloaf man will not come any 14In similar fashion Wolff describes the boys various writing efforts For anyone who remembers hisher own not uite ready for prime time adolescent writing or has read the occasionally overwrought writing of young adults Wolff s descriptions ring true But Wolff doesn t overdo it These are bright boys who have talent Instead Wolff shows us their slightly angst ridden writing by taking it down just a notch It s not horrible stuff well some of it is but is unformed filled with enough adolescent fervor to be hilarious and heartbreakingWolff s dead on writing emerges from the first page There he explains how the epic 1960 battle between Nixon and Hemingway arnered less attention than the writing competition and the impending arrival of Robert Frost After dismissing Nixon as a somewhat tattered scold Wolff captures the way the boys view Kennedy s mystiue in two crisp sentences Kennedy though here was a warrior an ironist terse and unhysterical He had his clothes under control 5In addition to Wolff s impeccable writing for Red November: Inside the Secret U.S.-Soviet Submarine War goodreaders much of the book s enjoyment derives from the many descriptions of famous literature Wolff s trot through Hemingway s short stories brought back their humanity and contours so sharply I felt as though I d just finished re reading them However Wolff s section on Ayn Rand the second visiting author proves unforgettable The protagonist referred to as the boy becomes infatuated with Ayn Rand and reads The Fountainhead four times The book s effect proves unfortunate On a vacation break the boy views hisrandfather and second wife with bemused pity Aghast at their provincialism the boy flees from their house at every opportunity Armed with cigarettes the boy walks the A Silent Ocean Away: Colette's Dominion glistening streets in a fury of derision wet and cold sneering at everyone except the drunkards and bums who d at least had theuts not to buy into the sham 69 Though filled with confidence that his writing will rise above the mundane prattle of the collectivist herd instead the boy faints in class and winds up in the infirmary He wakes to find that he s missed most of Ayn Rand s visit except for her final interview which he sneaks out to see There he sees a different Ayn Rand than the one he d envisioned Rather than brave she is cold and when Rand looks at the boy still very sick he can see her distaste I saw her facethe face she d turned on me when I sneezed Her disgust had power This was no The Magic Question girlish shudder this was spiritual disgust and it forced on me a vision of the poor specimen under scrutiny chapped lips damp white face rheumy eyes and all She made me feel that to be sick was contemptible 91 As flat out funny as the Rand episode is Wolff treads a fine line We see what the boy learns but it is an evolution rather than a hammer blow I can t pin down everything that made this book work so well It isn t flawless At one point Wolff s narrative stitching comes undone and it s clear that the book written in sements could use cohesion PROOF In reference to the comments made on Jon Gruenning s review of Ex Libris here is a snippet of what my husband the highlighter and vocabulary seeker did to Old School after he thought I d finished reading it Meredith recommends reading This Boy s Life or In Pharaoh s Army Memories of the Lost War parts 1 and 2 of this author s memoirs instead of this fiction novel if you ve never read Hemingway or Rand That said I ve never read Hemingway or Rand but I ve heard of their reputations and really enjoyed thisDoes anyone rememberetting a flier in high school saying you ve been so successful that you re chosen to be listed in the Who s Who In American High Schools I was too naive to recognize a scam when it was directed at me with flattery and being a uiet nerd starved for recognition of my constant studying I begged the parents to pay the fee It was a kick to see my name in the bookuh one line within about a thousand rice paper thin sheets Or how about invitations to join honor societies in college where if you paid a fee you could claim to be a member of Golden Key or Phi Kappa Phi or any set of Greek letters These all meant well I m sure having monthly meetings community service events and sometimes
lectures with free pizza for an attendance bribe Then a little later I learned of with free pizza for an attendance bribe Then a little later I learned of Order of the Engineer formed after a tragic bridge collapse in Canada The steel from that bridge was reforged into rings and any
CIVIL ENGINEER COULD MAKE A PERSONAL VOW TO REMEMBER engineer could make a personal vow to remember CHILDREN wearing a ring on the pinky of the writing hand as a reminder to always work conscientiouslyAs I wised up very slowly I realized most only wanted the membership fee Those that weren t money focused were honor focused trying to capture minds at a peak of idealism and carry it forward into a community of do A Writer's Reference with Writing about Literature with 2009 MLA and 2010 APA Updates gooding The secret ceremonies one was held in complete darkness with Greek letter code names and we had to vow never to speak of what was spoken hah and symbolisms the ring was placed while holding your hand through a larger display sized ring were used in an attempt to createravity and impress upon us the importance of their mission statementsOne of the themes of this novel is the living in and loss of idealism I think I have trouble understanding this literatureEnglish stuff These young boys at boarding school view literature their lit teachers their school and authors with an awe and innocence that hurts because you know there will be disillusionment Let s call it an end of a olden age I think we want to have a reverence for something anything Religion life love knowledge an abstract that can be projected onto and we can lie to ourselves to make it just so This fails when the abstracts attach to faliable people or roups or agencies or book websites who are revealed to be not uite up to the mistaken mental constructI ve always linked my readings to my own life and experiences but maybe this is a mark of an immature reader The main character in part of a very funny jab at Ayn Rand reads The Fountainhead and over absorbs her message such a funny section I see I m doing the same with this bookAww man I wikipedia ed this and learned that it s not true There was a bridge collapse but the rings are just plain old steel no special burden of tragedy attached Another blow Hot
damn I do realize this was on my currently reading shelf for one I do realize this was on my currently reading shelf for one stretch of time but I must confess I had only done a cursory read of a few pagesWell last night I visited the land of IKEA dreadful place that I rarely venture to and bought myself a reading lamp Wanting to try out my latest device I picked up this book and began to read This was at Midnight I m a bit of a night owl Well I ot so engrossed in this book that I read the entire thing Finished around 4 in the morning and then had a dream about Hemingway where he was selling me ice cream by the side of the road while confiding to me his darkest secrets unfortunately when I awoke I couldn t remember what these secrets were booSo anyway back to the point if there was one This is a reat book that captures the mood and spirit of a certain time and of the way it feels to be infatuated with words and literature Now I want to put on some oxfords a cord blazer An Audience of Artists: Dada, Neo-Dada, and the Emergence of Abstract Expressionism grab a pile of Hemingway and Faulkner ando read in an old musty library somewhere Delicious What a book Despite the tranuil title it s been an engrossing emotional roller coaster which made me feel dizzy The setting of Old School 2003 by Tobias Wolff is an elite boarding school in the United States in 1960 61 The unnamed narrator is one of the students book drunk boys obsessed with literature and creative writing one could not live in a world without stories The school regularly organizes a competition and the prize is a private audience with a notorious author The desire to win makes the protagonist choose a road with no return like in a poem by Robert Frost I took the one less traveled byAnd that has made all the difference The Hill School in Pottstown Pennsylvania which probably inspired Tobias Wolff Image sourceSandy one of my favourite Goodreads friends wrote in her comment that despite some convincing suggestions Old School somehow hadn t made it to her TBR shelf yet She added that maybe my recommendation would do the trick Truth be told it s definitely Tobias Wolff who does the trick here What if he was asked to write down the instructions for it I Hing on earth to become a writer But to do that he must first learn to tell the truth about himselfThe agency of revelation is the school literary contest whose winner will be awarded an audience with the most legendary writer of his time As the fever of competit. .
Imagine yourself as a young writer at a prestigious boarding school A prominent member of the faculty has just read your submission for a contest He is enuinely excited for you A marvelous story Pure magic No no not magic Alchemy The dross of self consciousness transformed into the old of self knowledge Pretty heady stuff isn t it Old School s protagonist was at an experiential high point when he heard that one The truth is there are moments within the book where you could congratulate Wolff for the same achievement More than once I asked myself whether a passage was so Aristotle's Rhetoric: An Art of Character good because of its insights or because of the way it was worded The answer was typically bothThe story was set in the early 60 s at a prep school for boys somewhere in New England The narrator who neverave his name was on scholarship there It was an eccentric bookish place where writers not athletes were the heroes if you can imagine that The school featured a series of literary competitions where the prize for each was one on one time with whatever notable figure was recruited as judge Robert Frost was the first The old man passed on our boy s work in favor of one he misinterpreted as having depth and irony that in truth was simple and earnest Think of Peter Sellers character in Being There For the second competition Ayn Rand was judge The narrator was seduced by her philosophy of self interest to the point of obsession reading The Fountainhead four times Then he became deliriously ill He was too sick to write an entry but thought he could at least Anthropology as Cultural Critique: An Experimental Moment in the Human Sciences go to her talk As she turned her disgusted face on him after he sneezed he was uickly disillusioned She made me feel that to be sick was contemptible The final competition was the big one Hemingway his hero was the judge The whole school felt a kinship to the man via stories of friendship with one of the teachers formed during the Great War The drama really begins as the narrator thinks of what to write And this is where I stop summarizing because I mightive too much away if I don t Let s just say that the truth can have ood days and bad days I ll also hint to you that class privilege and identity come into play but it s all by the teaspoon not the trowel full People who would know have called this a thinly veiled memoir This is a natural form for Wolff who has a reat reputation as a memoirist All I know is the writing seemed exceptionally Between Silences good His short stories have always rated well too If associations are at all indicative I ll mention a wiki factoid He was on the faculty with Raymond Carver at Syracuse and students who worked with Wolff while he was there included Jay McInerney Tom Perrotta George Saunders and Alice SeboldThis was close to a 5 star book for me but I m compelled to take one away because the main character s clash with himself seemed a wee bit contrived Or maybe it was just inconsistent with the way I d been viewing him And since I ll have you believe I m a paragon of virtue myself high standards unmetet a demerit I imagined as I was reading this book what a contemporary YA literary agent or editor would say upon receiving Tobias Wolff s story of a young man s experience in a New England preparatory school one of those that can claim a US president as an alumni but is way too classy to ever mention this fact outright I see my imaginary literary agent my imaginary editor asking where s the conflict the plot twists the romance the Big Ideas the high stakes And it saddens me to think that today this book might be deemed a uiet a literary book worthy perhaps of a personalized rejection letter to the effect this is such high uality so well written but unfortunately I just don t see a market for this now in the Young Adult publishing world although you may want to try an adult publisher where there is Betrayals greater acceptance for books like this where not much happens Do you really have to be old as in over 40 to savor the subtle tension of a literary competition where the prize is a private conversation with Robert Frost or Ernest Hemingway Do you need be battered by life before you can appreciate that lying about who you are is both hurtful and needed And does it take years to understand the threads that tie personal integrity to art to discover the truth about what it is to write with truth Theifts this book can Betrayals: The Unpredictability of Human Relations give can be received by young people They won t theseifts jump into your lap the minute you show up You may need to be patient stick around earn the book s trust before they approach hesitantly at first but when they do they ll stay A review dedicated to and inspired by my friend Eh who reads things backwardsThis book is way literary meta It s so meta that there are prere reading reuirements for an optimal experience Everyone knows Robert Frost right So I m not putting him on the list But I reuire you to read Atlas Shrugged The Sun Also Rises and if you liked The Sun Also Rises but not if you hated it A Farewell to Arms before you read Old School If you don t care for Hemingway you ll probably not care for this book But it might still be worth reading for the Atlas Shrugged joke You might think that sounds like a lot of work but you should be reading those books anyway so I don t know what you re complaining about If you don t want the reading preres This Boy s Life is just as Bat Ode good and relies a lot less on the metaI m pretty sure Wolff was monitoring my literary preferences through a satellite feed at his office in Stanford while he was writing this This book is just the definitive description of how I feel about reading and writing and literature and fame authors I love and authors I hate Maybe it s how I feel about everything I consider important in life I m convinced that it was written to me To add to the meta of this book when I met Wolff some years back the experience was exactly what he describes of himself meeting authors There always seems to be a cream pie for me to faceplant into when I meet authorsI think Tobias Wolff both his fictional self in this book and his memoir self in others is a sort of Holden Caulfield if Holden was born poor and on the West Coast To me that means that he is lovely and aenius He s also probably scrappier than Holden though I think Holden has his own version of urban scrappiness Even though Old School is all about boys and women only appear in weird fun house mirror shapes I still find the characters identifiable They are boys but they are not just that they are writers and students I m a devoted fan of modernism and spare writing and it strikes me that some of the clean modernist writers alive today write memoirs I m thinking of Jeannette Walls and Tobias Wolff Not that two writers make a trend but I can t think of any current fiction writers I have read that edit with the skill those two have I uess most modernism has a coming of age feeling of crushed narcissism and idolatry and that is something that fills my heart up every time It s that laughter and tears recipe like a hearty meal I absolutely love it Anyway this book basically
Picks Up Where This Boy up where This Boy Life leaves off in the story of Tobias Wolff s life so it might be best to read that one first I read this first and I still didn t uess the end of the other so I don t necessarily think it s terrible to read this one first if you ve done your necessary literary background reading Mostly this book is a tribute to some wonderful authors who have had a hand in shaping American literature If you don t know the authors I d think reading this would be a little like watching the Oscars without having seen any of the movies up for awards You can still do it and be entertained by the song and dance but you don t have that investment at the moment they announce that Brittany Spears is a better actress than Meryl
Streep or some such Want to read something funny and literate Read or some such Want to read something funny and literate Read memoirThere are few books that provide this much hilarity wisdom and race Old School though categorized as a novel is a thinly veiled memoir of Tobias Wolff s own experience as a scholarship boy in an elite prep school The action largely centers on the boys writing competitions Three times a year a famous author would visit the school and choose one boy s writing as the best As a reward that boy earned a private audience with the author In less adept hands Wolff s description of the boys frenzied adolescent writing within the hothouse climate of the school where every action becomes magnified could have become overly sardonic sentimental or condescending Wolff though balances parody with compassion and sentimentality with honesty In one of the many sections that made me laugh out loud Wolff describes the boys adulation of Ernest Hemingway Wolff s parody of Hemingway which also captures the boys serio. The protagonist of Tobias Wolff’s shrewdly and at times devastatingly observed first novel is a boy at an elite prep school in 1960 He is an outsider who has learned to mimic the negligent manner of his privileged classmates Like many of them he wants than anyt.
Tobias Wolff ↠ 7 reviewOubt if he s willing to share the tricks of the trade in the first place but let s assume he could come up with something like thatThe Name of the Trick Old SchoolTrickiness Level four stars out of fiveSupplies talent wisdom sensitivity to various writing styles penmanship ability to stir strong emotions with a few words irony Neither a rabbit in a hat nor a lovely assistant needed although sharing the experience would be enriching for sure By the way I think Old School with its ability to provoke fascinating discussions would make a perfect roup readMagic effect an enchanted shaky reader who can t put the novel down Not able to stop thinking about it either Preparation and secret steps firstly you start with uite a prosaic topic and Beyond Redemption: Race, Violence, and the American South after the Civil War gradually turn it into something harrowing and special The plot summary won tive you a thrill I Blank Darkness: Africanist Discourse in French guess but the impact of the novel may surprise you Let s see what it imperceptibly does to you I was uite astounded when I realized how profoundly invested in the book IotGet ready for trick and treat two in oneHarry Anderson Boarding School Image sourceTips and hints to help you perform the trick like Tobias Wolff Give your book a reat title The first and obvious association is the sophisticated institution portrayed in the novel but old school may refer also to long established moral values and conventional literary traditions which are sort of mocked here Make a firework display of your writing skillsWolff amazed me with his ability to pastiche not only the style of three visiting writers but also the narrator s and other students Each style is very distinctive and individual Follow Anton Chekhov s advice The role of the artist is to ask uestions not answer them Like Henry James Tobias Wolff doesn t offer easy solutions to the dilemmas his characters face He invites us to ponder and solve the puzzles on our own Resist the temptation to use words soaked in high key emotionsThe author s writing style is concise calm and matter of fact even when he reports on dramatic events Mark Draisey Photography Eton College Image source Create unforgettable charactersI admired Wolff s impressive portrayals with three exceptions The writers Robert Frost Ayn Rand and Ernest Hemingway seemed to be painted with wide brushstrokes like caricatures not real people I m aware that the portraits were supposed to be satirical but in my opinion the author exaggerated a bit Don t be a one trick ponyTobias Wolff provides abundance of food for thought The writer at work the process of creation the role of literature coming of age school being a teacher making choices search for truth the masks we wear looking for identity honesty these are just a few examples of areas covered by this novel which is only 195 pages long The observation I ve made while reading Old School which surprised me most was a paradox Wolff made me realize how destructive the process of creation is Entertain your audiencePersonally I wouldn t call this book hilarious as a few reviewers did but from time to time Wolff s sense of humour leams through Just a little sample Writers are just like everyone else only worse Be a magician not necessarily of Lublin not just an illusionistAlbeit the story is overloaded with literary themes there is nothing artificial about it Old School has a vintage feel and uality of works by classics The old masters touch What a pity that few people have heard about Old School I was fortunate enough to read Orsodimondo s splendid review which urged me to indulge in this outstanding novel Don t reveal how the trick worked Don t talk about your writing If you talk about your writing you will touch something you shouldn t touch and it will fall apart and you will have nothing Don t miss a trick and let Old School mesmerize youNorman Rockwell Boy Reading an Adventure Story Image source 35 stars rounded up to 4 A true piece of writing is a dangerous thing It can change your life Old School presents its readers with a concise exploration of the complexities of writing and interpretation Tobias Wolff exerts exuisite control over his prose evoking through his sparse yet vivid language the rarefied world in which his unmanned narrator moves in Wolff brings to life the youth of the days past and their strive for artistic recognition capturing the various undercurrents that are at play in their exclusive school The almost physical attraction to privilege the resolve to be near it at any cost sycophancy lies self suppression the masking of ambitions and desires the slow cowardly burn of resentment toward those for whose favor you have falsified yourself What seems at first to be an idyllic environment reveals itself as a place for competitiveness since as our narrator himself points out if the school had a snobbery it would confess to this was its pride in being a literary place Most students our protagonist included uard their writing efforts with suspicion and are wary of criticism The winner of the literary contest held by their school is awarded with a one on one meeting with famous writers
robert frost ayn rand and hemingway all makeFrost Ayn Rand and Hemingway all make appearance in Old School I never thought about making connections My aspirations were mystical I wanted to receive the laying on of hands that had written living stories and poems hands that had touched the hands of other writers I wanted to be anointed The protagonist of this novel has mythologised this audience attributing to this meeting a sense of sublimity and viewing the writers he admires through the eyes of a disciple Yet his rappling with his voice and is often influenced by the writing of those he reveres His desire to win the competition leads to fraying relationships with his roommate friends and to a certain extent his relatives For years now I had hidden my family in calculated silences and vague hints and dodges suggesting another family in its place The untruth of my position had iven me an obscure chronic sense of embarrassment yet since I hadn t outright lied I could still blind myself to its cause Unacknowledged shame enters the world as anger I naturally turned mine against the snobbery of others Additionally our narrator is struggling with self knowledge Having taken pains to project a certain image of himself his own class consciousness alienates him from other students Soon his blindsided determination to win tests his already strained relationships and sees him rejecting truth in favour of self deception The narrator s undoing is not easy to read Yet his narration retains this ambivalent uality that I found uite enthralling In some ways Old School does for a 60s prep school what Teddy Wayne s Apartment does for a 90s creative writing course Both of these books are deceptively slender and pack a real emotional punch Both of narrators are ambition driven and their path to self discovery is treacherousIf you are interested in a novel with plenty of insights on writing and authorial intent or for a story that chronicles a boy s troubling self discovery look no further Some of my favourite uotes It had become a fashion at school to draw lines between certain writers as if to like one meant you couldn t like the other Now they sounded different to me The very heedlessness of their voices defined the distance that had opened up between us That easy brimming aiety already seemed impossibly remote no longer the true life I would wake to each morning but a paling dream Loyalty is a matter of dates virtue itself is often a matter of seconds Read reviews on my blog View all my reviews on Goodreads So I want to live in this book This is a bittersweet book about myththe myth of being innocent and the myth
of what it s like oing to a private school a private cloistered high school As a big time literaturewhat it s like oing to a private school a private cloistered high school As a big time literature aficionado the school in this novel is every bit as magical as Hogwarts visits from writers like Hemingway Ayn Rand Robert Frost writing contests to actually et to hang out with themknowing they d actually read something you d WRITTEN You know THIS kind of schoolMost of us can only conceive of these schools from the images we ve otten from movies or novels In fact the snootiest high school in Indianapolis seems downright Blood Runs Green: The Murder That Transfixed Gilded Age Chicago gritty compared to this school My own high school experience had NOTHING in common with what Tobias went throughit s the same as the myth we have of the college experience full of pa I picked this one up at the library on a whim and was hooked with the first chapter It s a short and Iather semi autobiographical novel about an elite boys prep school somewhere in New England The protagonist is a scholarship boy from who fits in with his peers mostly by allowing people to think he s something that he isn t The lies are in omission rather than commiss. Ion infects the boy and his classmates fraying alliances exposing weaknesses Old School explores the ensuing deceptions and betrayals with an unblinking eye and a bottomless store of empathy The result is further evidence that Wolff is an authentic American maste.