By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept

Book - 2015
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Elizabeth Smartâe(tm)s passionate fictional account of her intense love-affair with the poet George Barker, described by Angela Carter as âe~Like MADAME BOVARY blasted by lightning âe¦ A masterpieceâe(tm).

One day, while browsing in a London bookshop, Elizabeth Smart chanced upon a slim volume of poetry by George Barker âe" and fell passionately in love with him through the printed word. Eventually they communicated directly and, as a result of Barkerâe(tm)s impecunious circumstances, Elizabeth Smart flew both him and his wife from Japan, where he was teaching, to join her in the United States. Thus began one of the most extraordinary, intense and ultimately tragic love affairs of our time. They never married but Elizabeth bore George Barker four children and their relationship provided the impassioned inspiration for one of the most moving and immediate chronicles of a love affair ever written âe" âe~By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Weptâe(tm).

Originally published in 1945, this remarkable book is now widely identified as a classic work of poetic prose which, seven decades later, has retained all of its searing poignancy, beauty and power of impact.

Publisher: London : Fourth Estate, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, ©2015.
ISBN: 9780586090398
Characteristics: xvi, 134 pages ;,20 cm.


From Library Staff

Banned in Canada from 1945-75 under the influence of Smart's family's political power due to its sexual documentation of Smart's affair with a married man.

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Oct 07, 2017

"I prefer corncobs to the genitals of men" (pg. 134). Some books can ruin themselves, and this one was ruined by that shocking obscenity (warmed up by reference to "darkie porters" on page 133). There are unannounced shifts in point of view and many shifts in mood (in the grammatical sense of the word), with abundant use of the imperative. It was an entrancing book up till then, never too clear, always keeping one on one's toes, and keeping one off-balance. The obscenity allowed me to think of the author: if a person who just happened to be born with male genitalia were to stalk and scheme (for three years!) to hook up with a woman he was obsessed with, merely from reading a book, we would consider him a super-creepy pervo-loser. If anyone doesn't believe that Miss Smart is a super-creepy pervo-loser, female version, it reveals their sexism.

Oct 14, 2014

I found reading this book problematic. The writing is beautiful, very poetic use of language. I recognise that Smart is in one sense a feminist icon, in terms of claiming her sexuality and defending her choice to follow her heart in the face of social disapproval. I found myself continually thinking "but what about Mrs. Barker's pain?", and being annoyed with Smart appearing to think that her great love allowed her to override that and disregard the other woman's feelings.

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