Nothing Gold Can Stay: A Memoir by Walter Sullivan (deceased)

By Walter Sullivan (deceased)

  In his enduring fiction and feedback, Walter Sullivan has invited readers to percentage the recommendations of a penetrating, modern intellect. Now he turns his pen on his personal lifestyles to forge a stirring memoir that fondly recounts the lifetime of the brain.             From formative years in Nineteen Twenties Nashville, the place his father died 3 months after he used to be born, to the halls of Vanderbilt college, the place he taught inventive writing for greater than fifty years, Sullivan remembers key episodes in his life—often pausing to contemplate why a few stories of likely trivial occasions persist whereas others, possible extra very important, have pale from view.  As witness to a chain of social and cultural moments, Sullivan passes on his sharp observations approximately melancholy and conflict, southern renascence and civil rights. He additionally contains energetic anecdotes and sharp personality sketches, with personalities starting from his grandmother “Chigger” and Sally Fudge—who had lived in the course of the Civil conflict and used to be stated to wait the funerals of individuals she didn’t know—to Mrs. Gertrude Vanderbilt, with whose eccentricities he occasionally needed to contend. Readers will find a treasure trove of insights, as Sullivan’s perspectives of educational lifestyles are complemented by means of remembrances of vital writers: John Crowe Ransom, Robert Lowell, Eudora Welty, Robert Penn Warren, James Dickey, Flannery O’Connor, and a number of others, mixing the formal and established in a mode befitting a lingering southernness. He additionally recollects his surprise at being branded a racist by means of Kingsley Amis and addresses problems with race in academia and southern culture. Throughout his profession, he sees himself as a parent of misplaced explanations, carrying on with to educate an appreciation of literature within the face of encroaching post-structuralism and political correctness.             Laced with humor whereas protecting a profound seriousness approximately what rather issues in existence, not anything Gold Can remain is a full of life narrative of a existence good lived that might attraction any reader attracted to American society in the course of and after the good melancholy. Graced with emotional coherence accomplished through a nearly ironic tone that's sustained from first sentence to final, it's a booklet within which a wonderful author considers his world—and his personal mortality—and leaves us richer for it.

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Puver found a candle. By its frail light we walked through the house, but we found nothing wrong: no broken windows, no water on the floors, only the house as we had left it, but without electricity. I was very tired. My mother went with me upstairs, but I didn’t need her. For this night, my fear had ended. I went quickly to sleep and slept until a morning that was bright and cool. I was delighted to learn that the schools were closed. I hurried through my breakfast and went out to join my playmates.

There was simply a switch to be turned, and I got in the car and turned it and pressed the starter. The engine caught less reluctantly than I would have predicted. I put the car in gear, I released the clutch, and the Austin made a slow but distinct progress up and down the lot. In a transaction primitive by today’s protocols, I paid the fifteen dollars in cash, one dollar more than my weekly pay at the Bridge Company, and I drove the first automobile I ever owned south on Gallatin Pike to Douglas Avenue.

We drove to the freight house, got Popoo, who left his job, and set out once more to find a way to our house if, as the adults wondered aloud, our house was still standing. We drove across the Cumberland River, turned north on Dickerson Pike, went to Goodlettsville, then across to Gallatin Pike, far north of East Douglas Avenue. We saw no damage. There were lights in a few houses. But, when we went south again, the world was dark. I was worried. I knew that if our house had been blown away, we would have to look for a place to spend the night, and then look for a place to live.

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