Day 3 and we have another classic. Carson McCuller’s „The heart is a lonely hunter“ was the choice for the bookclub in November and it was a very cold night when we discussed it but in general I feel exactly the heat that is constantly described in this city of the south can warm you during a chilly winter night.
Carson McCullers published the book in 1940, it tells the story of the mute John Singer in a small town in Georgia at the end of the 1930s. It starts with his somewhat at least one sided homoerotic relationship with his also deaf-mute buddy Spiros Antonapoulos until Spiros lands himself in an asylum. It continues with John Singers relationships with Mick Kelly, the owner of the local pub, the marxist Jake Blount, the black doctor Benedict Copeland and a little girl called
It was completely beyond my comprehension how this could have been a first time novel let alone by somebody who was barely in her mid-twenties when she wrote the book. McCullers was never a very happy person in her life but wow she was a damn good writer.
“Next to music, beer was best.”
She was probably not the most likeable character in real life but enormously talented with powerful observation skills. I was quite stunned to read about her prediction of what would later be known as the Selma Marches with Dr. Martin Luther King a whopping 25 years before the actually took place.
“Maybe when people longed for a thing that bad the longing made them trust in anything that might give it to them.”
And let me repeat myself: all this aged 23 – in a first novel. These are the moments when I asked myself, what the hell has gone wrong with my life 😉
1968 the book was made into a movie by Robert Ellis Miller and managed to get two Oscars for main and supporting actress:
The perfect book for a chilly winter night, so read it if you haven’t done so yet or re-read, there is no better time for it than now.
The book has been published in German as „Das Herz ist ein einsamer Jäger“ in Diogenes Verlag.
Which book would you recommend for chilly nights?