The death bed scenes were pretty intense. The part where he reached out and touched his books got me crying.
It was strange. I felt an intense fondness for Stoner (the character and the book itself), imagined myself one day being comforted by 'Stoner' and my other books, and felt an intense connection to William as I realized that the fondness I had for the book was likely what he felt for the books he was touching on his death bed.
Like the other poster said, the book has been discussed to death. I just kind of want to vent about it. My connection to this book is very strong and intense and intimate. I feel like I've found my Katherine and I've realized that I've been with Ediths my entire life.
>>7645536 Based on his parents' decline and deaths, his life as a farmer would have been shit AND unsuccessful. I'd say that one of the points of the book was that a quiet, 'unsuccessful' life in the eyes of society can be steeped in meaning and also be successful, even if forgotten.
>>7645536 The way I read it, Stoner never really left the life of the stoic endurance of his forefathers. He may have been in love with literature, but he still had the soul of a simple farmer. He could endure the harshest winters of his life without complaint, but only once in his life did he act on his own decisive will. That wasn't enough. He could have left his wife, done right by his daughter, followed his true love, gotten another job, and so on but no... Stoner simply endured. I embrace the simple life myself, but Stoner does it wrong. I'd rather have had Masters' short life.
>>7645793 > won't turn out well for you Because your mean words will make me feel bad? Stoner fans get so defensive so fast. The fact that it's a simple book doesn't make it terrible, just a bit uninteresting.
>>7645806 No, I'm just familiar with how people react to being called out after saying a book isn't good or isn't X. When asked to share an example of a better book, people always deflect because they don't want to open themselves up to the same criticism as the OP did.
And yes, people's mean words will make you feel bad. You would have shared a 'better' book by now if you didn't think they would.
I don't see how you can think it's a simple book. The plot structure and, to some degree, the prose are simple, but nothing else about it is. It stirs up very complex emotion.
>>7643303 >to W.S. Pretty sure I cried at that part along with a lot of other scenes. >>7645536 No because he was doomed either way. Read the scene between him and Dave Masters. Dave pretty much predicted Stoner's life. If Stoner didn't work on the farm for the rest of his life and die like his dad did (by literally working himself to death) he was going to end up like Sloane which is essentially what happened.
Sloane was another part of the book that I really liked. I was sort of half-expecting Stoner to get closer to him, become friends, and learn more about Sloane's life, but we never really do. And not learning about him makes it much more interesting. Toward the end of the book, we can look back on Sloane and wonder what sort of nuanced, private microcosm was housed in his head. Was it extremely similar to Stoner's? Or was it completely different, the only similarity being their external representations in the world?
>>7645992 Maybe it was similar to Stoner's mindset when WWII came. He was upset because he never took the opportunity to go off to war and now he's too old. That's why he seemed kind of upset with Stoner when he decided to stay at the University instead of going off to war.
I literally just finished this book an hour ago. I have to say it left me feeling empty, much like most books do when they come to an end, but this one was different.
It leaves me a little depressed. Throughout the book, Stoner does nothing but try to do good and he just gets fucked over. In the end he dies completely alone, with an unloving wife, an estranged alcoholic daughter, and a true love that he never got to truly realize to the fullest. I didn't cry when I read it but I certainly didn't feel too good either.
Maybe it's a commentary on real life and how we will all end up this way, but either way Stoner had it rough and it makes me feel for the man.
>>7646779 Well yeah, but in that post I was specifically referring to the point in the story where he touches his books. No one else is with him. To an ignorant bystander, it might seem a little odd and melodramatic.
Then you take into account that the only things in his life that didn't fuck him over were his books. Then you take into account all the time he spent reading them. And then you realize that the same fondness you have for the book, Stoner, is what he feels for the books he's touching. On top of that, you (at least I) pictured myself in Stoner's position in my own life X years from now, thinking back to the moment I felt all of this about the book.
I know it sounds weird, but reading Stoner was kind of... transcendent for me. To read such an intimate account of the life of someone who devoted his life to what I want to devote my life to (albeit in a more creative/literary way), was a very powerful experience for me. I have a pretty strong sense of empathy so the last chapter was rough. Also, reading Stoner's story gave me new perspective on what it's like to be a dad who has been estranged from his child by his wife (a similar thing happened to my dad because of my mom).
Reading such a vivid account of someone's life and death opened me up to what it must be like to die alone; and I sort of felt a rush of suffering and pain and fear when I thought about all the lives that have ended in a similarly lonely way.
>>7647158 >Reading such a vivid account of someone's life and death opened me up to what it must be like to die alone; and I sort of felt a rush of suffering and pain and fear when I thought about all the lives that have ended in a similarly lonely way. how can you die but alone?
This book, which I finished at a New year's eve party, made me afraid that I was Walker, pompous that feel he can just have its using "smart" words, playing around with semantic without actually saying anything.
I finished it last week. I googled around to see if there were any good critiques or commentaries. One of the top results is some Professor denouncing it as poor literature because it's misogynistic.
I heartily disagree. You can argue that Edith's inscrutability stems from a fault in Williams' writing, but I don't see it that way at all.
To me, Edith is Stoner's true foil. They both realize life is less than its promise, but deal with it in different ways. Edith has her dalliances - redecorating, theater, Grace, etc. She flits from one interest to the next, but can't hold steady enough with any of them to find satisfaction in life. Stoner, meanwhile, holds true to the one real passion in his life, and is able to find a bittersweet comfort in death as a result.
You can't depend on your friends, your spouse, your child, your career, your parents, your lovers, or your health. The best you can do is nurture something inside of you and cherish the fruits of your labor (in Stoner's case, the book he wrote, which he returns to at the very end of the novel).
>>7648317 Good point. I didn't notice the contrast between Edith never sticking to one interest and Stoner never deviating from one.
I don't see how people can think it's a misogynistic book. Williams was clearly attacking upper-middle class social norms and how they warp young women. He wasn't picking on women. He was picking on a particular environment in which some women were raised (and fucked up) in; and I think he was also showing how it's sort of like a virus with the way Edith corrupted and warped Grace.
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