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Stories of Four Decades (eBook)

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  • 54,036 Words
  • 192 Pages

A number of the stories in Glenn Meeters Stories of Four Decades have been reprinted (most frequently Hard Row and A Harvest), but they all made their first appearance in publications as diverse as The Atlantic Monthly, Redbook, Epoch, The Literary Review, and The Reformed Journal.

Each story has its own individual appeal. Each has its own style, theme, mood, its own plot and setting, and its own cast of characters who come fully to life only within its boundaries. Even Peter Heitz, in "The Oppressor," has different problems and preoccupations from the slightly older character with the same name in "The Convert."

But set with others in a collection that touches major points in lifestories of Youth followed by those of Marriage and Parenthood and finally New Journeyseach story takes on new dimensions. Together they form a tableau of life in the American Midwest (and California, a mid-century Mecca for Midwesterners) from the forties through the seventies. One thinks of the slow clank clank of tire chains on smalltown winter streets in the first story; the visitors to Grandmothers house paying Chicago tolls in the last; and, in between, Los Angeles freeways and South Dakota gravel roads.

Another dimension is as ancient as Joseph in Egypt: the clash of rural and village culture with urban modernity. Some characters need to break away from the village culture (faith, family, community); some lose it and re-create it. Some seek it out. All need to re-interpret it. And all struggle to maintain and pass on some aspects of that culture, if only the awed thankfulness of the traveler in A Harvest, who exclaims about his own journey, but my God what a delight, just to travel through!

A number of the stories in Glenn Meeters Stories of Four Decades have been reprinted (most frequently Hard Row and A Harvest), but they all made their first appearance in publications as diverse as The Atlantic Monthly, Redbook, Epoch, The Literary Review, and The Reformed Journal.

Each story has its own individual appeal. Each has its own style, theme, mood, its own plot and setting, and its own cast of characters who come fully to life only within its boundaries. Even Peter Heitz, in "The Oppressor," has different problems and preoccupations from the slightly older character with the same name in "The Convert."

But set with others in a collection that touches major points in lifestories of Youth followed by those of Marriage and Parenthood and finally New Journeyseach story takes on new dimensions. Together they form a tableau of life in the American Midwest (and California, a mid-century Mecca for Midwesterners) from the forties through the seventies. One thinks of the slow clank clank of tire chains on smalltown winter streets in the first story; the visitors to Grandmothers house paying Chicago tolls in the last; and, in between, Los Angeles freeways and South Dakota gravel roads.

Another dimension is as ancient as Joseph in Egypt: the clash of rural and village culture with urban modernity. Some characters need to break away from the village culture (faith, family, community); some lose it and re-create it. Some seek it out. All need to re-interpret it. And all struggle to maintain and pass on some aspects of that culture, if only the awed thankfulness of the traveler in A Harvest, who exclaims about his own journey, but my God what a delight, just to travel through!


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by glenn meeter

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