AMERICA SALUTES ITS ILLUSTRIOUS NOVELIST E.L. DOCTROW

Posted on

olycom - edgar laurence doctorow - EDGAR LAURENCE DOCTOROW
  EDGAR LAURENCE DOCTOROW

“One of America’s greatest novelists.”

doctorow-elAmerica and the world has lost E.L. Doctorow, historical novelist of gigantic significance from the United States.

President Barack Obama praised Doctorow as “one of America’s greatest novelists.”   “His books taught me much, and will be greatly missed.”

He taught the world about America in more than 900 novels, other books, essays, plays and much more. And was the author of such famous novels that included Ragtime, Billy Bathgate and The Book of Daniel.

The American author of Ragtime, Billy Bathgate and The Book of Daniel; died Tuesday at 84 years of age (he schermata-2015-07-22-alle-11-52-04had been long time sufferer from lung cancer): many advised not to make the mistake of considering Doctorow a historical novelist. Certainly in his career – twelve novels, and literary essays, theater, movie scripts for films that he loved, but from which he always considered himself betrayed – had set his books through different time periods but had always told them in the past in search of the human factor:    He was an extraordinary “teller” of stories, therefore, that most consider him the American biographer.

Immediately after The Book of Daniel was published, came another classic, Ragtime which is the story of America of the early twentieth century up to the entrance into the First World War. It is also the story of a family that produces flags and fireworks used to describe the relationship between patriotism and spirit of the warmonger. Both The Book of Daniel and Ragtime, became great publishing successes, and were adapted into film adaptations (respectively: Daniel with Timothy Hutton and directed by Sidney Lumet and Ragtime directed by Milos Forman) but did many not like for different reasons, despite the author’s success. And his adaptation of Billy Bathgate (the book has been translated into Italian by Ettore Capriolo for the publisher Leonardo, with the film being directed by Robert Benton starring Dustin Hoffman, Bruce Willis and a young Nicole Kidman) he preferred not to talk about why Hollywood presented him with the well-being, however, dramatically simplifying the complexity and sophistication of its narrative mechanisms, sacrificing the minor characters:  For example, Ragtime would have to be a TV mini-series, not a two-hour movie, to be able to do justice to this sophisticated masterpiece .

in-stanza-danalisi-621x300In his bibliography there is also the world’s fair (translation by Roberta Rambelli, for Mondadori) which tells about the eve of World War II through the great World’s Fair in New York in 1939, the aqueduct of New York (translation by Laura Grimaldi, for Mondadori) previously set in New York in 1871, after the American Civil War. Once again Doctorow describes America through its wars, this time with a War of its own making. There was time for one last masterpiece, The Consciousness of Andrew (just released by Mondadori, with translation by Carlo Prosperi), in which the ultimate teacher of the eighties demonstrates its modernity by signing a book that is almost Beckettian and yet experimental, the voice of a protagonist who narrates the work – and to whom?  To a psychoanalyst? And why? It is lying? Is it a fool? – His life, his feelings of guilt, the America of today, post-September 11, neuroscience and high technology.

The final step of farewell to a literary career that earned EL Doctorow (the “E” was for Edgar, as in Edgar Allan Poe beloved by his parents, and the ‘L’ for Lawrence) all major American awards, the esteem of many fellow writers who admired the attention, always recounted through the ages and told via all literary genres.

Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.”

ch tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or copdrinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: ‘if you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?’ There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand – glued to a lollipop stick and flying from the cash register.

Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleonic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.”

Alessandro Sicuro

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s