A Slipping-Down Life by Anne Tyler

By Anne Tyler


Evie Decker is a shy, a bit of plump teen, lonely and silent. yet her quiet lifestyles is shattered while she hears the voice of Drumstrings Casey at the radio and turns into immediately drawn to him. She manages to fulfill him, bursting out of her lonely shell--and into the attentive gaze of the intangible guy who turns into all too real....

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Wordsworth and Coleridge were no longer the young and exciting men Emerson had read in his youth - Wordsworth was sixtythree, Coleridge sixty-one - and were disappointing to a youthful, thirty-year-old Emerson. Wordsworth 'made the impression of a very narrow and very English mind; of one who paid for his rare elevation by general tameness and conformity. Off his own beat, his opinions were of no value'. Coleridge was 'old and preoccupied, and could not bend to a new companion and think with him'.

Washington Irving, in his Knickerbocker, Rip Van Winkle, and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, has given, an inimitable burlesque, very natural, just, and picturesque views of one class of people in the land, but they are all ludicrous subjects, and do little towards forming a history of the diversities of passion, sentiment, and behaviour, as they are manifest in any of our little communities, detached as it were, from the great worldY An anonymous reviewer in the New York Mirror in December 1824, compared Irving with Cooper.

He believed that Americans should interest themselves in foreign works, but not at the expense of their own country : 'We mean not to be paradoxical, but we believe that it would be better to admit no books from abroad, than to make them substitutes for our own intellectual activity. The more we receive from other countries, the greater the need for an original literature'. Reviewing Lionel Lincoln, two years later in September I825, in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, John Neal complained of American authors who reworked British material.

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