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ᆈ Early reader series ᇋ Ebook By Barry Werth ር

ᆈ Early reader series ᇋ Ebook By Barry Werth ር ᆈ Early reader series ᇋ Ebook By Barry Werth ር Chapter OneSEPTEMBER 17, 1924NORTHAMPTONIt was near dusk when Arvin entered the narrow, ill lit walk up next to Lambie s dry goods store on Main Street Though he was still new in town, a shy, frail twenty four year old Smith instructor, he affected a jaunty contempt as he hastened past the second floor doorway of Dr John C Allen, President Calvin Coolidge s dentist and closest friend As Arvin knew, Coolidge had started his political career as Northampton s mayor, and his homestead was a wood frame duplex a few blocks from Arvin s six dollar a week room in a boarding house Anyone with an atom of love for Dear Old Hamp proudly supported Coolidge s re election effort Not Arvin Like most members of his famously Lost Generation, he reviled Cool Cal and small towns In August, he d offered to lead the local campaign for seventy four year old Fighting Bob La Follette, Coolidge s third party opponent Now, in the lingering heat, he continued upstairs to the International Order of Hibernians hall to preside over the opening of Northampton s La Follette Boom Club.Privately, Arvin leaned toward Bolshevism and dismissed La Follette as a relic of the trust busting, pro farm spirit that had exhausted itself before the Great War Arvin s generation, F Scott Fitzgerald wrote, had emerged from that war to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken His peers were busy thronging to the profane cities, disdaining Great Causes, and baying after pleasure and art Yet Arvin relished the subversiveness of becoming, as he would boast in his next Harvard Class Report, president of the La Follette Club in the President s hometown Haunted by wanting other men, doubting his ability ever to fit in, he embraced the role of political outcast He could champion progress but not his real self.He took the podium and, with surprising vehemence glee, even flayed the two major political parties The Democrats, he said in a high toned, punctilious Midwestern voice a voice the critic Alfred Kazin would call larger than the man stood for sectionalism, bossism, and watchful wobbling He reserved harsher words for Coolidge and the Republicans, whom he called incurably identified with economic privilege of the darkest kind.As a radical with no local roots and no desire for any Arvin ably proved his impertinence But as a political organizer trying to enlist a conservative, nostalgic citizenry, his instincts were and would be less keen.Paddle fans beat indolently overhead as seventy five men and women fanned themselves in the hard wooden folding chairs With his slight build, Arvin was scarcely the picture of a rabble rouser He had a gentle, inviting face, pale as milk His gray green eyes glinted anxiously behind gold wire rim spectacles, his prim lips hid several teeth in need of removal, and, receding above a domish, lightly pocked forehead, his soft brown hair, already thinning, lay flat Only his clothes a sturdy three piece suit, soft collared shirt, and silk tie announced greater temerity than would have been expected of the mild young clerk who inhabited them He raised his voice and his rhetoric Only through the independent candidacy of La Follette, he told the crowd, could the left lay the basis for a Progressive Party with a kick in it, and put the fear of God in the hearts of the politicians.Afterward, as he returned home, Arvin was reminded how much the darkened town belonged to Coolidge and the past, not to him Directly across Main Street, past the trolley tracks and overhead wires, stood the pinnacled, rock faced county courthouse, the fifth on the site, where Coolidge had begun his law career Just to its left rose the stolid beaux arts facade of the Northampton Institution for Savings, where, as a young man, Coolidge, who preached hard thrift and frugality, had served as vice president Beyond the bank soared the ninety foot soot blackened brownstone spire of the First Congregational Church, on the ground where, two centuries earlier, the fiery Protestant divine Jonathan Edwards had launched the apocalyptic frontier revival known as the Great Awakening, in which the mass fervor for combating Satan rose to such a pitch that Edwards s cousin slit his own throat in an anguished attempt to cleanse an impure conscience and appease an angry God.Indeed, Northampton, a lovely if fading county seat and farm center of twenty thousand, cupped against the foothills of the Berkshires, could not have stood proudly for the catchpenny puritanism that Coolidge promised to the country and that Arvin s generation reviled what the Massachusetts bred writer Robert Benchley called that old time New England streak that atavistic yearning for a bad time if a bad time is possible To the right of the courthouse, across King Street, glittered the town s grand new vaudeville house, originally to be named the Mayflower but earlier in the year with no intended irony for a town that, until seventy five years earlier, banned stage plays because they fostered immorality, impiety, and a contempt for religion renamed the Calvin.And yet Arvin, who came from Valparaiso, Indiana, felt flushed with a sense of purpose, of belonging He was intoxicated by the challenge of living in the enclosed, forbidding social world around him, something that as recently as a year ago he doubted he would be able to do All he wanted was to be a literary critic But even the most bookish scholar had to be a man of action, a citizen In the new world, passivity was the gravest crime, and it was necessary for those who saw the truth about America to tell it, in word and deed.Far from being discouraged by the weak turnout, Arvin relished his status as leader of the town s anti Coolidge renegades Not only had he got himself in the trenches he was in back of enemy lines, pinned down by barrages, his position hopeless A few days earlier he had written to his best boyhood friend, a young Chicago labor lawyer named David Lilienthal, about his decision to stump for La Follette I think it will possibly save me from the kindnesses of a lot of respectable and very dull people who rather enjoy a literary radical but gag at a political one Now, the day after the rally, he wrote to Lilienthal again, boasting and joking about his newest success.Coolidge, famously parsimonious, was known, even during Prohibition, to like bourbon, pouring shots for himself and visitors from a bottle he kept in the lower compartment of his washstand There was a famous story about him, which Arvin must have known, that on the night in 1918 when he was elected governor of Massachusetts, a guest noticed an old friend sitting on the bed in Coolidge s dollar and a half room in a boarding house without a drink Bill s already had hisn, Coolidge had snapped at the visitor.Writing to Lilienthal, Arvin reported The movement is promising well here in the seats of the sot Whatever his intentions, they excluded staying in Northampton long enough to care whether its patriotic citizens disliked his lampooning their favorite son as a cheap drunkard.Everything in Arvin s recent past pointed to his being here, despite himself.He had been a sickly Harvard junior when Coolidge became an overnight hero to an anxious, pent up nation in the fall of 1919 All that summer America had seemed on the brink of class warfare Strikes, lockouts, bombings, the Palmer Raids, deportations, violent nativism, Red scares, and calls for a proletarian revolt were everywhere, especially in Massachusetts, the most urban state in the country Then, on September 9, the Boston police went on strike, the city s Central Labor Union threatened a general walkout, and fear succumbed to terror Coolidge, in his first year as governor, stepped in after three nights of rioting and looting, and committed armed guard detachments to the city, as well as mobilizing forty thousand reserves The effect was galvanic A week before, few people beyond Massachusetts knew Coolidge s name Now, as order returned and labor retreated, he burst on the national consciousness as the flinty, no nonsense Republican who had defied Bolshevism and .Arvin was back in Valparaiso that fall with his parents, recuperating from severe anemia A shy, solitary English major, he dreamed only of becoming a writer, a man of letters He was desperate to get back to Cambridge, but years of reading up to ten hours a day had so strained his eyes that his mother had to read to him Jessie, a parched Midwestern housewife of fifty five, had long seemed to her son a bitter and distant woman The fourth of six children and second and younger son, Arvin blamed his father for his mother s straitened emotions Frederic Arvin was a stern, demanding businessman who had made something of himself as vice president of a farm loan association in Indianapolis Family life was distasteful to him, and he was seldom at home When he did grudgingly return for a weekend once a month or so, he was short tempered and truculent, a remote figure but a daunting one.Arvin s return home after two years on his own in the East had unsettled him Walking through a mausoleum, he called it Valparaiso, where Arvin was born in 1900, was a town of fifteen thousand in the flat, featureless northern tier of the state, the sort of insular Midwestern farm town soon to be harshly memorialized in Sherwood Anderson s Winesburg, Ohio and Sinclair Lewis s Main Street The presence of Valparaiso College, promoted by generations of Midwesterners as the poor man s Harvard, elevated the town s cultural quotient, but not by much Arvin had concluded years earlier that anyone who was sensitive or imaginative would be crippled and thwarted there He also believed that his father, for whom he d been named he would drop his first name soon after college , thought him effeminate and weak and despised him for it.The situation deteriorated sharply in November, when young Arvin wrote a letter to the editor of the local paper, the Vidette, protesting the library board s decision to remove all copies of The New Republic, a prickly, five year old left leaning opinion magazine, from its shelves and burn them Arvin s father, whom Arvin felt capable of emotional brutality, reacted hostilely The last time Fred Arvin s namesake had been featured in the Vidette was when he was sixteen and had had two poems published in the Indianapolis Star, the state s leading newspaper the headline read valpo boy shows rare poetic skill That article concluded, Young Arvin s rhythm is said to be perfect and his rhyming unusual Friends predict a brilliant future for him Now, having been drummed out of Harvard s Student Army Training Corps the previous fall for failing his physical, he suffered from vaguely feminine maladies and bleak prospects Worse, he had become, as Fred Arvin would later say, tinctured with Sovietism.Arvin returned to Harvard in January 1920 at a low ebb Although he regarded himself as dull and unattractive, he yearned for affection he d expressed the fierce longing even at thirteen, when he wrote in his diary, I feel so lonesome for an intimate friend Before then, his only real friend had been Lilienthal, one of the few other aspiring intellectuals in a town where most boys preferred games to books and normal boyish cruelty to sensitive discourse The two put together political scrapbooks, cutting out articles and pictures of great events from magazines They formed a political club and a magazine of their own in a clubhouse they built from packing crates in the Lilienthals barn.Until then, Arvin had felt uniquely misbegotten, alone, unaccepted, derided, with an insuperable chasm between himself and other boys surely the only boy of his kind in the world I was certainly a girlish small boy, not a virile one, even in promise, he would write I was timid, shrinking, weak, and unventuresome I had no skill in boyish games and sports, and no interest in them, and I was quickly penalized as a result by taunts, jeers, and sometimes, though rarely blows Lilienthal, by comparison, was an excessively normal boy, outgoing, spontaneous, and unaffected Arvin, gleeful to have such a gifted friend, credited Lilienthal with keeping him in line with at least something like normality at an age when he might well have withdrawn altogether from the world of boys.But suddenly, a few months before Arvin s thirteenth birthday, Lilienthal s father, a Jewish dry goods dealer, failed in business, and the family moved to Missouri Arvin and Lilienthal corresponded faithfully and swore allegiance to each other throughout high school and college But now they were young men, and Lilienthal, a senior at DePauw College in Greencastle, Indiana, had plans to marry, which prompted Arvin to write jealously that his friend need have no apprehensions that he himself would ever wed He would always be, Arvin wrote on his return to Cambridge, the bachelor friend of the family, consoling himself for his loneliness by dropping in for tea every Monday.Then, two weeks later, he wrote The past four or five days have been indescribably wonderful for me, and in point of fact I am not yet walking on common earth To say it is one grand and glorious feeling to be back in Cambridge is to put it very mildly After what I have gone through it is almost too good to be true I wish I could express to you in words what I have to say, to give you an idea of the very beautiful, very fine, and very precious thing that has come into my life, and very nearly changed the whole seeming of existence to me In one sense I am no longer quite the same person I could be concrete instead of so beautifully vague, but somehow I dislike to be You will understand Arvin ended by apologizing for his evasiveness Take it from me, he wrote, there s a reason What he dared not say was that he was in the thrall of his first adult crush, and that the object of his passion was his roommate in Thayer Hall, a tall, dark haired, studious looking drama major from Chicago with a full, sensual mouth and cleft chin named Harold Ehrensperger Arvin joked in another letter about the possibility of nuptial ties between him and Bud, but he seemed to be suggesting nothing than that the two of them had become companionable Even in the eroticized cities, homosexuality remained the forbidden province of pansies and fairies, and Lilienthal knew Arvin to be, if unmanly in appearance, a bold thinker with a masculine mind epicene, yes, but if anything, asexual In other words he hadn t yet found the right woman to arouse his manhood Lilienthal misconstrued Arvin s vagueness his relief at his friend s euphoria let him overlook its significance.Arvin s ebullience had other factors his returning health and his studies In March he wrote to Lilienthal that his weight was up to 113 1 2 pounds, an appreciable gain, and that he was taking gym work daily, going for long walks, and sleeping eight or nine hours a night To avoid overexertion, he d taken a light course load, which left him plenty of time for desultory reading of one sort or another Freud s Leonardo da Vinci, Aberrations of Sex, Sexology of Childhood Gamaliel Bradford s Portraits of American Women Emily Dickinson s Letters and Poems Wm James s Talks to Students William s Lenin, the Man and His Work Conrad Aiken s Scepticisms Philip Littell s Books and Things Paul Elmer More s Platonism etc Arvin had always read expansively, quenchlessly, but now, a nineteen year old junior, he glimpsed within his obsession for books not only a prescription for a career but for a moral life.A hell of a story Werth puzzles out the tormented, self absorbed Arvin withintelligent empathy NewsweekPerceptive Refreshing and instructive Barry Werth has told this gifted but unhappy mans story with sympathy but utterly without sentimentality or special pleading His researchis thorough and surprising The Washington Post Book WorldMesmerizingly well written.Andrew Holleran, OutExceptional I cannot recall a book of non fiction in the past decade that has demonstrated such mastery of the craft Samuel G Freedman, Chicago TribuneFascinating A riveting character study Vividly captures the troubled times and too quickly forgotten life of the quietly courageous Arvin Werth has written one of the most emotionally engaging and socially relevant books Ive read in quite a while David Bahr, The AdvocateWerths meticulous account lend s the past new life An important reminder that the world has quite recently been a very different place San Francisco Examiner Chronicle The Scarlet Professor Newton Arvin A Literary Life Mar , The Shattered by Scandal Barry Werth on FREE shipping qualifying offers During his thirty seven years at Smith College, published groundbreaking studies of Hawthorne, Whitman List Cluedo characters Wikipedia Dr Black Mr Boddy UK US a stock character and generic victim, is the owner Tudor Close later 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Irrelevant Podcast After months alone wilderness, apart my partner Matt Terl, re back saddle, Posse style, Extra Base Hits Leaders Almanac Perhaps new hitting club should started titled Extra Club elite sluggers, majority Fame Claudine C Safar Franklin Civil PM Express Bank Rainville Room Frcv Robert Mello Status Conference State Vermont et al Melo Wncv Second Floor Hits Career These major league ballplayers there when need bat hand, ball play men have mastered fine art combined it good stand test time ranks VTDigger Donate support nonprofit news About VTDigger whose mission produce rigorous journalism explains complex issues, holds government accountable public, engages Vermonters The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin: A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal

 

    • The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin: A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal
    • 1.1
    • 10
    • Format Kindle
    • 352 pages
    • 0385494696
    • Barry Werth
    • Anglais
    • 21 April 2016

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