Auflage ,. Published by Leipzig : Diederich sche Verlagbuchhandlung, About this Item: Leipzig : Diederich sche Verlagbuchhandlung, The scarlet Letter. Sprache: Deutsch. Gewicht in Gramm: Published by Oxford University Press, About this Item: Oxford University Press, Gutes Ex. Juli in Salem, Massachusetts; Mit seinen oft allegorischen Romanen und Kurzgeschichten erlangte er Weltgeltung.
Hawthorne's imagery has often been subtly analyzed within the framework of his or the critic's explicit Christian ethic, with the result that he has been seen as a serene moralist and didactic tutor to posterity. Crews finds Hawthorne not serene but anxious, not morally certain but ambivalent. Surveying Hawthorne's entire career, from his earliest surviving stories through the romances left unfinished at his death, the author defines the terms of Hawthorne's self-debate as revealed in his fiction, including that fiction which seems most urgently religious in intent.
Hawthorne emerges from this study as a writer of acute psychological awareness, whose characterizations anticipate to a remarkable extent the conclusions of Freudian psychoanalysis, and whose own self-criticism rescues his fiction from popular and banal intentions.
Professor Crews shows also how Hawthorne and his art suffered eventually from his obsessive oedipal themes, which were esthetically useful only so long as he could grant them a measure of recognition. Verlagstext Sprache: Deutsch Gewicht in Gramm: Published by Lambert Lensing Verlag, Dortmund From: Petra Gros Koblenz, Germany.
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From: bibliofidel Falkenstein, Germany Seller Rating:. Die gute alte Zeit im Yankeeland. Hawthorne, Nathaniel: Published by Pattloch, Hawthorne, Nathaniel: Published by Karl Alber, Eine Phantasie. Mit einem Frontispiz Hawthornes und zwei Karten im Anhang. Umschlaggestaltung nach einem Entwurf von Peter-Andreas Hassiepen. Longfellow u. By a fence he had stopped and beating like a giant woodpecker upon the top board had shouted at George Willard, condemning his tendency to be too much influenced by the people about him, "You are destroying yourself," he cried.
You want to be like others in town here. You hear them talk and you try to imitate them. His voice became soft and reminiscent, and with a sigh of contentment he launched into a long rambling talk, speaking as one lost in a dream. Out of the dream Wing Biddlebaum made a picture for George Willard. In the picture men lived again in a kind of pastoral golden age. Winesburg, Ohio 20 horses. In crowds the young men came to gather about the feet of an old man who sat beneath a tree in a tiny garden and who talked to them. For once he forgot the hands. Slowly they stole forth and lay upon George Willard s shoulders.
Something new and bold came into the voice that talked. From this time on you must shut your ears to the roaring of the voices. His eyes glowed. Again he raised the hands to caress the boy and then a look of horror swept over his face. With a convulsive movement of his body, Wing Biddlebaum sprang to his feet and thrust his hands deep into his trousers pockets. Tears came to his eyes.
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I can talk no more with you," he said nervously. Without looking back, the old man had hurried down the hillside and across a meadow, leaving George Willard perplexed and frightened upon the grassy slope. With a shiver of dread the boy arose and went along the road toward town. His hands have something to do with his fear of me and of everyone. Let us look briefly into the story of the hands. Perhaps our talking of them will arouse the poet who will tell the hidden wonder story of the influence for which the hands were but fluttering pennants of promise.
In his youth Wing Biddlebaum had been a school teacher in a town in Pennsylvania. He was not then known as Wing Biddlebaum, but went by the less euphonic name of Adolph Myers. As Adolph Myers he was much loved by the boys of his school. Adolph Myers was meant by nature to be a teacher of youth. Sherwood Anderson 21 lovable weakness. In their feeling for the boys under their charge such men are not unlike the finer sort of women in their love of men. It needs the poet there. With the boys of his school, Adolph Myers had walked in the evening or had sat talking until dusk upon the schoolhouse steps lost in a kind of dream.
Here and there went his hands, caressing the shoulders of the boys, playing about the tousled heads. As he talked his voice became soft and musical. There was a caress in that also. In a way the voice and the hands, the stroking of the shoulders and the touching of the hair were a part of the schoolmaster s effort to carry a dream into the young minds. By the caress that was in his fingers he expressed himself. He was one of those men in whom the force that creates life is diffused, not centralized.
Under the caress of his hands doubt and disbelief went out of the minds of the boys and they began also to dream. And then the tragedy. A half-witted boy of the school became enamored of the young master. In his bed at night he imagined unspeakable things and in the morning went forth to tell his dreams as facts. Strange, hideous accusations fell from his loose hung lips.
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Through the Pennsylvania town went a shiver. Hidden, shadowy doubts that had been in men s minds concerning Adolph Myers were galvanized into beliefs. The tragedy did not linger. Trembling lads were jerked out of bed and questioned. One afternoon a man of the town, Henry Bradford, who kept a saloon, came to the schoolhouse door.
Calling Adolph Myers into the school yard he began to beat him with his fists. As his hard knuckles beat down into the frightened face of the schoolmaster, his wrath became more and more terrible. Screaming with dismay, the children ran here and there like disturbed insects.
Adolph Myers was driven from the Pennsylvania town in the night. With lanterns in their hands a dozen men came to the door of the house where he German caressing: liebkosend, einschmeichelnd. Winesburg, Ohio 22 lived alone and commanded that he dress and come forth. It was raining and one of the men had a rope in his hands. They had intended to hang the schoolmaster, but something in his figure, so small, white, and pitiful, touched their hearts and they let him escape. As he ran away into the darkness they repented of their weakness and ran after him, swearing and throwing sticks and great balls of soft mud at the figure that screamed and ran faster and faster into the darkness.
He was but forty but looked sixty-five. The name of Biddlebaum he got from a box of goods seen at a freight station as he hurried through an eastern Ohio town. He had an aunt in Winesburg, a black-toothed old woman who raised chickens, and with her he lived until she died. He had been ill for a year after the experience in Pennsylvania, and after his recovery worked as a day laborer in the fields, going timidly about and striving to conceal his hands. Although he did not understand what had happened he felt that the hands must be to blame.
Again and again the fathers of the boys had talked of the hands. Upon the veranda of his house by the ravine, Wing Biddlebaum continued to walk up and down until the sun had disappeared and the road beyond the field was lost in the grey shadows. Going into his house he cut slices of bread and spread honey upon them. When the rumble of the evening train that took away the express cars loaded with the day s harvest of berries had passed and restored the silence of the summer night, he went again to walk upon the veranda. In the darkness he could not see the hands and they became quiet.
Although he still hungered for the presence of the boy, who was the medium through which he expressed his love of man, the hunger became again a part of his loneliness and his waiting. Lighting a lamp, Wing Biddlebaum washed the few dishes soiled by his simple meal and, setting up a folding cot by the screen door that led to the porch, prepared to undress for the night.
A few stray white bread crumbs lay on the cleanly washed floor by the table; putting the lamp upon a low stool he German berries: Beeren. In the dense blotch of light beneath the table, the kneeling figure looked like a priest engaged in some service of his church. The nervous expressive fingers, flashing in and out of the light, might well have been mistaken for the fingers of the devotee going swiftly through decade after decade of his rosary. German blotch: Fleck.
Long before the time during which we will know him, he was a doctor and drove a jaded white horse from house to house through the streets of Winesburg. Later he married a girl who had money. She had been left a large fertile farm when her father died. The girl was quiet, tall, and dark, and to many people she seemed very beautiful. Everyone in Winesburg wondered why she married the doctor. Within a year after the marriage she died. The knuckles of the doctor s hands were extraordinarily large.
When the hands were closed they looked like clusters of unpainted wooden balls as large as walnuts fastened together by steel rods. He smoked a cob pipe and after his wife s death sat all day in his empty office close by a window that was covered with cobwebs. He never opened the window. Once on a hot day in August he tried but found it stuck fast and after that he forgot all about it.
Winesburg had forgotten the old man, but in Doctor Reefy there were the seeds of something very fine. Alone in his musty office in the Heffner Block above the Paris Dry Goods Company s store, he worked ceaselessly, building up something that he himself destroyed.
Little pyramids of truth he erected and after erecting knocked them down again that he might have the truths to erect other pyramids. Sherwood Anderson 25 Doctor Reefy was a tall man who had worn one suit of clothes for ten years. It was frayed at the sleeves and little holes had appeared at the knees and elbows.
In the office he wore also a linen duster with huge pockets into which he continually stuffed scraps of paper. After some weeks the scraps of paper became little hard round balls, and when the pockets were filled he dumped them out upon the floor. For ten years he had but one friend, another old man named John Spaniard who owned a tree nursery. Sometimes, in a playful mood, old Doctor Reefy took from his pockets a handful of the paper balls and threw them at the nursery man. It is delicious, like the twisted little apples that grow in the orchards of Winesburg.
In the fall one walks in the orchards and the ground is hard with frost underfoot. The apples have been taken from the trees by the pickers. They have been put in barrels and shipped to the cities where they will be eaten in apartments that are filled with books, magazines, furniture, and people.
On the trees are only a few gnarled apples that the pickers have rejected. They look like the knuckles of Doctor Reefy s hands. One nibbles at them and they are delicious. Into a little round place at the side of the apple has been gathered all of its sweetness. One runs from tree to tree over the frosted ground picking the gnarled, twisted apples and filling his pockets with them. Only the few know the sweetness of the twisted apples. The girl and Doctor Reefy began their courtship on a summer afternoon.
He was forty-five then and already he had begun the practice of filling his pockets with the scraps of paper that became hard balls and were thrown away. The habit had been formed as he sat in his buggy behind the jaded white horse and went slowly along country roads. On the papers were written thoughts, ends of thoughts, beginnings of thoughts.
One by one the mind of Doctor Reefy had made the thoughts. Out of many of them he formed a truth that arose gigantic in his mind. The truth clouded the German apartments: Wohnungen, Appartements. Winesburg, Ohio 26 world. It became terrible and then faded away and the little thoughts began again. She was in that condition because of a series of circumstances also curious. The death of her father and mother and the rich acres of land that had come down to her had set a train of suitors on her heels. For two years she saw suitors almost every evening. Except two they were all alike.
They talked to her of passion and there was a strained eager quality in their voices and in their eyes when they looked at her. The two who were different were much unlike each other. One of them, a slender young man with white hands, the son of a jeweler in Winesburg, talked continually of virginity. When he was with her he was never off the subject. The other, a black-haired boy with large ears, said nothing at all but always managed to get her into the darkness, where he began to kiss her.
For a time the tall dark girl thought she would marry the jeweler s son. For hours she sat in silence listening as he talked to her and then she began to be afraid of something. Beneath his talk of virginity she began to think there was a lust greater than in all the others. At times it seemed to her that as he talked he was holding her body in his hands.
She imagined him turning it slowly about in the white hands and staring at it. At night she dreamed that he had bitten into her body and that his jaws were dripping.
She had the dream three times, then she became in the family way to the one who said nothing at all but who in the moment of his passion actually did bite her shoulder so that for days the marks of his teeth showed. After the tall dark girl came to know Doctor Reefy it seemed to her that she never wanted to leave him again. She went into his office one morning and without her saying anything he seemed to know what had happened to her. In the office of the doctor there was a woman, the wife of the man who kept the bookstore in Winesburg.
Sherwood Anderson 27 and groaned. Her husband was with her and when the tooth was taken out they both screamed and blood ran down on the woman s white dress. The tall dark girl did not pay any attention. When the woman and the man had gone the doctor smiled. The condition that had brought her to him passed in an illness, but she was like one who has discovered the sweetness of the twisted apples, she could not get her mind fixed again upon the round perfect fruit that is eaten in the city apartments.
In the fall after the beginning of her acquaintanceship with him she married Doctor Reefy and in the following spring she died. During the winter he read to her all of the odds and ends of thoughts he had scribbled on the bits of paper. After he had read them he laughed and stuffed them away in his pockets to become round hard balls. German acquaintanceship: Bekanntschaft. Although she was but forty-five, some obscure disease had taken the fire out of her figure. Listlessly she went about the disorderly old hotel looking at the faded wall-paper and the ragged carpets and, when she was able to be about, doing the work of a chambermaid among beds soiled by the slumbers of fat traveling men.
Her husband, Tom Willard, a slender, graceful man with square shoulders, a quick military step, and a black mustache trained to turn sharply up at the ends, tried to put the wife out of his mind. The presence of the tall ghostly figure, moving slowly through the halls, he took as a reproach to himself. When he thought of her he grew angry and swore.
The hotel was unprofitable and forever on the edge of failure and he wished himself out of it. He thought of the old house and the woman who lived there with him as things defeated and done for. The hotel in which he had begun life so hopefully was now a mere ghost of what a hotel should be. As he went spruce and business-like through the streets of Winesburg, he sometimes stopped and turned quickly about as though fearing that the spirit of the hotel and of the woman would follow him even into the streets. Tom Willard had a passion for village politics and for years had been the leading Democrat in a strongly Republican community.
Some day, he told German aimlessly: ziellos. He dreamed of going to Congress and even of becoming governor. Once when a younger member of the party arose at a political conference and began to boast of his faithful service, Tom Willard grew white with fury. What are you but a boy? Look at what I ve done here! I was a Democrat here in Winesburg when it was a crime to be a Democrat. In the old days they fairly hunted us with guns. In the son s presence she was timid and reserved, but sometimes while he hurried about town intent upon his duties as a reporter, she went into his room and closing the door knelt by a little desk, made of a kitchen table, that sat near a window.
In the room by the desk she went through a ceremony that was half a prayer, half a demand, addressed to the skies. In the boyish figure she yearned to see something half forgotten that had once been a part of herself recreated. The prayer concerned that. Her eyes glowed and she clenched her fists. I demand it. I will pay for it. God may beat me with his fists. I will take any blow that may befall if but this my boy be allowed to express something for us both. The communion between George Willard and his mother was outwardly a formal thing without meaning.
When she was ill and sat by the window in her room he sometimes went in the evening to make her a visit. They sat by a window that looked over the roof of a small frame building into Main Street. Winesburg, Ohio 30 bakery. At the back door of his shop appeared Abner Groff with a stick or an empty milk bottle in his hand. For a long time there was a feud between the baker and a grey cat that belonged to Sylvester West, the druggist.
The boy and his mother saw the cat creep into the door of the bakery and presently emerge followed by the baker, who swore and waved his arms about. The baker s eyes were small and red and his black hair and beard were filled with flour dust. Sometimes he was so angry that, although the cat had disappeared, he hurled sticks, bits of broken glass, and even some of the tools of his trade about. Once he broke a window at the back of Sinning s Hardware Store.
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In the alley the grey cat crouched behind barrels filled with torn paper and broken bottles above which flew a black swarm of flies. Once when she was alone, and after watching a prolonged and ineffectual outburst on the part of the baker, Elizabeth Willard put her head down on her long white hands and wept. After that she did not look along the alleyway any more, but tried to forget the contest between the bearded man and the cat. It seemed like a rehearsal of her own life, terrible in its vividness. In the evening when the son sat in the room with his mother, the silence made them both feel awkward.
Darkness came on and the evening train came in at the station. In the street below feet tramped up and down upon a board sidewalk. In the station yard, after the evening train had gone, there was a heavy silence. Perhaps Skinner Leason, the express agent, moved a truck the length of the station platform. Over on Main Street sounded a man s voice, laughing. The door of the express office banged. George Willard arose and crossing the room fumbled for the doorknob. Sometimes he knocked against a chair, making it scrape along the floor. By the window sat the sick woman, perfectly still, listless.
Her long hands, white and bloodless, could be seen drooping over the ends of the arms of the chair. You are too much indoors," she said, striving to relieve the embarrassment of the departure. She had been ill in bed for several days and her son had not come to visit her. She was alarmed. The feeble blaze of life that remained in her body was blown into a flame by her anxiety and she crept out of bed, dressed and hurried along the hallway toward her son s room, shaking with exaggerated fears. As she went along she steadied herself with her hand, slipped along the papered walls of the hall and breathed with difficulty.
The air whistled through her teeth. As she hurried forward she thought how foolish she was. The hotel was continually losing patronage because of its shabbiness and she thought of herself as also shabby. Her own room was in an obscure corner and when she felt able to work she voluntarily worked among the beds, preferring the labor that could be done when the guests were abroad seeking trade among the merchants of Winesburg. By the door of her son s room the mother knelt upon the floor and listened for some sound from within.
When she heard the boy moving about and talking in low tones a smile came to her lips. George Willard had a habit of talking aloud to himself and to hear him doing so had always given his mother a peculiar pleasure. The habit in him, she felt, strengthened the secret bond that existed between them. A thousand times she had whispered to herself of the matter. Within him there is a secret something that is striving to grow. It is the thing I let be killed in myself. She was afraid that the door would open and the boy come upon her.
Winesburg, Ohio 32 turn a corner into a second hallway she stopped and bracing herself with her hands waited, thinking to shake off a trembling fit of weakness that had come upon her. The presence of the boy in the room had made her happy.
In her bed, during the long hours alone, the little fears that had visited her had become giants. Now they were all gone. As she stood trembling in the darkness the door of her son s room opened and the boy s father, Tom Willard, stepped out. In the light that steamed out at the door he stood with the knob in his hand and talked. What he said infuriated the woman. Tom Willard was ambitious for his son. He had always thought of himself as a successful man, although nothing he had ever done had turned out successfully.
However, when he was out of sight of the New Willard House and had no fear of coming upon his wife, he swaggered and began to dramatize himself as one of the chief men of the town. He wanted his son to succeed. He it was who had secured for the boy the position on the Winesburg Eagle.
Now, with a ring of earnestness in his voice, he was advising concerning some course of conduct. He says you go along for hours not hearing when you are spoken to and acting like a gawky girl. What ails you? You re not a fool and you re not a woman. You re Tom Willard s son and you ll wake up. I m not afraid. What you say clears things up. If being a newspaper man had put the notion of becoming a writer into your mind that s all right. Only I guess you ll have to wake up to do that too, eh?
The woman in the darkness could hear him laughing and talking with a guest who was striving to wear away a dull evening by dozing in a chair by the office door. She returned to the door of her son s room. The weakness had passed from her body as by a miracle and she stepped boldly along. A thousand German advising: ratend, beratend, raten, Beraten, Ratschlag, Rat.
Sherwood Anderson 33 ideas raced through her head. When she heard the scraping of a chair and the sound of a pen scratching upon paper, she again turned and went back along the hallway to her own room. The determination was the result of long years of quiet and rather ineffectual thinking. There is something threatening my boy and I will ward it off. Although for years she had hated her husband, her hatred had always before been a quite impersonal thing. He had been merely a part of something else that she hated.
Now, and by the few words at the door, he had become the thing personified. In the darkness of her own room she clenched her fists and glared about. Going to a cloth bag that hung on a nail by the wall she took out a long pair of sewing scissors and held them in her hand like a dagger.
When I have killed him something will snap within myself and I will die also. It will be a release for all of us. For years she had been what is called "stage-struck" and had paraded through the streets with traveling men guests at her father s hotel, wearing loud clothes and urging them to tell her of life in the cities out of which they had come.
Once she startled the town by putting on men s clothes and riding a bicycle down Main Street.
Winesburg, Ohio (Webster's German Thesaurus Edition) Sherwood Anderson
In her own mind the tall dark girl had been in those days much confused. A great restlessness was in her and it expressed itself in two ways. First there was an uneasy desire for change, for some big definite movement to her life. It was this feeling that had turned her mind to the stage. She dreamed of joining some company and wandering over the world, seeing always new faces and giving something out of herself to all people. Sometimes at night she was quite beside herself with the thought, but when she tried to talk of the matter to the members German dagger: Dolch.
Winesburg, Ohio 34 of the theatrical companies that came to Winesburg and stopped at her father s hotel, she got nowhere. They did not seem to know what she meant, or if she did get something of her passion expressed, they only laughed. Nothing comes of it. Always they seemed to understand and sympathize with her. On the side streets of the village, in the darkness under the trees, they took hold of her hand and she thought that something unexpressed in herself came forth and became a part of an unexpressed something in them. When that came she felt for a time released and happy.
She did not blame the men who walked with her and later she did not blame Tom Willard. It was always the same, beginning with kisses and ending, after strange wild emotions, with peace and then sobbing repentance. When she sobbed she put her hand upon the face of the man and had always the same thought. Even though he were large and bearded she thought he had become suddenly a little boy. She wondered why he did not sob also. In her room, tucked away in a corner of the old Willard House, Elizabeth Willard lighted a lamp and put it on a dressing table that stood by the door. A thought had come into her mind and she went to a closet and brought out a small square box and set it on the table.
The box contained material for makeup and had been left with other things by a theatrical company that had once been stranded in Winesburg. Elizabeth Willard had decided that she would be beautiful. Her hair was still black and there was a great mass of it braided and coiled about her head. The scene that was to take place in the office below began to grow in her mind.
No ghostly worn-out figure should confront Tom Willard, but something quite unexpected and startling. Tall and with dusky cheeks and hair that fell in a mass from her shoulders, a figure should come striding down the stairway before the startled loungers in the hotel office. The figure would be silent--it would be swift and terrible. As a tigress whose cub had been German braided: flocht. Sherwood Anderson 35 threatened would she appear, coming out of the shadows, stealing noiselessly along and holding the long wicked scissors in her hand.
The strength that had been as a miracle in her body left and she half reeled across the floor, clutching at the back of the chair in which she had spent so many long days staring out over the tin roofs into the main street of Winesburg. In the hallway there was the sound of footsteps and George Willard came in at the door. Sitting in a chair beside his mother he began to talk. An impulse came to her. You will go to the city and make money, eh? It will be better for you, you think, to be a business man, to be brisk and smart and alive?
The son shook his head. I don t try.
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There isn t any use. I don t know what I shall do. I just want to go away and look at people and think. Again, as on the other evenings, they were embarrassed. After a time the boy tried again to talk. In the room the silence became unbearable to the woman. She wanted to cry out with joy because of the words that had come from the lips of her son, but the expression of joy had become impossible to her. You are too much indoors," she said. German blew: blies blight vereiteln, blies, blasen, wehen. He always wore a dirty white waistcoat out of the pockets of which protruded a number of the kind of black cigars known as stogies.
His teeth were black and irregular and there was something strange about his eyes. The lid of the left eye twitched; it fell down and snapped up; it was exactly as though the lid of the eye were a window shade and someone stood inside the doctor s head playing with the cord. Doctor Parcival had a liking for the boy, George Willard.
It began when George had been working for a year on the Winesburg Eagle and the acquaintanceship was entirely a matter of the doctor s own making. In the late afternoon Will Henderson, owner and editor of the Eagle, went over to Tom Willy s saloon. Along an alleyway he went and slipping in at the back door of the saloon began drinking a drink made of a combination of sloe gin and soda water.
Will Henderson was a sensualist and had reached the age of forty-five. He imagined the gin renewed the youth in him. Like most sensualists he enjoyed talking of women, and for an hour he lingered about gossiping with Tom Willy. The saloon keeper was a short, broad-shouldered man with peculiarly marked hands.
That flaming kind of birthmark that sometimes paints with red the faces of men and women had touched with red German birthmark: Muttermal. Sherwood Anderson 37 Tom Willy s fingers and the backs of his hands. As he stood by the bar talking to Will Henderson he rubbed the hands together. As he grew more and more excited the red of his fingers deepened. It was as though the hands had been dipped in blood that had dried and faded. Doctor Parcival appeared immediately after Will Henderson had disappeared. One might have supposed that the doctor had been watching from his office window and had seen the editor going along the alleyway.
Coming in at the front door and finding himself a chair, he lighted one of the stogies and crossing his legs began to talk. He seemed intent upon convincing the boy of the advisability of adopting a line of conduct that he was himself unable to define. It is not an accident and it is not because I do not know as much of medicine as anyone here.
I do not want patients. The reason, you see, does not appear on the surface. It lies in fact in my character, which has, if you think about it, many strange turns. Why I want to talk to you of the matter I don t know. I might keep still and get more credit in your eyes. I have a desire to make you admire me, that s a fact. I don t know why. That s why I talk. It s very amusing, eh? To the boy the tales were very real and full of meaning.
He began to admire the fat unclean-looking man and, in the afternoon when Will Henderson had gone, looked forward with keen interest to the doctor s coming. Doctor Parcival had been in Winesburg about five years. He came from Chicago and when he arrived was drunk and got into a fight with Albert Longworth, the baggageman. The fight concerned a trunk and ended by the doctor s being escorted to the village lockup. When he was released he rented a room above a shoe-repairing shop at the lower end of Main Street and put out German admire: bewundern, bewundere, bewunderst, bewundert, bewundre.
Winesburg, Ohio 38 the sign that announced himself as a doctor. Although he had but few patients and these of the poorer sort who were unable to pay, he seemed to have plenty of money for his needs. He slept in the office that was unspeakably dirty and dined at Biff Carter s lunch room in a small frame building opposite the railroad station. In the summer the lunch room was filled with flies and Biff Carter s white apron was more dirty than his floor. Doctor Parcival did not mind. Into the lunch room he stalked and deposited twenty cents upon the counter. It makes no difference to me. I am a man of distinction, you see.
Why should I concern myself with what I eat. Sometimes the boy thought they must all be inventions, a pack of lies. And then again he was convinced that they contained the very essence of truth. I don t remember and anyway it makes no difference. Perhaps I am trying to conceal my identity and don t want to be very definite.
Have you ever thought it strange that I have money for my needs although I do nothing? I may have stolen a great sum of money or been involved in a murder before I came here. There is food for thought in that, eh? If you were a really smart newspaper reporter you would look me up.
In Chicago there was a Doctor Cronin who was murdered. Have you heard of that? Some men murdered him and put him in a trunk. In the early morning they hauled the trunk across the city. It sat on the back of an express wagon and they were on the seat as unconcerned as anything. Along they went through quiet streets where everyone was asleep. The sun was just coming up over the lake. Funny, eh--just to think of them smoking pipes and chattering as they drove along as unconcerned as I am now. Perhaps I was one of those men.
That would be a strange turn of things, now wouldn t it, eh? My mother was poor. Sherwood Anderson 39 washing. Her dream was to make me a Presbyterian minister and I was studying with that end in view. He was in an asylum over at Dayton, Ohio. There you see I have let it slip out! All of this took place in Ohio, right here in Ohio. There is a clew if you ever get the notion of looking me up. That s the object of all this. That s what I m getting at. My brother was a railroad painter and had a job on the Big Four. You know that road runs through Ohio here.
With other men he lived in a box car and away they went from town to town painting the railroad propertyswitches, crossing gates, bridges, and stations. How I hated that color! My brother was always covered with it. On pay days he used to get drunk and come home wearing his paint-covered clothes and bringing his money with him. He did not give it to mother but laid it in a pile on our kitchen table. I can see the picture. My mother, who was small and had red, sad-looking eyes, would come into the house from a little shed at the back.
That s where she spent her time over the washtub scrubbing people s dirty clothes. In she would come and stand by the table, rubbing her eyes with her apron that was covered with soap-suds. Don t you dare touch that money, my brother roared, and then he himself took five or ten dollars and went tramping off to the saloons. When he had spent what he had taken he came back for more.
He never gave my mother any money at all but stayed about until he had spent it all, a little at a time. Then he went back to his job with the painting crew on the railroad. After he had gone things began to arrive at our house, groceries and such things. Sometimes there would be a dress for mother or a pair of shoes for me. Winesburg, Ohio 40 down threatening us if we dared so much as touch the money that sometimes lay on the table three days.
I studied to be a minister and prayed. I was a regular ass about saying prayers. You should have heard me. When my father died I prayed all night, just as I did sometimes when my brother was in town drinking and going about buying the things for us. In the evening after supper I knelt by the table where the money lay and prayed for hours. When no one was looking I stole a dollar or two and put it in my pocket.
That makes me laugh now but then it was terrible. It was on my mind all the time. I got six dollars a week from my job on the paper and always took it straight home to mother. The few dollars I stole from my brother s pile I spent on myself, you know, for trifles, candy and cigarettes and such things.
I borrowed some money from the man for whom I worked and went on the train at night. It was raining. In the asylum they treated me as though I were a king. That made them afraid. There had been some negligence, some carelessness, you see, when father was ill. They thought perhaps I would write it up in the paper and make a fuss. I never intended to do anything of the kind. I wonder what put that notion into my head.
Wouldn t my brother, the painter, have laughed, though. There I stood over the dead body and spread out my hands. The superintendent of the asylum and some of his helpers came in and stood about looking sheepish. It was very amusing. I spread out my hands and said, Let peace brood over this carcass. That s what I said. He was awkward and, as the office was small, continually knocked against things.
I have something else in mind. You are a reporter just as I was once and you have attracted my German ass: Esel, Arsch. Sherwood Anderson 41 attention. I want to warn you and keep on warning you. That s why I seek you out. It seemed to the boy that the man had but one object in view, to make everyone seem despicable.
There was a fellow, eh? He despised everyone, you see. You have no idea with what contempt he looked upon mother and me. And was he not our superior? You know he was. You have not seen him and yet I have made you feel that. I have given you a sense of it. He is dead. Once when he was drunk he lay down on the tracks and the car in which he lived with the other painters ran over him.
For a month George Willard had been going each morning to spend an hour in the doctor s office. The visits came about through a desire on the part of the doctor to read to the boy from the pages of a book he was in the process of writing. To write the book Doctor Parcival declared was the object of his coming to Winesburg to live.
On the morning in August before the coming of the boy, an incident had happened in the doctor s office. There had been an accident on Main Street. A team of horses had been frightened by a train and had run away. A little girl, the daughter of a farmer, had been thrown from a buggy and killed. On Main Street everyone had become excited and a cry for doctors had gone up. All three of the active practitioners of the town had come quickly but had found the child dead.
From the crowd someone had run to the office of Doctor Parcival who had bluntly refused to go down out of his office to the dead child. The useless cruelty of his refusal had passed unnoticed. Indeed, the man who had come up the stairway to summon him had hurried away without hearing the refusal. All of this, Doctor Parcival did not know and when George Willard came to his office he found the man shaking with terror. German adventure: Abenteuer, Erlebniss, Schicksale, Schicksal.
Winesburg, Ohio 42 Do I not know what will happen? Word of my refusal will be whispered about. Presently men will get together in groups and talk of it. They will come here. We will quarrel and there will be talk of hanging. Then they will come again bearing a rope in their hands. It may be put off until tonight but I will be hanged. Everyone will get excited. I will be hanged to a lamp-post on Main Street. When he returned the fright that had been in his eyes was beginning to be replaced by doubt.
Coming on tiptoe across the room he tapped George Willard on the shoulder. The idea is very simple, so simple that if you are not careful you will forget it. It is this--that everyone in the world is Christ and they are all crucified. That s what I want to say. Don t you forget that. Whatever happens, don t you dare let yourself forget. The night was warm and cloudy and although it was not yet eight o clock, the alleyway back of the Eagle office was pitch dark.
A team of horses tied to a post somewhere in the darkness stamped on the hard-baked ground. A cat sprang from under George Willard s feet and ran away into the night. The young man was nervous. All day he had gone about his work like one dazed by a blow. In the alleyway he trembled as though with fright. In the darkness George Willard walked along the alleyway, going carefully and cautiously. The back doors of the Winesburg stores were open and he could see men sitting about under the store lamps. In Myerbaum s Notion Store Mrs.
Willy the saloon keeper s wife stood by the counter with a basket on her arm. Sid Green the clerk was waiting on her. He leaned over the counter and talked earnestly. George Willard crouched and then jumped through the path of light that came out at the door. He began to run forward in the darkness. Behind Ed Griffith s saloon old Jerry Bird the town drunkard lay asleep on the ground.
The runner stumbled over the sprawling legs. He laughed brokenly. German arose: entstand, entstanden, entstandst, entstandet, gingt auf, ging auf, gingst auf, entsprangst, gingen auf, entsprangt, entsprangen. Winesburg, Ohio 44 George Willard had set forth upon an adventure. All day he had been trying to make up his mind to go through with the adventure and now he was acting. In the office of the Winesburg Eagle he had been sitting since six o clock trying to think. He had just jumped to his feet, hurried past Will Henderson who was reading proof in the print-shop and started to run along the alleyway.
Through street after street went George Willard, avoiding the people who passed. He crossed and re-crossed the road. When he passed a street lamp he pulled his hat down over his face. He did not dare think. In his mind there was a fear but it was a new kind of fear. He was afraid the adventure on which he had set out would be spoiled, that he would lose courage and turn back.
George Willard found Louise Trunnion in the kitchen of her father s house. She was washing dishes by the light of a kerosene lamp. There she stood behind the screen door in the little shed-like kitchen at the back of the house. George Willard stopped by a picket fence and tried to control the shaking of his body.
Only a narrow potato patch separated him from the adventure. Five minutes passed before he felt sure enough of himself to call to her. Oh, Louise!
German to English
The cry stuck in his throat. His voice became a hoarse whisper. Louise Trunnion came out across the potato patch holding the dish cloth in her hand. In silence the two stood in the darkness with the fence between them. I ll come along. You wait by Williams barn. It had come that morning to the office of the Winesburg Eagle. The letter was brief. He thought it annoying that in the darkness by the fence she had pretended there was nothing between them.
Sherwood Anderson 45 along the street and passed a row of vacant lots where corn grew. The corn was shoulder high and had been planted right down to the sidewalk. There was no hat on her head. The boy could see her standing with the doorknob in her hand talking to someone within, no doubt to old Jake Trunnion, her father. Old Jake was half deaf and she shouted. The door closed and everything was dark and silent in the little side street. George Willard trembled more violently than ever.