Find us on facebook

Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Young Hearts Crying", life's constant defeat

Young Hearts Crying- Richard Yates

Spanish readers, we have to celebrate the works from Richard Yates keep being published regularly after decades of being an ignored author. We are getting close to have them fully now. The last to arrive is "Young Hearts Crying", one of his latest novels (1984) and in my opinion, arguably his most pessimistic and depressive.

And considering Yates' works that's a lot to say. The two books previously reviewed on this blog, "A Good School" and "A Special Providence" were very sad already but nothing compared with "Young Hearts Crying". Sure, the novel might not be as devastating or crude as his masterpieces "Revolutionary Road" or the "Easter Parade", but it might be his most ambitious in what refers to scope, character development, subjects and sub-plots. And because of these shows a comprehensive view of life that is absolutely merciless: life is just a constant disappointment, a never-ending defeat.

Yates' characters have no option in "Young Hearts Crying". Lucy and Michael are portrayed to detail from the day they met to decades after. In a period that comprises more than two decades, from 1950s to the 70s, we have all the ingredients: social class, courtship, marriage, friendship, sentimental relations, sex, divorce, kids, artistic ambitions, work, madness, isolation, social and political changes... All poignant failures, all fears.

Yet despite being a book a bit too long, or having some subplots not that interesting -Lucy's hippie affair in my opinion, although it serves the purpose of portraying the decay of Michael latest relation-, Yates ability to knock you out, to dissect and find the perfect short sentence or brutal dialogue is unparalleled. One can also say that in this novel he finds a more direct voice. He is disarmingly real, the development of his characters is always vivid. But I can't help thinking this book must say a lot about the author's view of the world, of existence. Because there's barely nothing positive to hold on to inside this pages. Instead, you can even feel a certain rage, an inner turmoil that some times gets verbalised in the rants and thoughts of Michael Davenport. Social class and art receive the most harsh invectives, as well as the sad look to human relations that are Yates' trademark.

The American Dream has been and still is a recurrent subject on literature. But there's no other author capable of demolishing the dream with so much accuracy and realism than Richard Yates. Even if it hurts. And it does.

SCORE: 7/10

No comments:

Post a Comment