Princess Hannah & The Princess With The Golden HairTuesday, June 09, 2015
|Jerome Charyn & Edmund Wilson|
Last night I was rereading Edmund Wilson’s story The Princess with the Golden Hair (again and for the third time) from his book of shorts stories Memoirs of Hecate County. Today I received in the mail Jerome Charyn’s latest Bitter Bronx. Both books have the similarity in that they are literate short stories on one theme. In the case of Edmund Wilson John Updike wrote:
"There is a true whiff of hell in Hecate County – in the low ceilings and cheap underwear of the sex idyll, the clothes and neuroses of the copulators…After 1946, Hecate Counties would spread and multiply and set the new cultural tone. The suburban home would replace the city street as the theater of hopes; private fulfillment and not public justice would set the pace of the pursuit of happiness. Wilson foretold it, casting his fiction in the coming mode, of sexual candor, dark sardonic fantasy and confessional fragment.”
Wilson’s Memoirs of Hecate County appeared in 1946 and Charyn’s Bitter Bronx this year. I look forward to finding parallels even though the former was about a fictitious county and the second a real borough, the Bronx.
Charyn's story Princess Hannah ends with: "Darling," she said before he died. That promises an interesting beginning to those parallels.