|2020ok Directory of FREE Online Books and FREE eBooks|
The Enormous Room
by E. E. Cummings
(Respecting the intellectual property of others is utmost important to us, we make every effort to make sure we only link to legitimate sites, such as those sites owned by authors and publishers. If you have any questions about these links, please contact us.)
A rambunctious modern novel by the twentieth century's most inventive poet.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1894, Edward Estlin Cummings rebelled against the prevailing values of his Harvard and Unitarianism-- steeped milieu. His relentless search for personal freedom led him to Greenwich Village in early 1917, where he established himself as a Modernist, composing his sui generis poems and abstract paintings. Later that year, he impulsively joined the war, serving in a Red Cross ambulance unit on the Western Front. His free-spirited, combative ways, however, soon got him tagged as a possible enemy of La Patrie, and he was summarily tossed into a French concentration camp at La Ferte-Mace in Normandy.
Unexpectedly, under the vilest conditions, Cummings found fulfillment of his ever-elusive quest for freedom. The Enormous Room (1922), the fictional account of his four-month confinement, reads like a Pilgrim's Progress of the spirit, a journey into dispossession, to a place among the most debased and deprived of human creatures. Yet Cummings's hopeful tone reflects the essential paradox of his experience: to lose everything--all comforts, all possessions, all rights and privileges--is to become free, and so to be saved. Drawing on the diverse voices of his colorful prisonmates--Emile the Bum, the Fighting Sheeney, One-Eyed Dah-veed--Cummings weaves a "crazy-quilt" of language, which makes The Enormous Room one of the most evocative instances of the Modernist spirit and technique, as well as "one of the very best of the war-books" (T. E. Lawrence).
At any rate I passed a few remarks calculated to wither the by this time a little nervous Übermensch; got up, put on some enormous sabots (which I had purchased from a horrid little boy whom the French Government had arrested with his parent, for some cause unknown--which horrid little boy told me that he had 'found' the sabots 'in a train' on the way to La Ferté) shook myself into my fur coat, and banged as noisemakingly as I knew how over to One-Eyed Dahveed's paillasse, where Mexique joined us. 'It is useless to sleep,' said One-Eyed Dah-veed in French and Spanish. 'True,' I agreed, 'therefore let's make all the noise we can.'
Related Free eBooks