Sherwood Anderson – Winesburg Ohio
Winesburg, Ohio is a short story cycle by the American author Sherwood Anderson, that I read this year, and I would like to tell you a little about some aspects of his book. He started to write Winesburg, Ohio in 1915. All the stories were written rapidly, with little need for revision, each of them being, as Anderson said « an idea grasped whole as one would pick an apple in an orchard ». The town of Winesburg was based on his memories of Clyde, Ohio, where he had spent most of his boyhood and where his mother had died at the same age as the hero’s mother.
As the book went forward, more and more of the faces, as well as more streets, buildings, trades and landscapes, were carried from one story to another: Winesburg itself seems to acquire a physical life. Each story contributes to all the others. Anderson loves to describe moments of truth moments where you find right words and using them honestly. The books ends with some sort of promise that he will become the voice of inarticulate men and women in all the forgotten towns,
after he has left Winesburg.
« Winesburg, Ohio is the celebration of small-town life in the lost days of good will and innocence » (Malcolm Cowley).