A TRIP TO CZARDIS by Edwin Granberry


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Edwin Granberry wrote three novels in the early '20's and '30's and then this O'Henry Prize-winning short story in 1932 which has been here expanded into a novel. The calculated risk is obvious--rather portentous stretchers and fillers (""His rule of life had been always to deny sorrow, to live for happiness. His cup ran over with the magnificence of the physical world and its sensuous joys. To drink the cup to the lees was enough.""). The idea here which does not really carry all this inflationary rhetoric deals with the childlessness of Lenora Logan, whose husband, Ponce, is sterile. Depressed by this, and given the medical verdict that she will be permanently unhinged, Lenora returns home from an institution to Ponce who asks Jim Cameron, his ranch hand, to serve as a donor so that Lenora can have a child. Jim first refuses, later ravages her, then burns his clothes, drinks, disappears. Ponce suspecting what has happened also becomes crazed, kills himself, while Jim will pay the penalty. This book length fertility rite takes place in the Florida hinterland, and the parallelism--from studs in their stalls to turtles and sea-gulls laying eggs--is so obvious that it can hardly qualify as symbolism.

Publisher: Trident