America, American Literary History, autodidact, Ayn Rand, A[horist, Bildungsroman, Canada, Conservative, I.M.P., Lake Huron, Liberal, Libertarian, Manitoulin Island, Never Ask the End, Ontario, Sinclair Lewis, Steven Cox, The God of the Machine, Turns of a Bookworm
Most of today’s post will contain extracts from a literary paper. That paper was written by the young boy who accidentally picked up a dusty old copy of Isabel Paterson’s “Never Ask the End” (1933); his name is Stephen Cox.
Stephen Cox is a man that speaks straight forward without spin or hyperbole. Possibly he picked that quality up from Isabel Paterson. I include a quote from him that shows his respect for Paterson’s clarity and style
Cox finds a clear and concise way to describe Paterson that I could not; “One of America’s great aphorists”, one who can state an original thought, spoken or written, in a concise and memorable form.
I continue on with extracts from Cox’s paper that originally appeared in a literary journal.
From Wikipedia: A Bildungsroman tells about the growing up or coming of age of a sensitive person who is looking for answers and experience. The genre evolved from folklore tales of a dunce or youngest son going out in the world to seek his fortune. Usually in the beginning of the story there is an emotional loss which makes the protagonist leave on his journey. In a Bildungsroman, the goal is maturity, and the protagonist achieves it gradually and with difficulty. The genre often features a main conflict between the main character and society. Typically, the values of society are gradually accepted by the protagonist and he is ultimately accepted into society – the protagonist’s mistakes and disappointments are over. In some works, the protagonist is able to reach out and help others after having achieved maturity.
I believe this lists enough of Paterson’s early years to establish a rough image of her personality.
However there are others who have a quite different view of her early growth and experiences.
I post the link below if you wish to see what that view. This is the first of a series of cartoons that, to me, tarnish Paterson’s individualism and self-confidence.