The Folded Leaf

The Folded Leaf In the suburbs of Chicago in the s two boys initiate an unusual friendship Lymie Peters a skinny and somewhat clumsy boy who always gets good grades and newcomer Spud Latham a star athlete and

In the suburbs of Chicago in the 1920s, two boys initiate an unusual friendship Lymie Peters, a skinny and somewhat clumsy boy who always gets good grades, and newcomer Spud Latham, a star athlete and mediocre student Spud accepts Lymie s devotion without questioning it, but once high school ends and the boys enter college, tensions begin to arise between them Lymie isIn the suburbs of Chicago in the 1920s, two boys initiate an unusual friendship Lymie Peters, a skinny and somewhat clumsy boy who always gets good grades, and newcomer Spud Latham, a star athlete and mediocre student Spud accepts Lymie s devotion without questioning it, but once high school ends and the boys enter college, tensions begin to arise between them Lymie is the first to meet Sally Forbes, but she will fall in love with Spud, and this will mark the beginning of the rift between them But this rupture will be than Lymie can bear William Maxwell provides the reader with a moving portrayal of adolescence and the shift from youth into adulthood En los suburbios de Chicago en los a os veinte, dos chicos inician una ins lita amistad Lymie Peters, un muchacho delgado y un poco torpe que siempre saca buenas notas, y el reci n llegado Spud Latham, un aut ntico atleta y estudiante mediocre Spud acepta la devoci n de Lymie sin cuestionarla, pero al terminar la escuela secundaria y comenzar la universidad, aparecen las primeras tensiones entre ellos Lymie es el primero en conocer a Sally Forbes, pero ella se enamorar de Spud, y este hecho marcar el inicio del distanciamiento entre los dos amigos Pero la ruptura es m s de lo que Lymie podr soportar He aqu un conmovedor retrato de la adolescencia y el paso de la juventud a la edad adulta.

  • The Folded Leaf Best Read || [William Maxwell]
    315 William Maxwell
The Folded Leaf

  1. William Keepers Maxwell Jr was an American novelist, and fiction editor at the New Yorker He studied at the University of Illinois and Harvard University Maxwell wrote six highly acclaimed novels, a number of short stories and essays, children s stories, and a memoir, Ancestors 1972 His award winning fiction, which is increasingly seen as some of the most important of the 20th Century, has recurring themes of childhood, family, loss and lives changed quietly and irreparably Much of his work is autobiographical, particularly concerning the loss of his mother when he was 10 years old growing up in the rural Midwest of America and the house where he lived at the time, which he referred to as the Wunderkammer or Chamber of Wonders He wrote of his loss It happened too suddenly, with no warning, and we none of us could believe it or bear it the beautiful, imaginative, protected world of my childhood swept away Since his death in 2000 several works of biography have appeared, including A William Maxwell Portrait Memories and Appreciations W W Norton Co 2004 , My Mentor A Young Man s Friendship with William Maxwell by Alec Wilkinson Houghton Mifflin, 2002 , and William Maxwell A Literary Life by Barbara Burkhardt University of Illinois Press, 2005 In 2008 the Library of America published the first of two collections of William Maxwell, Early Novels and Stories, Christopher Carduff editor His collected edition of William Maxwell s fiction, published to mark the writer s centenary, was completed by a second volume, Later Novels and Stories in the fall of 2008.

243 Reply to “The Folded Leaf”

  1. 4 and 1 2 starsThis novel is both extraordinary and ordinary extraordinary in its prose, and its insights into the mind and behavior of two ordinary boys, their families, other friends and even teachers and university administrators It has a lot to say about the impact of the early death of a mother and of a distant father on a boy, even during a time when that distance must ve been viewed as ordinary.The outline of the plot is ordinary, the intense friendship between two opposites inevitably te [...]

  2. One can see the coming perfection of Time Will Darken It 1948 all over William Maxwell s 1945 novel I first read this 15 20 years ago, and liked it enough to later read Time and love it But a 2010 revisit to The Folded Leaf revealed qualities I seemed not to have fully appreciated earlier Perhaps I wasn t completely ready for its simplicity and beauty then maybe I m wiser.But, wisdom Maxwell was one of the wisest, purest, sparest writers around, weaving his simple, ordinary plots with, seemingly [...]

  3. The Folded Leaf was written in 1945 Maxwell said it was his favorite novel for personal reasons the whole of my youth is in it Set in the 1920s in Chicago, the story centered on the unlikely friendship between two adolescent males Lymie Peters and Spud Latham It depicted a true to life picture of life on an American university campus that came with horrific initiation parties, the facetious pomposity of being a member of a Fraternity or Sorority, drills of lectures, and after class cafe chats.I [...]

  4. If this 1945 novel were published today it would be marketed as YA Two fifteen year old boys, one solidly middle class, athletic, and good looking Spud , the other lower middle class, half orphaned, small, skinny, and ridiculously unathletic Lymie , become best friends on the north side of Chicago in the 1920s We re given vignettes of their daily lives at school, in sports activities, in their respective apartments with their families, such as they are Lymie lives with his heavy drinking salesma [...]

  5. I came to this with some reservations a gay novel written in the 40 s about a relationship in 1920 s Chicago ran the risk of being irrelevant, coy, and too tragic for a post gay rights reader I was pleasantly surprised Maxwell writes simply with a slightly wry tone It s obvious this was written in a time when the love that could not be named couldn t be written about in a novel It s equally obvious that Maxwell didn t want to write one of those books wading in queer subtext so he wrote about sil [...]

  6. This novel, written in 1945, explores in sensitive and subtle details the love of two boys as they become young men, and is probably as direct a novel that could be written on that subject at the time, maybe even now I am not generally a fan of the pained adolescence novel, having had several of them forced on me in junior high and high school Maxwell s gorgeous, patient prose, by contrast, achieves the admirable task of placing the reader in the minds and milieus of these young men, without for [...]

  7. Amazing book Beautifully written Maxwell describes the Latham apartment in paragraph after paragraph, which might turn boring in the hands of a lesser writer But the description was lovely in and of itself, and also let me see who these people were, without Maxwell having to directly state it Complicated, real characters and believable dialogue I will remember these people for a long time.

  8. fiction doesn t get much better some unexpected turning points, a great campus novel, and a very gentle, soft yet simmering tone

  9. I didn t expect to like this and it got off to a slow start, but in the end it was worthwhile Tale of two young men and a young woman who wind up in a love triangle Given the date this was written, there is no sexual component, but one of desire, longing, and trying to live the life society wants you to live Billed as one of the earliest gay novels one young man desires the other , it is tame by today s standards, but I appreciated the prose and the story.

  10. I found this book when I was in college and enjoyed it very much, both for the story and the writing style The Folded Leaf is the serenely observed yet deeply moving story of two boys finding one another in the Midwest of the 1920s, when childhood lasted longer than it does today and even adults were innocent of what life could bring The story tells of Lymie and Spud, two young boys who share a strong friendship, even though they seem utterly different The novel is told primarily from the persp [...]

  11. Lymie Peters is a thin, intelligent, solitary boy useless at sports Spud Latham is a natural sportsman, lithe, perfectly proportioned and muscular, a natural fighter who loves boxing, but not so good in the classroom That the two become such close friends makes an unlikely combination, but Lymie is devoted to Spud, and Spud sees his role as protector of the weaker boy.They remain close throughout their school years and as they move away from home to attend the same college They room together, an [...]

  12. The reviewer on the back of the book described Maxwell s tone in this novel as anthropological I disagree While it did seem somewhat detached it felt detached in a masculine way meaning in the way particularly in the time the novel was set and written men are expected to not express their emotions directly this tendency being embodied, in particular, by Spud rather than in a scientific or purely observational way This detachment made the moments of poetry even profound as well as contrasted wit [...]

  13. This book was published ages ago it was one of the first serious novels I d read about being young and gay Made me feel a little bit better than before I d read it The gays have been around for a while, and this gives you an idea of what it might have been like in the 1920 s From the Publisher Here is a classic novel from one of our most honored writers the author of such acclaimed works as So Long, See You Tomorrow and All the Days and Nights The Folded Leaf is the serenely observed yet deeply [...]

  14. Just finished this and am fantasizing about being able to discuss it with my 2003 cohort at the University of Michigan, in a seminar or at the Heidelberg Why it took me this long to read Maxwell, I don t know Maybe it s because I read _So Long, See you Tomorrow_ three times and kind of idealized it _Folded Leaf_ didn t disappoint The scenes in which volumes are left unsaid, the assumptions and misunderstandings, the tensions that are just barely or not relieved at all it takes admirable patienc [...]

  15. In a way, this was like visiting a foreign country a boy s coming of age story set in the midwest in the early 20th century Maxwell s writing is vivid and evocative There were a few odd passages, sort of dream like inserts, as if you were entering into the private thoughts of the character, muddled and inchoate and jejune As the novel progresses, you feel the darkness building, creating a tension that Maxwell resolves with an unexpected gaiety Quite a splendid novel and hard to imagine that he t [...]

  16. It s at the same time both easy AND very hard to write about this strange period of adolescence in a way by which I feel attracted I have always had a particular fondness of stories such as the one presented here, however, often the tone style make the different works of different authors too easily interchangeable to stand out as remarkable pieces Maxwell s narration certainly achieves that for me I loved it when he leaves the close up perspective of the characters, and draws general conclusion [...]

  17. s deprivation that makes people writers, if they have it in them to be a writer, Maxwell said in an interview for the Paris Review The Folded Leaf is of an autumnal ache hinting at Maxwell s own real life deprivations than a conventional novel I love when he goes off into lofty, philosophical tangents in his writing A favorite quote from this book In solitude only can we attune ourselves to the meaning of nature and the deep heart of man.

  18. Maxwell is a fine writer, one of the best I ve read So confident, so assured Of an entirely different world than contemporary novelists, many of whom, even if they write beautifully, seem to suffer from a kind of tentativeness This novel is particularly compelling.

  19. Sometimes moving, sometimes meandering, this story of the intense friendship between two Chicago boys is worth reading I liked the boyhood chapters than the college part Something of the atmosphere was lost in the later chapters.

  20. A beautiful book One of my all time favorites What i have gained from this nook is priceless.

  21. 4.5 stars for lyricism, beauty and truth The perfect novel Almost If it had ended, say, at the end of chapter 59 Instead, it goes on for three additional chapters, which deliver just what Maxwell, at the end of chapter 52, charges not very good writers with ramming down our throats They all have a way of using stock lines, cluttering up and even running the risk of spoiling their best climaxes with some cliche half a century out of date Speak of self fulfilling prophecies I just can t help feeli [...]

  22. This book was published in 1945, so it s particularly coded in such a way that it can be read without some people noticing the homosexual sub text I think perhaps that if the ending had been upbeat in the way The Charioteer had been written then it would be as popular as that book because it s certainly written as beautifully and to read it is to truly immerse yourself in the high school and university life of 1920 s America with the coon skin coats, letterman sweaters and the heady importance [...]

  23. One of the finest novels in existence, this book is a pleasure to read, or in this case, read again many times over The prose, almost a poem, elevates the story of Spud and Lymie to an epic befitting the Greeks than two Midwestern boys growing into men It is their dynamics and interactions or aptly, their unsaid feelings and small gestures that belie profound affections that are the story More is left unsaid than said, but what is said becomes one of the most profound love stories ever written [...]

  24. At its heart William Maxwell s The Folded Leaf is a story of how the childhood loss of a parent can affect the emotional growth of that child as he grows into adolescence and adulthood Set in Illinois before WWII, Leaf follows the life of Lymie Peters, a boy who lost his mother early and is being raised by an often absent salesman father who brings home the occasional younger woman for parties In high school Lymie s life is literally and figuratively saved by Spud Latham, a jock who recently mov [...]

  25. What I learned Love hurts, especially when you love both a boy and a girl.The narration of William Maxwell s third novel, set in prohibition era Chicago and the University of Illinois, is distant, almost cool Maxwell moves freely between characters, observing their outward and inner states The story, however, centers on two characters, Lymie and Spud, one feeble but bright, the other a boxer, violent and beautiful The choice to tell this story at a significant distance seems right, not only beca [...]

  26. Set in Chicago in the 1920s, The Folded Leaf tells the story of an intense friendship between two boys, Lymie Peters and Spud Latham If I tell you that the boys are opposites Lymie studious and gangly, Spud possessed of all the popularity and physical beauty that Lymie knows he will never have and if I tell you that the novel follows them to college, where they live together in a boarding house until Spud falls in love with a girl and joins a fraternity if I tell you all of this, you may imagine [...]

  27. For the most part this book bored me The plot mainly revolves around Spud Latham and Lymie Peters and their strange relationship, which oscillates and shifts between average friendship, master servant, and ambiguous love A girl named Sally is introduced half way through the book, but despite the fact that she is often presented as the third point of a triangle the narrative is really centered on the two boys Didn t find the story particularly compelling, brought to mind a soap opera set in the 1 [...]

  28. There are parts that are painfully slow and the point of view is all over the place It has the melodrama of an after school special at times The gay content is there, although most of it is buried deep in the subtext The story hinges on the relationship between friends Spud and Lymie and there is genuine affection between the two, which rarely gets physical and never gets sexual We re supposed to read Lymie s big action as a cry for hep and one that suggests his love for Spud drove him to it but [...]

  29. Second time to read this, and I m still impressed at how overt the homosexuality is for a book published in 1943 though the flowery language used to describe one of the characters getting a boner, without actually saying that, is pretty great at least I think the author was talking about a boner Also, for a self identified heterosexual man of that period to write so tenderly and intuitively about a non sexual but incredibly intimate and sensual relationship between two young men is pretty astoni [...]

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