Book Discussion Group: Stoner

Apologies to everybody expecting an introductory post for the discussion of Stoner. Life has intervened over the weekend, in the form of an F-150 slamming into the passenger-side of my car. I’m pain-free, thankfully, but not without residual hassles.

Rest assured, I will get something up this week. Or, if somebody wants to come to my rescue and post something, feel free to let me know.

4 thoughts on “Book Discussion Group: Stoner

  1. I’d step up, but my book hasn’t arrived yet. If it comes tomorrow, as I expect, I’ll get right down to work and might conceivably have something by Wednesday. But judging by the response so far it looks like your t-bone addled brains must cope alone for the nonce. So sorry about the accident.

  2. I finished reading the book Sunday morning. Mostly I am surprised how compelling the story (a rather mundane story) when told by Mr. Williams. I am interested it what others think of the story and it’s various meanings.

  3. The beginning of Stoner – Stoner’s admittedly boring rural childhood and early education- is a pretty interesting place for Williams to start, I think. Part of that is Williams’ decision to focus on a middling Land Grant university. The entire novel is, among many other things, a meditation on what an intellectual life in such an environment might mean.

    There’s no shortage of university novels, but not so many that take such an environment seriously. Most parts of the world don’t have such institutions – universities were typically begun in major cities (generally, in medieval Europe, those cities which had multiple seminaries of the different religious orders in one place – i.e. the larger cities). There were a few outliers (Cambridge, Tubingen, Heidelberg) but not many. Having the state flagship university in a rural setting – sometimes quite far from any city at all – is pretty distinct from that, as well as distinct from the Ivy League, for example.

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