Reflections on John Cheever

     I’m reading The Complete Stories of John Cheever (Knopf 1974). He is mentioned in a Seinfeld episode (The Cheever Letters) and in the current economic crisis, I find his voice to be as contemporary and fresh as it was in the 1930’s and 40’s when he wrote about the the effects of the Great Depression on that era’s society. Some of his sentences are breathtakingly beautiful in their clarity and use of language.

Here’s an example:

     Fiction is art and art is the triumph over chaos (no less) and we can accomplish this only by the most vigilant exercise of choice, but in a world that changes more swiftly than we can perceive there is always the danger that our powers of selection will be mistaken and the vision we serve will come to nothing.

                                                                                                                              John Cheever

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