A WRITER'S WIT
Life goes on and on after one's luck has run out. Youthfulness persists, alas, long after one has ceased to be young.
--The Pilgrim Hawk
Born April 11, 1901
Grant Cornett, Photograph
Wescott at 113
Rosco makes clear that Glenway Wescott was a writer who wrote because he loved to, not because he felt he should make a living from it. A contemporary of Isherwood, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Marianne Moore, Katherine Anne Porter, Wescott was befriended by most of these people (except for Hemingway who, in a homophobic fit, used Wescott as a model for a character in one of his novels).
Protagonist Alwyn Tower speaking: “Indeed, it was an instinctive law for Americans, the one he had broken. Never be infatuated with nor try to interpret as an omen the poverty, the desperation, of the past; whoever remembers it will be punished, or punish himself; never remember. Upon pain of loneliness, upon pain of a sort of expatriation though at home. At home in a land of the future where all wish to be young; a land of duties well done, irresponsibly, of evil done without immorality, and good without virtue” (39).
Short but piercing novel set entirely in one afternoon in 1940, one that turns out to be quite a charade. A woman “owns” a hawk as a pet, and it sets up obvious symbolism of control, freedom, but also a more subtle symbol for her marriage.