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by James Gould Cozzens


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By Love Possessed is a novel written by James Gould Cozzens in the middle 1950s. It was published on August 26, 1957, by Harcourt Brace and Company, and became a critically acclaimed best-seller.

By Love Possessed is a novel written by James Gould Cozzens in the middle 1950s. In 1960, it was awarded the William Dean Howells Medal, an award given every five years to the best novel of the previous five years. The novel was turned into a feature film in which Lana Turner co-starred.

By Love Possessed became the center of a literary controversy in the 1950s. Today it’s hard to know what all the fuss was about. This is a rewarding novel, if you are willing to put in the conscientious work required to read it. This includes consulting the dictionary quite a lot.

By Love Possessed became the center of a literary controversy in the 1950s Still, Cozzens creates unforgettable characters. They are wholly original yet recognizable

By Love Possessed became the center of a literary controversy in the 1950s. Still, Cozzens creates unforgettable characters. They are wholly original yet recognizable. He also has a talent for constructing extremely long and convoluted, yet readable, sentences. Indeed, 'pretentious' is not a word I would use to describe By Love Possessed: Cozzens is every bit the great writer he purports to be. Clearly, a writer of genius and erudition (note how he rips off Milton on page 247, towards the end of part one).

Cozzens, James Gould, 1903-1978. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books.

James Gould Cozzens, American novelist, whose writings dealt with life in middle-class America. Cozzens’ works reflect a philosophy of political and social conservatism, and some have maintained that he was slow to receive widespread critical acclaim because of his conservative views. Cozzens grew up on Staten Island, . graduated from the Kent (Conn. School (1922), and attended Harvard University for two years. Acclaim did come, however; he received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1949 for Guard of Honor and the Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1960 for By Love Possessed.

James Gould Cozzens is an outstanding author who writes fairly-long, serious books which address important issues regarding the myriad stresses of human life. By Love Possessed is an interesting story which deals with matters of responsibility and conscience. If you are not put off by this sort of thing you will probably find this book both rewarding and enjoyable. com User, February 25, 1999. By Love Possessed isn't the easiest novel to read: the style is involved and detailed.

By Love Possessed book.

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James Gould Cozzens 1903–1978. American novelist and short story writer. The following entry presents an overview of Cozzens's career. For further information on his life and works, see CLC, Volumes 1, 4, and 11. Cozzens is best known for insightful tales about the more or less privileged lives led by White Anglo-Saxon Protestant American professional men. Philosophical in approach, Cozzens's novels utilize little action but explore a wide range of ideas, including love, duty, and the law.

I am reading James Gould Cozzens, The Just And The Unjust. The Just And The Unjust, Guard of Honor, and yes, By Love Possessed, (McDonald's and Howe's hatchet job's notwithstanding), all ought to be published. love of God, why has there been no Cozzens volume? The Just And The Unjust, Guard of Honor, and yes, By Love Possessed, (McDonald's and Howe's hatchet job's notwithstanding), all ought to be published.

A highly-respected, middle-aged lawyer's involvements with love are revealed in a series of flashbacks

Comments: (7)

Armin
I was 17 when I read this book the first time, and it blew me away. I went about quoting it and recommending it to friends for years. Ironically, I read it as a highly intelligent affirmation of love.

When I was in my 20s, I read it again and was aghast. Suddenly I saw it for the conservative, insular 1950s sort of book that it is. And worse, I saw that the central theme is that we ought to be suspicious of love because it can possess us and cause us to behave irrationally.

Now I'm three re-readings past that, and maybe I'm ready to put Cozzens in perspective. It isn't a giant of a book that deserves the close attention I've given it, nor is it merely a period piece that can be dismissed as dated bigotry. If you can't appreciate a book that is tainted with the dated morality of an earlier time, you don't deserve the pleasures of reading a novel like this one that is so insistently intelligent and interesting.

Ultimately, the star of By Love Possessed is the interior monologue of the central character (although the voice of Julius Penrose is actually closer to the heart of the novel than is the voice of Arthur Winner). What a fascinating voice that is. Robustly intelligent, skeptical, humorous, bold, sympathetic but knowing . . . it is a voice that takes ultimate delight in understanding human beings and pondering (often with an ironic smile) why they do what they do.

A liberal who basically believes in love, I have that voice stuck in my head, and I long ago realized I would have to accept it as part of me. This brilliantly plotted novel gives that voice countless opportunities to make deliciously perceptive comments on the human comedy. Then--as befits such a smart reflection on human nature--the voice itself is dumped on its butt and shown to be bumbling and self-deluding.

A great book? Nah. A great read, I'd say, and in a few years I'll enjoy sharing those astonishing 49 hours with Arthur Winner again. I improve my ability to see people with each reading.
Gaudiker
.” With all the reservations, I found this to be pretty good. The protagonist is Arthur Winner, his first wife is Hope (she dies), his second wife is Clarissa, the faithful Negro retainer is Paul Revere, the family name of some not-so-brights is Dummer, the Jewish lawyer is Woolf. Cozzens lays it on a bit thick in this story of corruption in a Pennsylvania small town. I was reminded of “Peyton Place” which I read (and liked) last year.
“By Love Possessed” became the center of a literary controversy in the 1950s. Dwight MacDonald gave it a nasty review – and went on to attack the critics who thought well of the book. Today it’s hard to know what all the fuss was about. MacDonald said some nasty things about “Peyton Place” too.
Cerar
Cozzens was a master of language who seemed to do a lot of writing for writing's sake in By Love Possessed. This is a rewarding novel, if you are willing to put in the conscientious work required to read it. This includes consulting the dictionary quite a lot. His narrator and characters often resort to such antiquated turns of phrase (even for the mid-1950s when it was published) that I wonder how this novel could ever have been a bestseller. Further, the story's main character is an attorney, and some of the novel's major themes include what's legal vs illegal, right vs. wrong, true vs. not true, expedient vs. not expedient, so expect to be hit as well with a lot of obscure legal terms and complex legal situations.

Still, Cozzens creates unforgettable characters. They are wholly original yet recognizable. He also has a talent for constructing extremely long and convoluted, yet readable, sentences. Indeed, 'pretentious' is not a word I would use to describe By Love Possessed: Cozzens is every bit the great writer he purports to be. Clearly, a writer of genius and erudition (note how he rips off Milton on page 247, towards the end of part one). His observations on human character are brilliant. He also pulls off descriptions of sex which are both extremely erotic and impeccably tasteful.

Of note is a anti-Catholic bent. There is truth in this. At more than a couple points, he goes on and on about the negative side of Catholicism which indicates to me that he has a bit of an axe to grind. The mild anti-Semitism of some of the characters speak more badly about the characters than Jews. The one Jewish (or seemingly Jewish) character behaves well enough to remove any doubt about the author's lack of prejudice in this regard.

Cozzens does have a tendency to make up backstory as he goes along (I guess in a pre-personal computer age, it was harder for a novelist to interpolate new passages into earlier parts of his story). While this may be a technical flaw of the novel, it is not as egregious as the tedium Cozzens inflicts on his reader with so much superfluous, if well-conceived, prose. In many instances, he interrupts the thread of a compelling and visionary plot in order to expound for pages on matters that can be (and have been) implied well enough through action and dialogue. I believe By Love Possessed could have lost 100 pages and been the better for it. The powerful ending makes this a four star review...but barely.
Ieregr
Couzzens is the best author I have come across in years. Characters drawn from life. In fine detail and with surprising sudden humanity.
By Love Possessed download epub
Contemporary
Author: James Gould Cozzens
ISBN: 015115113X
Category: Literature & Fiction
Subcategory: Contemporary
Language: English
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace and Company; 1st edition (March 1, 1957)
Pages: 570 pages