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I am a lover and have not found my thing to love. Options
Daemon
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 12:00:00 AM
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I am a lover and have not found my thing to love.

Sherwood Anderson (1876-1941)
kitten
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 1:59:01 AM

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Location: the city by the bay
Daemon wrote:
I am a lover and have not found my thing to love.



The above quote comes from a collection of short stories written in 1919 about a group of people who inhabit a small town in Ohio. The book is called The Book of the Grotesque and the quote comes from the fifteenth story. I posted the whole story as it is a short story about a seed someone planted in a small child. Sometimes, I too, wish I were Tandy.


All of the men and women the writer had ever known had become grotesques.
Sherwood Anderson



Tandy (1919)

UNTIL she was seven years old she lived in an old unpainted house on an unused road that led off Trunion Pike. Her father gave her but little attention and her mother was dead. The father spent his time talking and thinking of religion. He proclaimed himself an agnostic and was so absorbed in destroying the ideas of God that had crept into the minds of his neighbors that he never saw God manifesting himself in the little child that, half forgotten, lived here and there on the bounty of her dead mother’s relatives. 1

A stranger came to Winesburg and saw in the child what the father did not see. He was a tall, red-haired young man who was almost always drunk. Sometimes he sat in a chair before the New Willard House with Tom Hard, the father. As Tom talked, declaring there could be no God, the stranger smiled and winked at the bystanders. He and Tom became friends and were much together. 2

The stranger was the son of a rich merchant of Cleveland and had come to Winesburg on a mission. He wanted to cure himself of the habit of drink, and thought that by escaping from his city associates and living in a rural community he would have a better chance in the struggle with the appetite that was destroying him. 3

His sojourn in Winesburg was not a success. The dullness of the passing hours led to his drinking harder than ever. But he did succeed in doing something. He gave a name rich with meaning to Tom Hard’s daughter. 4

One evening when he was recovering from a long debauch the stranger came reeling along the main street of the town. Tom Hard sat in a chair before the New Willard House with his daughter, then a child of five, on his knees. Beside him on the board sidewalk sat young George Willard. The stranger dropped into a chair beside them. His body shook and when he tried to talk his voice trembled. 5

It was late evening and darkness lay over the town and over the railroad that ran along the foot of a little incline before the hotel. Somewhere in the distance, off to the west, there was a prolonged blast from the whistle of a passenger engine. A dog that had been sleeping in the roadway arose and barked. The stranger began to babble and made a prophecy concerning the child that lay in the arms of the agnostic. 6

“I came here to quit drinking,” he said, and tears began to run down his cheeks. He did not look at Tom Hard, but leaned forward and stared into the darkness as though seeing a vision. “I ran away to the country to be cured, but I am not cured. There is a reason.” He turned to look at the child who sat up very straight on her father’s knee and returned the look. 7

The stranger touched Tom Hard on the arm. “Drink is not the only thing to which I am addicted,” he said. “There is something else. I am a lover and have not found my thing to love. That is a big point if you know enough to realize what I mean. It makes my destruction inevitable, you see. There are few who understand that.” 8

The stranger became silent and seemed overcome with sadness, but another blast from the whistle of the passenger engine aroused him. “I have not lost faith. I proclaim that. I have only been brought to the place where I know my faith will not be realized,” he declared hoarsely. He looked hard at the child and began to address her, paying no more attention to the father. “There is a woman coming,” he said, and his voice was now sharp and earnest. “I have missed her, you see. She did not come in my time. You may be the woman. It would be like fate to let me stand in her presence once, on such an evening as this, when I have destroyed myself with drink and she is as yet only a child.” 9

The shoulders of the stranger shook violently, and when he tried to roll a cigarette the paper fell from his trembling fingers. He grew angry and scolded. “They think it’s easy to be a woman, to be loved, but I know better,” he declared. Again he turned to the child. “I understand,” he cried. “Perhaps of all men I alone understand.” 10

His glance again wandered away to the darkened street. “I know about her, although she has never crossed my path,” he said softly. “I know about her struggles and her defeats. It is because of her defeats that she is to me the lovely one. Out of her defeats has been born a new quality in woman. I have a name for it. I call it Tandy. I made up the name when I was a true dreamer and before my body became vile. It is the quality of being strong to be loved. It is something men need from women and that they do not get.” 11

The stranger arose and stood before Tom Hard. His body rocked back and forth and he seemed about to fall, but instead he dropped to his knees on the sidewalk and raised the hands of the little girl to his drunken lips. He kissed them ecstatically. “Be Tandy, little one,” he pleaded. “Dare to be strong and courageous. That is the road. Venture anything. Be brave enough to dare to be loved. Be something more than man or woman. Be Tandy.” 12

The stranger arose and staggered off down the street. A day or two later he got aboard a train and returned to his home in Cleveland. On the summer evening, after the talk before the hotel, Tom Hard took the girl child to the house of a relative where she had been invited to spend the night. As he went along in the darkness under the trees he forgot the babbling voice of the stranger and his mind returned to the making of arguments by which he might destroy men’s faith in God. He spoke his daughter’s name and she began to weep. 13


“I don’t want to be called that,” she declared. “I want to be called Tandy—Tandy Hard.” The child wept so bitterly that Tom Hard was touched and tried to comfort her. He stopped beneath a tree and, taking her into his arms, began to caress her. “Be good, now,” he said sharply; but she would not be quieted. With childish abandon she gave herself over to grief, her voice breaking the evening stillness of the street. “I want to be Tandy. I want to be Tandy. I want to be Tandy Hard,” she cried, shaking her head and sobbing as though her young strength were not enough to bear the vision the words of the drunkard had brought to her. 14



The Book of the Grotesque


Please thank http://www.bartleby.com/156/indes.html for the complete quote and short stories.


peace out, >^,,^<


The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
HWNN1961
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 8:16:57 AM

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I'm a miner for a heart of gold.

"Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless, and do no wrong". (Knight's Oath, Kingdom of Heaven)
Ray
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 8:24:16 AM

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Thanks Kitten.
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 8:51:53 AM
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Thanks kitten. I appreciate you posting it. I enjoyed reading the story. Marissa.
MTC
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 9:36:50 AM
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Anderson hands the reader a key to understanding the quotation and his collection of short, short stories in the opening story called The Book of the Grotesque:

A writer (the writer) "had a dream that was not a dream. As he grew somewhat sleepy but was still conscious, figures began to appear before his eyes. He imagined the young indescribable thing within himself was driving a long procession of figures before his eyes.
You see the interest in all this lies in the figures that went before the eyes of the writer. They were all grotesques. All of the men and women the writer had ever known had become grotesques."

Later we learn what makes people grotesques are the truths they embody:

"There was the truth of virginity and the truth of passion, the truth of wealth and of poverty, of thrift and of profligacy, of carelessness and abandon. Hundreds and hundreds were the truths and they were all beautiful.
And then the people came along. Each as he appeared snatched up one of the truths and some who were quite strong snatched up a dozen of them.
It was the truths that made the people grotesques."

"(T)his one central thought" unites the stories.

What truths do the people ("grotesques") represent in the fifteenth story quoted above? I suggest that you use Anderson's key to open the door to your own understanding. One discovery I made that might help you is "Tandy" is a Greek girl's name meaning "Immortality." It is also a Native American word for "flower."







Joseph Glantz
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 12:02:27 PM
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I like to think Sherwood Anderson found his thing to love - writing.
kitten
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 7:45:38 PM

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Joined: 12/28/2009
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Location: the city by the bay
You're all very welcome.

Being of Greek and Native American descent, I can and do appreciate the name, Tandy. Thanks MTC.


peace out, >^,,^<


The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
Marissa La Faye Isolde
Posted: Saturday, August 27, 2011 11:02:03 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/10/2009
Posts: 1,648
Neurons: 4,678
I think the meaning of the name Tandy is loved one...
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