Re: RARA-AVIS: Leave Her to Heaven

Date: 24 Oct 2007

Ben Ames Williams was a popular best seller in the Thirties. I believe he began as a literary writer because Edmund Wilson (whom I've always found, despite his exalted reputation, to be something of an asshole) ripped him apart in an essay on forgettable fiction. He said something to the effect that Williams had shown prmise in the beginning but had whored his way to the bottom all too soon.

I read Leave Her To Heaven when I was in my teens and was stunned by this portrait of the ultimate bitch. I didn't understand the psychological complexities then. In the course of my life I've now met a few people (men as well as women) who are not unlike the star of Heaven. They really do exist. (I'm trying to avoid a spoiler here.) The movie captures the book pretty well.

Be interesting to red the book again.


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