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Journal of Arthur Stirling

The Valley of the Shadow

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Author: Upton Sinclair
Published: 1903
Language: English
Wordcount: 71,646 / 200 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 89.3
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 1,145 6445
More Info:

The writing of a book is like the bearing of a child. But every birth-pang of the former lasts for hours; and it is months before the labor is done.

It is not merely the vision, the hour of exultation; that is but the setting of the task. Now you will take that ecstasy, and hold on to it, hold on with soul and body; you will keep yourself at that height, you will hold that flaming glory before your eyes, and you will hammer it into words. Yes, that is the terror--into words--into words that leap the hilltops, that bring the ends of existence together in a lightning flash. You will take them as they come, white-hot, in wild tumult, and you will forge them, and force them. You will seize them in your naked hands and wrestle with them, and bend them to your will--all that is the making of a poem. And last and worst of all, you will hold them in your memory, the long, long surge of them; the torrent of whirling thought--you will hold it in your memory! You are dazed with excitement, exhausted with you

Reader Reviews

Average Rating of 3.5 from 2 reviews: ****

The Journal of Arthur Stirling (The Valley of the Shadow) is very (for it's time) unique and very well written piece of literature. It seems at times, a somewhat dark and melancholy story; the story of a failing writer as he riddles himself into oblivion.

Upton Sinclair, the faithful writer and introductory speaker, delivers a full range of thoughts and imaginations; all the time delivering a somewhat brief story and imagination with commenting on the side. The writing is very good; very Sinclair.

However, the downer side to this review would have to be the predictability of the "initial-plot", which never seems to satisfies you in the end. "Characters" are self-referencing at times and the story goes into unrealistic phases throughout.

Lastly, I most say, The Journal of Arthur Stirling (The Valley of the Shadow) is a must read at any pace; (sometimes) brilliant writing and a lightly underlined socialist narration throughout.


this novel i found quite interesting. the story line was okay but what really caught my attention was how the novel was so closley related to Upton Sinclair's (the authur) own personal life.



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