Gloomy Literature for Dreary Days


| 2/4/2010 11:12:10 AM


Tags: Great Writing, gloomy literature, winter reading, sad novels, The Independent,

Gloomy trees

Here in the dreary depths of midwinter, a mood of melancholic gloom often prevails—and so, James Kidd chirpily announces in The Independent, “there has never been a more appropriate moment to explore the darkest corners of your bookshelves and wallow in some truly miserable literature to enhance those winter blues.”

Kidd pronounces Cormac McCarthy’s The Road a titan of doom lit, “a bona fide contender for the title of Saddest Novel Ever Written. … In a shade over 300 pages, he conjures environmental desolation and physical deprivation and human degradation, not to mention the most poignant father-son relationship committed to paper.”

Other notable titles on Kidd’s list:

Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx: A yearning tale of cowboy meets cowboy, cowboy loses cowboy, that ends with Ennis Del Mar’s tight-lipped expression of stoic nihilism: “There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can’t fix it you’ve got to stand it.”

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene: Perhaps the most piercing of all anthems to doomed love … which begins on a dreary January day: “It was as though our love were a small creature caught in a trap and bleeding to death: I had to shut my eyes and wring its neck.”