|WikiProject Novels||(Rated Stub-class, Mid-importance)|
The Major Themes Section is Terrible
It really is. That anyone could read this little book and find anything in it involving, even by implication, either the Situationist or Marxist concepts of "alienation" of modern man due to commodification and specialization and etc etc etc, is kind of amazing. It's obviously a kind of wise-ass Dostoevsky novel in miniature. It's not about the causes of alienation. It's about seemingly inherent alienation, and more than that, it's about human suffering and loneliness. And about suffering over human suffering, and about the search for solutions to it. The book - correctly - says there are no solutions but God, ie Christ-like love and sympathy and kindness. But it then shows that modern men have real problems buying in. It isn't that complicated. Also, to the earlier writer on this page (and to any critic), I don't know any more about him than these two books and the basic biographical info available on Wikipedia, but if this book is any indication, West wasn't a nihilist any more than Dostoevsky was. Nihilists don't suffer over their nihilism. Hoping God exists and weeping over seemingly pointless suffering is not nihilistic. I read West the same way I read Dostoevsky, albeit West seems to have been much more depressive and to have had less hope, or to have found it even more difficult than FD to truly believe or pretend to believe. But clearly both men's knowledge (which was nihilistic and bleak) had to work against their hope, which was Christian.
- I'm the editor who added the Situationist bits. The original article was all about theodicy/nihilism, and I tried to leave some of that intact. I actually just signed into Wikipedia for the first time in years because I saw the first line come up when I Googled it, and I thought it seemed silly, so I was going to change it. Then I saw the new objection above. I've been busy lately, but I'll try to reread it before editing, with that position in mind. In the mean time, I recommend reading The Dream Life of Balso Snell and the cited articles, which I found fairly persuasive. Le kasydzu (talk) 05:58, 2 October 2016 (UTC)
the whole "keys longing to mix with change" passage is genius. this work is very underappreciated.
just one fool's opinion
Most critics find this novel just as important as Day of the Locust, it is less episodic and presents a more complete view of West's nihilism (in the chapter "Miss Lonelyhearts in the Dismal swamp"). Beautifully concise writing and precise language. AshcroftIleum 04:28, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
my favourite book.
Some of these bits that need citations are oversimplifications of scenes that appear in the book ("Ironically, he is shot at the moment he thinks he has had a religious conversion"... nowhere in the book does it state that Miss Lonelyhearts is injured in the last scene). I'll remove them if no one objects. 188.8.131.52 (talk) 23:03, 7 June 2011 (UTC)