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Winesburg, Ohio

Winesburg, Ohio (full title: Winesburg, Ohio: A Group of Tales of Ohio Small-Town Life) is a 1919 short story cycle by the American author Sherwood Anderson. The work is structured around the life of protagonist George Willard, from the time he was a child to his growing independence and ultimate abandonment of Winesburg as a young man. It is set in the fictional town of Winesburg, Ohio (not to be confused with the actual Winesburg), which is based loosely on the author's childhood memories of Clyde, Ohio.

Mostly written from late 1915 to early 1916, with a few stories completed closer to publication, they were “…conceived as complementary parts of a whole, centered in the background of a single community.” The book consists of twenty-two stories, with the first story, “The Book of the Grotesque”, serving as an introduction. Each of the stories shares a specific character's past and present struggle to overcome the loneliness and isolation that seems to permeate the town. Stylistically, because of its emphasis on the psychological insights of characters over plot, and plain-spoken prose, Winesburg, Ohio is known as one of the earliest works of Modernist literature.
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The plan the writer had for the raising of his bed was forgotten and later the carpenter did it in his own way and the writer, who was past sixty, had to help himself with a chair when he went to bed at night
In each story one of them emerges, shyly or with a false assertiveness, trying to reach out to companionship and love, driven almost mad by the search for human connection.
The whole world seemed to Ray Pearson to have become alive with something just as he and Hal had suddenly become alive when they stood in the corn field stating into each other's eyes.
Anderson soon adopted the posture of a free, liberated spirit, and like many writers of the time, he presented himself as a sardonic critic of American provincialism and materialism.
It was the truths that made the people grotesques. The old man had quite an elaborate theory concerning the matter. It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live his life by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood.

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