“ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT SHORT NOVELS IN ENGLISH”: JANET LEWIS AND A BOOK THAT WAS BORN AT STANFORD
Was it murder or accident? Placid Palo Alto was embroiled in a sensationalized scandal that endured for more than three years. After conviction, appeals and retrials, David Lamson was finally free.
One of the unlikelier outcomes of the notorious case: three distinguished novels by Stanford poet Janet Lewis, focusing on historical trials that had been swayed by circumstantial evidence. The most famous was The Wife of Martin Guerre (1941), which eventually became the subject of an opera, a play, several musicals and a film. Atlantic Monthly called it “one of the most significant short novels in English.”
The book will be the focus of the second “Another Look” book club event at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Stanford Humanities Center’s Levinthal Room. The event will be moderated by English Professor Kenneth Fields, who was a friend of the late Janet Lewis (1899-1998) and her husband, renowned poet-critic and Stanford professor Yvor Winters (1900-68). READ MORE…
THE WIFE OF MARTIN GUERRE: FAMOUS STORY, LITTLE-KNOWN BOOK
“Another Look” seeks out short masterpieces forgotten, neglected or overlooked. In the case of The Wife of Martin Guerre, we didn’t have to look farther than home. The 1941 book was born at Stanford, and the author taught in its English Department. Hailed as one of the top books of the last century, it’s too little-known today. The story has become famous, but the book has not.
The short novel, about a 16th-century case of imposture in southwestern France, has been made into a play, an opera, several musical, and most notably The Return of Martin Guerre, a 1982 movie with Gérard Depardieu in the title role. READ MORE…