Elizabeth Smart, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept

Andrew Lesk (University of Toronto)
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A much-acclaimed work,

By Grand Central Station

achieved a certain notoriety upon its appearance. Termed by one critic to be an “adroit piece of home-wrecking”, it nevertheless received resounding praise from all quarters. The early praise did not sustain the novel’s literary reputation, however, and it soon fell from public view. A semi-autobiographical prose work, poetic and allusive, the novel is concerned with the narrator’s love for a married man (paralleling Smart’s affair with the married George Barker). The simple plot – a woman yearns for a man she has not yet met; meets him, and his wife; falls in love; follows him to Ottawa and New York; despairs – traverses little more than a hundred pages. The novel, ultimately, is not about space or place but rather the…

1025 words

Citation: Lesk, Andrew. "By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 29 April 2005 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16763, accessed 29 February 2024.]

16763 By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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