David Grayson (1) (1870–1946)

Teoksen Adventures in Contentment tekijä

Katso täsmennyssivulta muut tekijät, joiden nimi on David Grayson.

David Grayson (1) has been aliased into Ray Stannard Baker.

13+ Works 281 Jäsentä 6 arvostelua

Tekijän teokset

Works have been aliased into Ray Stannard Baker.

Adventures in Contentment (1907) 55 kappaletta
The Countryman's Year (1936) 37 kappaletta
Adventures in Understanding (1925) 26 kappaletta
Adventures in Friendship (1910) 22 kappaletta
Great Possessions (1917) 17 kappaletta
A Day of Pleasant Bread (1942) 9 kappaletta
Hempfield (1915) 8 kappaletta
Adventures in Solitude (1938) 7 kappaletta

Associated Works

Works have been aliased into Ray Stannard Baker.

Merkitty avainsanalla




A little memoir of a Christmas Day dinner in the country. David Grayson was the pseudonym of Ray Stannard Baker, a journalist, who wrote many volumes
of vignettes of rural life. This was originally published in 1910.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
auntieknickers | 1 muu arvostelu | Jul 2, 2020 |
This volume is a collection of two books written by Ray Stannard Baker and published under his pseudonym David Grayson. After law school, Baker became a journalist, historian, internationalist, and a friend of Woodrow Wilson.

Adventures in Contentment and Adventures in Friendship were published separately in 1907 and 1910.

Both books share a similar structure, style, and tone. These are tales told in the first-person with "David Grayson" as narrator. He gives vignettes about rural living from the perspective of a city dweller. Grayson seems to live with his sister Harriet. (One or both may be gay and not even know it, as so many in their generation could not even describe the "condition".)

Thoughts on life, and advice to others considering moving away from urban areas. The details are real -- no unicorns or magic -- although the characters may actually be fictional. We have a sense they are inserted to dramatic effect in the telling of stories.

Baker writes with a dry wit -- he describes a judge as dry as a corn crib in July -- and with often profound sentiments. His neighbor is a "professor" of botany, carrying a collections tin:

"When the professor had spoken we stood for a moment silent, then he smiled and said briskly: "I have been a botanist for fifty-four years. When I was a boy I believed implicitly in God. I prayed to him, having a vision of him " a person " before my eyes. As I grew older I concluded that there was no God. I dismissed him from the universe. I believed only in what I could see, or hear, or feel. I talked about Nature and Reality."

"He paused, the smile still lighting his face, evidently recalling to himself the old days. I did not interrupt him. Finally he turned to me and said abruptly, "And now " it seems to me " there is nothing but God'.

As he said this he lifted his arm with a peculiar gesture that seemed to take in the whole world. "

These books call for introspection. A sweet read.
… (lisätietoja)
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keylawk | Aug 17, 2015 |
One of the great things of the digital age is that it is possible to stumble across a book like this, in the public domain and freely available to read on my Kindle. I started to read PARNASSUS ON WHEELS by Christopher Morley, which starts with a letter to Grayson saying how much the book owes to Grayson's ADVENTURES IN CONTENTMENT. So I did a little research and found the book available on Project Gutenberg and downloaded it, inspired by one Amazon reviewer who called it the best book ever written. I won't quite endorse that view, but it is a wonderful book, nevertheless, and surprisingly relevant after all these years.

It tells the story of a man who, in his own opinion at least, has failed in the city and moved to the country where he first rents then buys a small farm. Each chapter tells a pretty much self-contained story about some aspect of his life in the country, with his unmarried sister keeping house for him. He tells us about the funeral for the local doctor and of that man's character and simple good works through the years. He gives us a view of grassroots democracy at work that seems so distant from our poisonous 21st century political climate. He tells us all about the local preacher, who seems a much more admirable character than most of the current bunch. And he talks of his neighbors, near and far--though none are so far in the close-knit country community where he lives. There is a haunting story of a mysterious tramp who lives everything twice. There is the local "pagan" who denies that there is a biblical hell (and who knows pretty much everything about cows.) He also meets the local millionaire and puts him to work greasing axles. And there is a whole chapter about making a new axe handle.

Although it seems like a straightforward memoir, the book is actually fiction (and the first of a series of nine books). But there is so much unarguable common sense and wisdom throughout this book that is is a sheer pleasure to read, even if you have no desire to be a farmer and little interest in farming. Though he feels that the church is an essential part of the community, while admitting to rarely attending it, the author can also say, "Theology possesses a vaingloriousness which places it faith in human theories; but science, at its best, is humble before nature herself. It has no thesis to defend: it is content to kneel upon the earth, in the way of my friend, the old professor, and ask the simplest questions, hoping for some true reply."

Or, "Sometimes I think that Success has formed a silent conspiracy against Youth. Success holds up a single glittering apple and bids Youth strip and run for it; and Youth runs and Success still holds the apple."

Or, "True emotion is rare and costly and that which is awakened from without never rises to the height of that which springs spontaneously from within."

Or on the local democratic way of deciding things, such as whether to spend $800 to expand the local school: "That's real politics: the voluntary surrender of some private good for the upbuilding of some community good."

To acknowledge the downside, this book is very male-centered, and the author doesn't seem to view the sister as much more than a simple soul whose contentment lies in cooking and housework.

In the end, though, ADVENTURES IN CONTENTMENT is about the connections between people and how our life is empty without them. Spending a little while with this book is well worth your investment of time.
… (lisätietoja)
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datrappert | Aug 6, 2013 |
An agreeable if not profound latter-day commonplace book combining observations of seasonal changes and village life in New England with thoughts on all sorts of other things: books, work, politics. Among his observations is -- and I paraphrase -- that young (or at-least first-time) authors tend to sell themselves short in their desperation to win exposure. I think he's right, but I must balance that against the annoyance of having a few cartons of unsold masterpieces under the guest-bed.
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HarryMacDonald | Oct 7, 2012 |


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