The Waters of Kronos
The Waters of Kronos is a novel by Conrad Richter published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1960, it won the National Book Award for Fiction in 1961. According to Penn State University, "this is the story of John Donner, an aging writer who has driven from the West Coast back to Unionville, where he grew up, he discovers that the town he once knew has been submerged under the Kronos River because of a dam created to supply power for a hydroelectric plant. After viewing where the residents of the town cemeteries have been relocated, Donner finds himself on a road that went through Unionville to coal mines, where he improbably sees a wagon carrying coal and rides this wagon into the past. Once there, he finds it is the night before his grandfather's funeral, although he knows the town and its inhabitants, they do not know him."Richter describes the town and its inhabitants in sensual detail: "The silent shadows of toads hopped in the garden. Occasional townspeople would pass on the street, the girls in light summer dresses, all the time the drift of voices from front porches where families sat with occasional words between them or to those passing and pausing to chat and tell some news, so that by the time one went from Mill to Maple Street a social evening could be passed."
Tension builds as Donner longs for his family to know and love him while they show him only distant, courteous hospitality. The novel is divided into eight chapters: Chapter One: The River Chapter Two: Silt Chapter Three: The Chasm Chapter Four: Rust Chapter Five: The Breeding Marsh Chapter Six: The Source Chapter Seven: The Confluence Chapter Eight: The Sea
The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border; as a product of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea had been split into two sovereign states in 1948. A socialist state was established in the north under the communist leadership of Kim Il-sung and a capitalist state in the south under the anti-communist leadership of Syngman Rhee. Both governments of the two new Korean states claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all of Korea, neither accepted the border as permanent; the conflict escalated into warfare when North Korean military forces—supported by the Soviet Union and China—crossed the border and advanced south into South Korea on 25 June 1950. The United Nations Security Council authorized the formation and dispatch of UN forces to Korea to repel what was recognized as a North Korean invasion. Twenty-one countries of the United Nations contributed to the UN force, with the United States providing around 90% of the military personnel.
After the first two months of war, South Korean and U. S. forces dispatched to Korea were on the point of defeat, forced back to a small area in the south known as the Pusan Perimeter. In September 1950, an amphibious UN counter-offensive was launched at Incheon, cut off many North Korean troops; those who escaped envelopment and capture were forced back north. UN forces approached the Yalu River—the border with China—but in October 1950, mass Chinese forces crossed the Yalu and entered the war; the surprise Chinese intervention triggered a retreat of UN forces which continued until mid-1951. In these reversals of fortune, Seoul changed hands four times, the last two years of fighting became a war of attrition, with the front line close to the 38th parallel; the war in the air, was never a stalemate. North Korea was subject to a massive bombing campaign. Jet fighters confronted each other in air-to-air combat for the first time in history, Soviet pilots covertly flew in defense of their communist allies.
The fighting ended on 27 July 1953. The agreement created the Korean Demilitarized Zone to separate North and South Korea, allowed the return of prisoners. However, no peace treaty was signed, according to some sources the two Koreas are technically still at war, engaged in a frozen conflict. In April 2018, the leaders of North and South Korea met at the demilitarized zone and agreed to work towards a treaty to formally end the Korean War. In South Korea, the war is referred to as "625" or the "6–2–5 Upheaval", reflecting the date of its commencement on June 25. In North Korea, the war is referred to as the "Fatherland Liberation War" or alternatively the "Chosǒn War". In China, the war is called the "War to Resist America and Aid Korea", although the term "Chaoxian War" is used in unofficial contexts, along with the term "Hán War" more used in regions such as Hong Kong and Macau. In the U. S. the war was described by President Harry S. Truman as a "police action" as the United States never formally declared war on its opponents and the operation was conducted under the auspices of the United Nations.
It has been referred to in the English-speaking world as "The Forgotten War" or "The Unknown War" because of the lack of public attention it received both during and after the war, in relation to the global scale of World War II, which preceded it, the subsequent angst of the Vietnam War, which succeeded it. Imperial Japan destroyed the influence of China over Korea in the First Sino-Japanese War, ushering in the short-lived Korean Empire. A decade after defeating Imperial Russia in the Russo-Japanese War, Japan made Korea its protectorate with the Eulsa Treaty in 1905 annexed it with the Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty in 1910. Many Korean nationalists fled the country; the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea was founded in 1919 in Nationalist China. It failed to achieve international recognition, failed to unite nationalist groups, had a fractious relationship with its U. S.-based founding president, Syngman Rhee. From 1919 to 1925 and beyond, Korean communists led internal and external warfare against the Japanese.
In China, the Nationalist National Revolutionary Army and the communist People's Liberation Army helped organize Korean refugees against the Japanese military, which had occupied parts of China. The Nationalist-backed Koreans, led by Yi Pom-Sok, fought in the Burma Campaign; the communists, led by Kim Il-sung among others, fought the Japanese in Manchuria. At the Cairo Conference in November 1943, the United Kingdom, the United States all decided that "in due course Korea shall become free and independent". At the Tehran Conference in November 1943 and the Yalta Conference in February 1945, the Soviet Union promised to join its allies in the Pacific War within three months of the victory in Europe. Accordingly, it declared war o
Walker Percy, Obl. S. B. was an American author from Covington, whose interests included philosophy and semiotics. Percy is known for his philosophical novels set in and around New Orleans, the first of which, The Moviegoer, won the U. S. National Book Award for Fiction, he devoted his literary life to the exploration of "the dislocation of man in the modern age." His work displays a combination of existential questioning, Southern sensibility, deep Catholic faith. Percy was born in 1916 in Birmingham, Alabama, as the first of three boys to LeRoy Pratt Percy and Martha Susan Phinizy, his father's Mississippi Protestant family included his great-uncle LeRoy Percy, a U. S. Senator, LeRoy Pope Percy, a Civil War hero. In February 1917, Percy's grandfather committed suicide; this seemed to set a family pattern of emotional struggle and deaths that would haunt Percy throughout his life. In 1929, when Percy was 13, his father committed suicide, his mother took the family to live at her own mother's home in Georgia.
Two years Percy's mother died when she drove a car off a country bridge and into Deer Creek near Leland, where they were visiting. Percy regarded this death as another suicide. Walker and his two younger brothers, LeRoy and Phinizy, were taken in by their first cousin once removed William Alexander Percy, a bachelor lawyer and poet in Greenville, Mississippi. Percy was raised as an agnostic, though he was nominally affiliated with a theologically liberal Presbyterian church. William Percy introduced him to many writers and poets, to a neighboring youth his own age, Shelby Foote, who became his lifelong best friend; as young men and Foote decided to pay their respects to William Faulkner by visiting him in Oxford, Mississippi. But when they arrived at his home, Percy was so in awe of the literary giant that he could not bring himself to speak to him, he recounted how he could only sit in the car and watch while Foote and Faulkner had a lively conversation on the porch. Percy attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he joined the Xi chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
He received a medical degree from Columbia University in New York City in 1941. There he had psychotherapy to deal with the legacy of suicides and depression in his family. After contracting tuberculosis while performing an autopsy at Bellevue Hospital Center, Percy spent several years recuperating at the Trudeau Sanitorium in Saranac Lake, New York. At the time, there was no known treatment for TB other than rest. During this period, Percy read the works of the Danish existentialist writer Søren Kierkegaard and the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky, he began to question the ability of science to explain the basic mysteries of human existence. He was influenced by the example of one of his college roommates, began to rise daily at dawn and go to Mass, he married Mary Bernice Townsend, a medical technician, on November 7, 1946. Together the couple studied Catholicism and were received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1947. Fearing that Percy was sterile, the married couple adopted Mary Pratt, they conceived their second daughter Ann.
She became deaf at an early age. The family settled in the suburb of Louisiana across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans. Percy's wife and one of their daughters had a bookstore, where the writer worked in an office on the second floor. Walker Percy died of prostate cancer in eighteen days before his 74th birthday, he is buried on the grounds of St. Joseph Benedictine Abbey in Louisiana, he had become a secular oblate of the Abbey's monastic community, making his final oblation on February 16, 1990, less than three months before his death. In 1935, during the winter term of Percy's sophomore year at Chapel Hill, he contributed four pieces to The Carolina Magazine. According to scholars such as Jay Tolson, Percy proved his knowledge and interest in the good and bad that accompanies contemporary culture with his first contributions. Percy's personal experiences at Chapel Hill are portrayed in his first novel, The Moviegoer, through the protagonist Binx Bolling. During the years Percy spent in his fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, he "became known for his dry wit", how Bolling is described by his fraternity brothers in The Moviegoer.
Percy's literary career as a "Catholic writer" began in 1956, with an essay about race in the Catholic magazine Commonweal. The essay, "Stoicism in the South," condemned Southern segregation and demanded a larger role for Christian thought in Southern life. After many years of writing and rewriting in collaboration with editor Stanley Kauffmann, Percy published his first novel, The Moviegoer, in 1961. Percy wrote of the novel that it was the story of "a young man who had all the advantages of a cultivated old-line southern family: a feel for science and art, a liking for girls, sports cars, the ordinary things of the culture, but who feels himself quite alienated from both worlds, the old South and the new America."Subsequent works included The Last Gentleman, Love in the Ruins, The Second Coming, The Thanatos Syndrome in 1987. Percy's personal life and family legends played a part in his writing; the Thantos Syndrome features a story about one of Percy's ancestors taken from a family chronicle written by Percy's uncle, Will Percy.
Percy's vision for the plot of The Second Coming came to him after an old fraternity brother visited him in the 1970s. He does not know what to do next; the trend of Percy's personal life influencing his writing seemed to hold true throughout his literary career beginning
Hurricane Katrina was an destructive and deadly Category 5 hurricane that made landfall on Florida and Louisiana the city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas, in August 2005, causing catastrophic damage from central Florida to eastern Texas. Subsequent flooding, caused as a result of fatal engineering flaws in the flood protection system known as levees around the city of New Orleans, precipitated most of the loss of lives; the storm was the third major hurricane of the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic hurricane season, as well as the fourth-most intense Atlantic hurricane on record to make landfall in the United States, behind only the 1935 Labor Day hurricane, Hurricane Camille in 1969, Hurricane Michael in 2018. The storm originated over the Bahamas on August 23, 2005, from the merger of a tropical wave and the remnants of Tropical Depression Ten. Early on the following day, the tropical depression intensified into a tropical storm as it headed westward toward Florida, strengthening into a hurricane only two hours before making landfall at Hallandale Beach and Aventura on August 25.
After briefly weakening again to a tropical storm, Katrina emerged into the Gulf of Mexico on August 26 and began to intensify. The storm strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico but weakened before making its second landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on August 29, over southeast Louisiana and Mississippi; as Katrina made landfall, its front right quadrant, which held the strongest winds, slammed into Gulfport, devastating it. Overall, at least 1,836 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making Katrina the deadliest United States hurricane since the 1928 Okeechobee hurricane. Severe property damage occurred in numerous coastal areas, such as Mississippi beachfront towns where boats and casino barges rammed buildings, pushing cars and houses inland; the total property damage was estimated at $125 billion four times the damage wrought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, tying Katrina with Hurricane Harvey of 2017 as the costliest Atlantic tropical cyclone on record.
Over fifty breaches in surge protection levees surrounding the city of New Orleans, Louisiana was the cause of the majority of the death and destruction during Katrina. 80% of the city, as well as large tracts of neighboring parishes, became flooded, the floodwaters lingered for weeks. Most of the transportation and communication networks servicing New Orleans were damaged or disabled by the flooding, tens of thousands of people who had not evacuated the city prior to landfall became stranded with little access to food, shelter or basic necessities; the scale of the disaster in New Orleans provoked massive national and international response efforts. Multiple investigations in the aftermath of the storm concluded that the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, which had designed and built the region's levees decades earlier, was responsible for the failure of the flood-control systems, though federal courts ruled that the Corps could not be held financially liable because of sovereign immunity in the Flood Control Act of 1928.
There were widespread criticisms and investigations of the emergency responses from federal and local governments, which resulted in the resignations of Federal Emergency Management Agency director Michael D. Brown and New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Eddie Compass. Many other government officials were criticized for their responses New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco, President George W. Bush. Several agencies including the United States Coast Guard, National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service were commended for their actions; the NHC was found to have provided accurate hurricane forecasts with sufficient lead time. Hurricane Katrina formed as Tropical Depression Twelve over the southeastern Bahamas on August 23, 2005, as the result of an interaction between a tropical wave and the remnants of Tropical Depression Ten; the storm strengthened into Tropical Storm Katrina on the morning of August 24. The tropical storm moved towards Florida and became a hurricane only two hours before making landfall between Hallandale Beach and Aventura on the morning of August 25.
The storm weakened over land, but it regained hurricane status about one hour after entering the Gulf of Mexico, it continued strengthening over open waters. On August 27, the storm reached Category 3 intensity on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, becoming the third major hurricane of the season. An eyewall replacement cycle disrupted the intensification but caused the storm to nearly double in size; the storm intensified after entering the Gulf, growing from a Category 3 hurricane to a Category 5 hurricane in just nine hours. This rapid growth was due to the storm's movement over the "unusually warm" waters of the Loop Current. Katrina attained Category 5 status on the morning of August 28 and reached its peak strength at 1800 UTC that day, with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph and a minimum central pressure of 902 mbar; the pressure measurement made Katrina the fifth most intense Atlantic hurricane on record at the time, only to be surpassed by Hurricanes Rita and Wilma in the season.
However, this record was broken by Hurricane Rita. The hurricane subsequently weakened due to another eyewall replacement cycle, Katrina made its second landfall at 1110 UTC on August 29, as a Category 3 hu
John Henry O'Hara was an American writer who earned his early literary reputation for short stories and became a best-selling novelist before the age of 30 with Appointment in Samarra and BUtterfield 8. His work stands out among that of contemporaries for its unvarnished realism. While O'Hara's legacy as a writer is debated, his champions rank him among the under-appreciated and unjustly neglected major American writers of the 20th century. Few college students educated after O'Hara's death in 1970 have discovered him, chiefly because he refused to allow his work to be reprinted in anthologies used to teach literature at the college level. "O’Hara may not have been the best story writer of the twentieth century, but he is the most addictive," wrote Lorin Stein, editor-in-chief of the Paris Review, in a 2013 appreciation of O'Hara's work. Stein added, "You can binge on his collections the way some people binge on Mad Men, for some of the same reasons. On the topics of class and alcohol—that is, the topics that mattered to him—his novels amount to a secret history of American life."
Five of O'Hara's stories were adapted into popular films in the 1950s and 1960s, during his lifetime, O'Hara's literary reputation was damaged by the detractors he accumulated due to his out-sized and bruised ego, alcoholic crankiness, long-held resentments and politically conservative columns he wrote in the 1960s, all of which overshadowed his gift for story-telling. John Updike, a fan of O'Hara's writing, said that the prolific author "out-produced our capacity for appreciation. O'Hara was born in Pennsylvania to an affluent Irish-American family. Though his family lived among the gentry of eastern Pennsylvania during his childhood, O'Hara's Irish-Catholic background gave him the perspective of an outsider on the inside of polite WASP society, a theme he returned to in his writing again and again, he attended the secondary school Niagara Prep in Lewiston, New York, where he was named Class Poet for Class of 1924. His father died about that time, leaving him unable to afford the college of his dreams.
By all accounts, this fall in social status from a privileged life of a well-heeled doctor's family to overnight insolvency afflicted O'Hara with status anxiety for the rest of his life, honing the cutting social class awareness that characterizes his work. O'Hara worked as a reporter for various newspapers. Moving to New York City, he began to write short stories for magazines. During the early part of his career, he was a film critic, a radio commentator and a press agent. In 1934, O'Hara published Appointment in Samarra. Endorsing the novel, Ernest Hemingway wrote: "If you want to read a book by a man who knows what he is writing about and has written it marvelously well, read Appointment in Samarra." O'Hara followed Samarra with Butterfield 8, his roman à clef based upon the tragic, short life of flapper Starr Faithfull, whose mysterious death in 1931 became a tabloid sensation. Over four decades, O'Hara published novels, plays and more than 400 short stories, the majority of them in The New Yorker.
During World War II, he was a correspondent in the Pacific theater. After the war, he wrote screenplays and more novels, including Ten North Frederick, for which he won the 1956 National Book Award and From the Terrace, which he considered his "greatest achievement as a novelist." Late in life, with his reputation established, he became a newspaper columnist. In his last decade, O'Hara created "a body of work of magnificent dimensions," wrote George V. Higgins, noting, "Between 1960 and 1968, he published six novels, seven collections of short fiction, some 137 terse and extended stories that all by themselves would supply credentials for a towering reputation in the world of perfect justice that he never did quite find."Many of his stories are set in Gibbsville, Pennsylvania, a fictionalized version of his home town of Pottsville, a small city in the anthracite region of the northeastern United States. O'Hara received the highest critical acclaim for his short stories, he contributed more of them to The New Yorker than any other writer.
He published seven volumes of stories in the final decade of his career while complaining that they took his time away from writing novels. O'Hara once wrote, "I had an inexhaustible urge to express an unlimited supply of short story ideas. No writing has come more to me." In Library of America's collection of 60 of O'Hara's best stories, editor Charles McGrath praises them for their "sketchlike lightness and brevity... in which nothing necessarily'happens' in the old-fashioned sense, but in which some crucial loss or discovery is revealed just by implication... a sense of speed and economy is just what makes the best of these stories so thrilling." Brendan Gill, who worked with O'Hara at The New Yorker, ranks him "among the greatest short-story writers in English, or in any other language" and credits him with helping "to invent what the world came to call The New Yorker short story." In the foreword to a collection published four years before his death, O'Hara declared, "No one writes them any better than I do."
Two more volumes of his stories were published soon after his death. Despite his popular success as a best-selling author, most of O'Hara's longer work is not held in as high regard by the literary establishment. Critic Benjamin Schwarz and writer Christina Schwarz claimed: "So w
William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, poetry, a play, he is known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, where he spent most of his life. Faulkner is one of the most celebrated writers in American literature and Southern literature specifically. Though his work was published as early as 1919, during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was not known until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, for which he became the only Mississippi-born Nobel winner. Two of his works, A Fable and his last novel The Reivers, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked his 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Absalom, Absalom! Appears on similar lists. Born William Cuthbert Falkner in New Albany, William Faulkner was the first of four sons of Murry Cuthbert Falkner and Maud Butler.
He had three younger brothers: Murry Charles "Jack" Falkner, author John Faulkner, Dean Swift Falkner. Soon after his first birthday, his family moved to Ripley, where his father Murry worked as the treasurer for the family-owned Gulf & Chicago Railroad Company. Murry hoped to inherit the railroad from his father, John Wesley Thompson Falkner, but John had little confidence in Murry's ability to run a business and sold it for $75,000. Following the sale of the railroad business, Murry proposed a plan to get a new start for his family by moving to Texas and becoming a rancher. Maud disagreed with this proposition and they moved instead to Oxford, where Murry's father owned several businesses, making it easy for Murry to find work. Thus, four days prior to William's fifth birthday, the Falkner family settled in Oxford, where he lived on and off for the rest of his life, his family his mother Maud, his maternal grandmother Lelia Butler, Caroline "Callie" Barr crucially influenced the development of Faulkner's artistic imagination.
Both his mother and grandmother were avid readers as well as painters and photographers, educating him in visual language. While Murry enjoyed the outdoors and encouraged his sons to hunt and fish, Maud valued education and took pleasure in reading and going to church, she taught her sons to read before sending them to public school and exposed them to classics such as Charles Dickens and Grimms' Fairy Tales. Faulkner's lifelong education by Callie Barr is central to his novels' preoccupations with the politics of sexuality and race; as a schoolchild, Faulkner had success early on. He excelled in the first grade, skipped the second, did well through the third and fourth grades. However, beginning somewhere in the fourth and fifth grades of his schooling, Faulkner became a much quieter and more withdrawn child, he began to play hooky and became somewhat indifferent to his schoolwork, instead taking interest in studying the history of Mississippi on his own time beginning in the seventh grade. The decline of his performance in school continued, Faulkner wound up repeating the eleventh and twelfth grade, never graduating from high school.
Faulkner spent his boyhood listening to stories told to him by his elders including those of the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan, the Falkner family. Faulkner's grandfather would tell him of the exploits of William's great-grandfather and namesake, William Clark Falkner, a successful businessman and Civil War hero. Telling stories about "Old Colonel", as his family called him, had become something of a family pastime when Faulkner was a boy. According to one of Faulkner's biographers, by the time William was born, his great-grandfather had "been enshrined long since as a household deity."When he was 17, Faulkner met Philip Stone, who became an important early influence on his writing. Stone came from one of Oxford's older families. Faulkner attended the latter, joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, pursued his dream to become a writer. Stone read and was impressed by some of Faulkner's early poetry, becoming one of the first to recognize and encourage Faulkner's talent. Stone mentored the young Faulkner, introducing him to the works of writers such as James Joyce, who influenced Faulkner's own writing.
In his early 20s, Faulkner gave poems and short stories he had written to Stone in hopes of their being published. Stone would in turn send these to publishers; the younger Faulkner was influenced by the history of his family and the region in which he lived. Mississippi marked his sense of humor, his sense of the tragic position of "black and white" Americans, his characterization of Southern characters, his timeless themes, including fiercely intelligent people dwelling behind the façades of good ol' boys and simpletons. Unable to join the United States Army due to his height, Faulkner enlisted in a reservist unit of the British Army in Toronto. Despite his claims, records indicate that Faulkner was never a member of the British Royal Flying Corps and never saw service during the First World War. In 19
Ralph Waldo Ellison was an American novelist, literary critic, scholar. Ellison is best known for his novel Invisible Man, which won the National Book Award in 1953, he wrote Shadow and Act, a collection of political and critical essays, Going to the Territory. For The New York Times, the best of these essays in addition to the novel put him "among the gods of America's literary Parnassus." A posthumous novel, was published after being assembled from voluminous notes he left upon his death. Ralph Waldo Ellison, named after Ralph Waldo Emerson, was born at 407 East First Street in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, to Lewis Alfred Ellison and Ida Millsap, on March 1, 1914, he was the second of three sons. Lewis Alfred Ellison, a small-business owner and a construction foreman, died in 1916, after an operation to cure internal wounds suffered after shards from a 100-lb ice block penetrated his abdomen, when it was dropped while being loaded into a hopper; the elder Ellison loved literature, doted on his children, Ralph discovering as an adult that his father had hoped he would grow up to be a poet.
In 1921, Ellison's mother and her children moved to Gary, where she had a brother. According to Ellison, his mother felt that "my brother and I would have a better chance of reaching manhood if we grew up in the north." When she did not find a job and her brother lost his, the family returned to Oklahoma, where Ellison worked as a busboy, a shoeshine boy, hotel waiter, a dentist's assistant. From the father of a neighborhood friend, he received free lessons for playing trumpet and alto saxophone, would go on to become the school bandmaster. Ida remarried three times. However, the family life was precarious, Ralph worked various jobs during his youth and teens to assist with family support. While attending Douglass High School, he found time to play on the school's football team, he graduated from high school in 1931. He worked for a year, found the money to make a down payment on a trumpet, using it to play with local musicians, to take further music lessons. At Douglass, he was influenced by principal Inman E. Page and his daughter, music teacher Zelia N. Breaux.
Ellison applied twice for admission to Tuskegee Institute, the prestigious all-black university in Alabama founded by Booker T. Washington, he was admitted in 1933 for lack of a trumpet player in its orchestra. Ellison hopped freight trains to get to Alabama, was soon to find out that the institution was no less class-conscious than white institutions were. Ellison's outsider position at Tuskegee "sharpened his satirical lens," critic Hilton Als believes: "Standing apart from the university's air of sanctimonious Negritude enabled him to write about it." In passages of Invisible Man, "he looks back with scorn and despair on the snivelling ethos that ruled at Tuskegee."Tuskegee's music department was the most renowned department at the school, headed by composer William L. Dawson. Ellison was guided by the department's piano instructor, Hazel Harrison. While he studied music in his classes, he spent his free time in the library with modernist classics, he cited reading T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land as a major awakening moment.
In 1934, he began to work as a desk clerk at the university library, where he read James Joyce and Gertrude Stein. Librarian Walter Bowie Williams enthusiastically let Ellison share in his knowledge. A major influence upon Ellison was English teacher Morteza Drezel Sprague, to whom Ellison dedicated his essay collection Shadow and Act, he opened Ellison's eyes to "the possibilities of literature as a living art" and to "the glamour he would always associate with the literary life." Through Sprague Ellison became familiar with Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment and Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure, identifying with the "brilliant, tortured anti-heroes" of those works. As a child, Ellison evidenced what would become a lifelong interest in audio technology, starting by taking apart and rebuilding radios, moved on to constructing and customizing elaborate hi-fi stereo systems as an adult, he discussed this passion in a December 1955 essay, "Living With Music," in High Fidelity magazine. Ellison scholar John S. Wright contends that this deftness with the ins-and-outs of electronic devices went on to inform Ellison's approach to writing and the novel form.
Ellison remained at Tuskegee until 1936, decided to leave before completing the requirements for a degree. Desiring to study sculpture and photography, he moved to New York City on 5 July 1936 and found lodging at a YMCA on 135th Street in Harlem "the culture capital of black America." He met Langston Hughes, "Harlem's unofficial diplomat" of the Depression era, one—as one of the country's celebrity black authors—who could live from his writing. Hughes introduced him to the black literary establishment with Communist sympathies, he met several artists who would influence his life, including the artist Romare Bearden and the author Richard Wright. After Ellison wrote a book review for Wright, Wright encouraged him to write fiction as a career, his first published story was "Hymie's Bull," inspired by Ellison's 1933 hoboing on a train with his uncle to get to Tuskegee. From 1937 to 1944, Ellison had over 20 book reviews, as well as short stories and articles, published in magazines such as New Challenge and The New Masses.
Wright was openly associated with the Communist Party, Ellison was publishing and editing for communist publications, although his "affiliation was quieter," according to historian