The latest addition to my website is Wright Morris‘s The Field of Vision. It tells the story of a disparate group of people who are attending a bullfight in Mexico and whose back-stories we learn as the bullfight progresses. Walter McKee, but invariably called McKee, has always looked up to Gordon Boyd, who has had some success as a playwright. McKee, his wife, Lois, his grandson Gordon, named after his father, who was named after Boyd, and his father-in-law, Tom Scanlon, who is now blind and deaf and was expected to die some forty years ago, meet Boyd at the bullfight, with a German-born psychoanalyst and one of the psychoanalyst’s former patients and now seemingly his lover, Paula Kahler. As we follow the progress of the bullfight, we learn about the earlier lives of the characters and, in particular, Boyd’s influence on McKee and his effect on McKee and his family, even when they do not see him for a while. It does not quite work for me, maybe because the characters are not too sympathetic.
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One of Morris’s greatest works, in my opinion (and a National Book Award winner for best novel).Sympathetic characters in the conventional sense are not much in his line; I can recall very few across his entire corpus.
I am well aware that some people loved this novel but others certainly did not. I do not think that it is a bad novel as some have suggested but I feel he wrote better.