“I cannot do a review of Miss Lonelyhearts, but here, at random, are some things I thought when writing it:

“As subtitle: ‘A novel in the form of a comic strip.’ The chapters to be squares in which many things happen through one action. The speeches contained in the conventional balloons. I abandoned this idea, but retained some of the comic strip technique: Each chapter, instead of going forward in time, also goes backward, forward, up and down in space like a picture…

“Forget the epic, the master work. In America fortunes do not accumulate, the soil does not grow, families have no history. Leave slow growth to the book reviewers, you only have time to explode.” — Nathanael West, 1933


Nathanael West, “Some Notes on Miss L.,” in Nathanael West: Novels and Other Writings(New York: Library of America, 1997), 401–402. West is the author of The Day of the Locust and Miss Lonelyhearts.

Image credit above: Library of America.

Below: Farrar, Straus & Cudahy.

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