McTeague: A Story of San Francisco

McTeague: A Story of San Francisco

Frank Norris

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  • EAN: 9788829565399

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McTeague is a novel by Frank Norris, first published in 1899. It tells the story of a couple's courtship and marriage, and their subsequent descent into poverty, violence and finally murder as the result of jealousy and greed. The book was the basis for the films McTeague (1916), and Erich von Stroheim's Greed (1924). It was also adapted as an opera by William Bolcom in 1992.

McTeague is a dentist of limited intellect from a poor miner's family, who has opened a dentist shop on Polk Street in San Francisco. (His first name is never revealed; other characters in the novel call him simply "Mac.") His best friend, Marcus Schouler, brings his cousin, Trina Sieppe, whom he is courting, to McTeague's parlor for dental work. McTeague becomes infatuated with her while working on her teeth, and Marcus graciously steps aside. McTeague successfully woos Trina. Shortly after McTeague and Trina have kissed and declared their love for each other, Trina discovers that she has won $5,000 from a lottery ticket. In the ensuing celebration Trina's mother, Mrs. Sieppe, announces that McTeague and Trina are to marry. Marcus becomes jealous of McTeague, and claims that he has been cheated out of money that would have been rightfully his if he had married Trina.

The marriage takes place, and Mrs. Sieppe, along with the rest of Trina's family, move away from San Francisco, leaving her alone with McTeague. Trina proves to be a parsimonious wife; she refuses to touch the principal of her $5,000, which she invests with her uncle. She insists that she and McTeague must live on the earnings from McTeague's dental practice, the small income from the $5,000 investment, and the bit of money she earns from carving small wooden figures of Noah's animals and his Ark for sale in her uncle's shop. Secretly, she accumulates penny-pinched savings in a locked trunk. Though the couple are happy, the friendship between Marcus and Mac deteriorates. More than once the two men come to grips; each time McTeague's immense physical strength prevails, and eventually he breaks Marcus's arm in a fight. When Marcus recovers, he goes south, intending to become a rancher; before he leaves, he visits the McTeagues, and he and Mac part apparently as friends.

 
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  • Frank Norris Cover

    (Chicago 1870 - San Francisco 1902) scrittore statunitense. A Parigi (1887-89), dove studiò pittura, conobbe Zola e la letteratura naturalista, ma lesse anche le cronache medievali di J. Froissart, cui è ispirato il poemetto giovanile Yvernelle (1892). Fu corrispondente della guerra anglo-boera in Sudafrica (1895-96), poi della guerra ispano-americana a Cuba (1898). Dapprima diviso tra il gusto del romanzo d’avventure alla Stevenson o alla Kipling (Moran della «Lady Letty», Moran of the «Lady Letty», 1898) e la maniera naturalista (Una storia di San Francisco, Mc Teague, 1899), concepì nel 1900 una trilogia rimasta incompiuta, che costituisce una vera epica sociale e politica, sulla produzione del grano minacciata, in California, dagli speculatori, e ne scrisse i primi 2 volumi, La piovra... Approfondisci
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