A post on my self-indulgent thoughts on The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, over at the cobwebby book blog. An excerpt:
How many of us have taken a stab at describing this book’s effect on us? Or describing the book itself? Recently, a friend asked me, on Twitter, if I’d read it and liked it. I told him it was a college novel, and a love triangle, and that it was lovely. I add now that it brought me back to college and its sneaky little promises of infiniteness, of love, of the golden life beyond it. You’re reading Sartre and Nietzsche, with a little Foucault thrown in. You carry around bootleg copies of Euripedes and T.S. Eliot and Wilfrido Nolledo and Lakambini Sitoy, you wander in and out of yellow-lit rooms and gaze out picture windows that frame fire trees. You wear your hip-length curls in a bun high on your head and tend to forget the pens you’ve pushed through the mass. You fall in love with a boy but don’t tell him; the next day you kiss someone else. You argue with a stranger about Heidegger, you read a romance novel in public for the first time, you sneak alcohol in water bottles and roll around the football field. You blow your money on take-out and pick up your first pack of cigarettes and find yourself, at 2 AM, wandering Katipunan drinking yoghurt. A man you’d later realize was Greg Freaking Brillantes would amble toward you with a little smile and tell you that he’d read your story and that he liked it and when were you going to publish a book? You consider keeping a hedgehog as a pet. You move around a lot, as much as possible in a 700-meter radius. You fall in love again, and you say it’s f’real this time, and you tell your mother so, and she asks you if you are happy, and you only feel a split-second’s worth of guilt before you say, Yes, Mommy, yes, I am. You were infinite, dude, infinite.
For reminding you of all this, at the very least, fuck The Marriage Plot.