Or Chapter 2, verses 6-12, of what I knew about fiction: Linus is annoying Lucy, wheedling and pleading with her to read him a story. To shut him up, she grabs a book, randomly opens it, and says, “A man was born, he lived and he died. The End!” She tosses the book aside, and Linus picks it up reverently. “What a fascinating account,” he says. “It almost makes you wish you had known the fellow.
- In which I set Proust aside & tell Franzen to stop trying to distract me with ducks, dammit. [Above, this past week’s train reading.]
Finally, I got to talk my head off about this beautiful, fat book. Here, the first part of my rather long — and incomplete, hur — post:
How is everyone? [A perfunctory question. Yes, I am self-involved this holiday season. And frantically tying bloggie loose ends.] Aherm.
Last Christmas Eve, if I wasn’t gorging myself with fruitcake or cram-wrapping children’s presents, I was thinking about how I could possiblytalk about [that block of paper on top of that block of wood,] The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen.
It is very thick, rather yummy, and thus, rather a pain to write about. I finished reading it on the second day of the month, and since then, I’ve been agonizing about how to present a coherent — and not as word-vomit as I could manage — post on the book. My notes, of course, are a mess only I can make sense of, but can’t quite figure out how to share. I think I’ve written a informal book report already. And there is no way I can force that Dorkery on you guys. It’s Christmas-ish, after all. I lay off just a wee bit.
Oh, and in case I fail to make it clear: I loved this book. [Although it hasbe said: I will never forgive Franzen for describing somebody’s penis as “a faintly urinary dumpling” — cripes, and I didn’t even have to run to my notes to look up that odious phrase.] Aherm. Yes. Here:
And the “here” can be found here: As much as I can allow myself on The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen | Sasha & The Silverfish. Please be the pleasure of yourselves in the post, thank you.
Speaking at Harvard yesterday during a discussion with literary critic James Wood, Jonathan Franzen said that “the stupidest person in New York City is currently the lead reviewer of fiction for the New York Times.” (via Jonathan Franzen: Michiko Kakutani Is ‘The Stupidest Person in New York City’ | The New York Observer)
This was in 2008. Earlier this month, Kakutani raved — GUSHED! — about his novel Freedom. I found the review oddly funny. There’s something too cute about a grumpy reviewer loving a book to embarassing bits, haha. She called Freedom ”his most deeply felt novel yet.”