Editor is Katy Evans-Bush, with a quite eclectic but not always demanding mixture, eg in latest issue Michael Horovitz on Blake yes, he likes himthree literaryish blokes on menswear, and poems by Carrie Etter, Alistair Noon, Ira Lightman, Tom Bell. How2 exploring non-traditional directions in poetry and scholarship by womenis full of excellent material, including in the current issue Strictly Speaking on Caroline Bergvallcurated and co-ordinated by Sophie Robinson, and Reading Carla Harrymancurated and co-ordinated by Laura Hinton, plus much else, including poems by Jessica Wilkinson, Emily Critchley and Karen Sandhu. Susana Gardner and Dusie Books".
Oct 16, Gerald rated it it was amazing Masterful on many levels. At first I wasn't drawn to any of the three characters in the love triangle - Madeleine, Leonard, and Mitchell.
Each seemed deeply flawed, and they are.
Except you read along and find that Eugenides thinks we all are, just as deeply in our unique ways, and are none the lesser for it.
That's the way people are, and the way life goes. We stumble through it, thinking we are somehow in control, and it's what happens nevertheless while we are furiously busy making other plan Masterful on many levels. We stumble through it, thinking we are somehow in control, and it's what happens nevertheless while we are furiously busy making other plans, or simply fretting about making up our minds.
This is a literary novel, in the best sense, and I was surprised to read some critics cramming it into the diminutive genre "campus novel. The marriage plot, you see, is the genre form of which that work is representative.
Eugenides wants to know whether the marriage plot is dead as a meaningful literary form, now that marriage seems hardly worthy as the ultimate goal of youthful aspirations. Then there's the theme of semiotics. I studied with Roland Barthes yes, I'm that old and back then I don't think the term semiotics even existed.
At least, I don't recall his ever having used it. But he talked incessantly about structuralism, that a novel is a long sentence spoken by its author, a literary construct waiting to be parsed.
Understand, I didn't get any of this from him back then, just from what others, including Susan Sontag, have written about him since. His lesson plan was built around Balzac's short story "Sarrasine," which is the engrossing tale of a man obsessed by an opera star who turns out to be both a castralto and the "kept woman" of a powerful priest.
But why Barthes chose that story for his criticism totally escaped me at the time, and I can only surmise now what his intentions were. But back to Eugenides. The characters meet in a semiotics class at Brown, and the author gives a lot of detail about the subject and its impact on their personal thoughts.
Semiotics claims, for example, that humans would not experience love as we have come to understand it unless we had read about it or seen movies about it first. There's a similar concept in Stendhal's The Red and the Black, in which the narrator comments that peasants in the French countryside cope with life less well than the sophisticated citizens of Paris, who have all read novels that give them models for how to act in society.
Ultimately, this is a novel about perception, what we make of reality as it is happening to us, and our inability to make meaning of events in time to control their outcome. Things happen or they don't. Things work out or they don't.
They mostly don't, and we move on. Perhaps significantly, the character in this book who understands himself best is the one whose grasp on reality is most tenuous, because he has to work at staying sane. In his acknowledgements, Eugenides credits several experts and sources for genetic research another themebut he thanks no one for his extensive detailing of bipolar disorder and its treatment.
So naturally I wonder how he came by this information, and at what personal cost.In the s a radical concept emerged from the great French thinker Jacques Derrida. He called the new process deconstruction.
Rewriting the ways in which we use language and literature, deconstruction affected every form of intellectual thought, from literary criticism to popular culture/5(3).
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Last completely updated, May 19, ; partially updated (largely British sites), February Writing and Difference reveals the unacknowledged program that makes thought itself possible. In analyzing the contradictions inherent in this program, Derrida foes on to develop new ways of thinking, reading, and writing,—new ways based on the most complete and rigorous understanding of the old ways/5(5).
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