Saturday, August 21, 2010
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake. Gogol (the American-born son if Indian parents) was a little flat, while his expatriate parents' surroundings and personalities were lovingly rendered. Gogol's affairs, academics, career, failed marriage, even his apartment were never convincing; he seemed a construct, a stereotype. His parent's emotions, even their furniture and food, were somehow more textured - it was odd because their role in the story was so traditional (immigrant parents and their American children, tensions ensue...) and yet they were more convincing. I was disappointed.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
John Banville, The Infinities. Gods, self, mathematics, death, family. A nearly mundane family drama acrobatically spun into a universe with slightly different underpinnings (for example, here Johann Beringer was correct and fossils were indeed the capricious fabrications of God). So much artifice, so many sly jokes, so many lovely narrative turns. The writing was ridiculously beautiful. Words so lovely the story was outshone by its clothes.