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the scorned mistress, with a vengeance

there are novels that you read and you never want to end—the writing really is that good. it doesn’t have to be a novel, either. (bruce chatwin’s travel books in patagonia and songlines were like that.)

but, there is a moment of sublimity, or possibly bathos?, like when a banana is just ripe enough… and it’s really a matter of hours before it goes from perfection to when it has tipped the scale into rottenness. (those of you who like your bananas green, so that they are impossible to peel and they leave a nasty unripe banana film on your teeth and tongue, i really wish you wouldn’t read my posts. you can continue to read greg’s posts… as if that’s really a threat, since i’m sliding into a chris like oblivion.) not that perfectly ripened bananas are bathetic… but biting into a green one that seems ripe can be, as can be biting into an overly ripe one that is only fit for bread when you are convinced you’ve gotten to it just in time. to be so close to tasting heaven, and to be slapped down.

oh yes, back to sublimity/bathos (and the two often touch in their heights and their lows)... there’s a moment when you are 921 pages into book that you’ve been loving on and off for a year, a book about which you’ve thought many times, “this is so good, i wish it would go on forever;” there’s a moment when you are 921 pages into a novel and you despair because you still lack 430 pages until the saga ends.

i never did finish war and peace, despite reading 3/4s of it because grad school started. in this case, however, i’ve got finish pronto so i can start writing that article about it.

 

Comments

You know it’s strange? I’ve looked for that book again, and if I find a copy in a local bookstore, all I see are the abridged copies. Was an unabridged paperback even issued?

Hmm. By Amazon’s coffers, it would appear not.

no, despite critical praise, there was a lot of reader backlash… and even some critics didn’t like the “second novel.”

some even accused him of not “trusting” his sor juana story… which is really good.

but, at least as i will argue in my paper, it’s all about the siren call of sor juana biography… in fact, most sor juana critics are defacto hagiographers than critics of her poetry and writings.

It makes for an interesting material study, though, and at the very least, a sweet introduction. “Why did Anderson (and/or his publishers) kick the second novel to the curb?” It almost writes itself.

or so i hope!

the nice thing is my thesis about the original novel is that it parodied in a postmodern-linda-hutcheon way sor juanine hagiography… and then to have the essential novel come out that completely excises most every reference to the previous novel falls like a ring on a finger (to use the spanish expression)