On the still-unconfirmed hope that we will have some time with Jennifer Egan next week, please phrase this week’s reading response in the form of at least three questions for her. Please make two of these specific to Goon Squad, and please make one about something altogether different. Jenny is at work on a novel set in the 1940s, so perhaps a question about historical fiction, or the utility of current events in making fictional worlds come to life, or maybe something about her process and career. Jenny knows we’re looking at problems of point of view and free-indirect techniques, so maybe a general question about how she approaches these, possibly citing Wood or Prose. Or maybe let her take a swing at something we’ve wrestled with in class, like Rabbit & BLBC’s rough treatment of Others.
In addition, I want to welcome you to a new feature of LT212: the Copy Desk. Here we will look at and all benefit from matters of grammar, syntax, spelling and other writing mechanics that have come up in the assignments and blog responses.
In a comment below, separate from the Egan questions, please tackle one long or two short items of the following that your colleagues haven’t yet addressed. Begin your comment with the full quoted text including the number, follow with a copyedited revision, and follow that with the rule governing the correction. For example:
WEEK 1 READING RESPONSE: MCINERNY, WOOD, UPDIKE
WEEK 1 READING RESPONSE: MCINERNEY, WOOD, UPDIKE
Always spell the name of the author correctly.
***Note that not every example included below is an error. In some groupings, a correct usage is included along with the errors.***
COPY DESK FOR WEEK 1
- Alright, she would find a seat and wait for introductions later.
- It had the number nine (her favorite number) twice in secession…
- The year was 1993 — a fact which in later years would bring here immense satisfaction…
- But as the novel develops the efficacy of this armour declines, and in response to this
- There was talk of a guardian angel among her kindergarten teachers.
- she said to one doctor after another “she’s just hasty. We can’t keep up with her. She doesn’t think”.
- She often imagined his favorite hiding pace would be the laundry hamper as it comes with a soft layer of protection.
- He was far tamer then she, not daring to say anything more outrageous then ‘bullocks’ in the presence of his parents.
- – As a child she was hopelessly reckless; always regretting her choices thirty seconds after her feet left solid ground, and thirty seconds before her face landed on it.
– Her smile in those days was like a cherry flavored gummy warm; overly sweet and clearly artificial
– The insinuation to the reader is clear: just as when Rabbit parks and feels the state babying him, so do (or should) all people in America.
– His ‘You’ situates ‘Us’ at the side of repugnance, lust, fears of loneliness, and nausea; later, it will also situate us alongside his sadness and his lost-at-sea uncertainty and despair.
- They talked about the most irrelevant things in the hallway of the hospital.
- She didn’t care if someone would attack her at three o’clock in the morning when she was walking alone.
- That stranger, a drug-dealer who doesn’t care about anything saw that she needed help different from the numb release provided by drugs.
- – As you read a book written in second person narration the character and the imagery is projected in to your brain.
– These moments of depression can also often serve as examples of free indirect narration because they are unguarded and uncensored moments where the characters are, in many ways speaking only to themselves.
– His drug-fueled escapades are followed wearily by us, the readers, who want nothing more than to slap some sense into him.
– It makes the reader identify with Rabbit’s experiences, ones which are so relatable that the reader is likely to miss the fact that the narration shifts from third to second person. I’m conflicted as to what relation the second person has, if at all, to free indirect narrative in Bright Lights, Big City.
– I feel somehow always particularly close to the use 2nd person in novels and short stories.
(***NB: Samples in #13 feature one point of grammar in common, but also distinct problems you should address.)
- Mc Inerny’s
WEEK 1 READING RESPONSE: MCINERNY, WOOD, UPDIKE
- – It’s central theme is alienation.
– It’s occasional uses, while immersing us within the story…
– quite the opposite of its expected result
- – the author’s 2nd-person narration
– the free-indirect narrative style we studied this week
– Rabbit at rest (Updike) starts with third person narration.
– The second person voice is also a great supplement to free-indirect narration, for while free-indirect narration helps us get really close inside the narrators’ mind, the second person voice cements this intimacy with a general appeal to the reader’s own experience.
– BLBC needs the second-person narration. It needs it to sweep the reader off its feet by being direct and quick.
- – I was filled with annoyance for the book I would have to read…
– Perceptions are sharpened in the readers mind through such an appeal