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  • Mary Jo
    Bill, Thank you for raising the bar. Now I d like to raise the ante. The novel `The Corrections is an existential masterpiece. It s contemporary and not
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31, 2004
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      Bill, Thank you for raising the bar. Now I'd like to raise the ante.
      The novel `The Corrections' is an existential masterpiece. It's
      contemporary and not sentimental. You can relate to pieces of each
      character: well at least I did. I highly recommend it. In the hands
      of a deft screenwriter it will make an intelligent and humorous

      How much should we tolerate or hope for in our human relationships?
      How much money do we really need to be happy? Suicide, sexuality, the
      stock market, pharmaceuticals, caring for aging parents, Midwestern
      values in general, principles & pragmatism in business, insurance
      companies, neurochemical research, violence, and absolutely no
      religion. Only one secondary character involves herself in catholic
      ritual, partly as a protest, her own confused correction.

      As someone observed about `No Exit`: "The drawing-room scene in hell,
      where there is no executioner because each character tortures the
      other two, has the eeriness of a Gothic tale, the frustration of
      sexuality, the pedagogy of existentialist morality. The least guilty
      of the three seems to be Garcin, and he suffers the most under the
      relentless intellectualizing and even philosophizing of Inez. At the
      end of the play, Garcin complains of dying too early. He did not have
      time to make his own acts. Inez counters this with the full Sartrean
      proclamation: `You are nothing else but your life.'

      Not everyone will understand our corrections, which in themselves can
      also exact a high price; but as an individual whose freedom and
      integrity are one the line everyday, I suggest we need the courage to
      make them. Sometimes the corrections are worse than what needed
      correcting. This is the existential predicament. Can we live with our
      corrections? Can we live without them?

      For fun I'm now reading 'On the Road' for the second time since
      college. Clinton's Life sits aside looming in its immensity. I'm
      reading that for fun too. Kerouac's paperback has seen better days.
      The inside intro calls the characters 'Zen barbarians'. There's a
      great chapter at the beginning about crossing Iowa. Jack said in 1947
      that Des Moines girls were the prettiest. By the time he wrote the
      actual novel and he was accepted for publication, he wasn't so young
      and romantic anymore. He'd made lots of corrections to both his
      manuscript and his life. Some were great, some not so great. That's
      how it goes.

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