Last night I started “The Marriage Plot” by Jeffrey Eugenides. I wasn’t sure I would like it or get into it, since I tried reading “Middlesex”, an award winning novel about an hermaphrodite by the same author, but never went on beyond a few pages.
I’m really getting to like it: the plot (ahah) is pretty simple: the protagonist, Madeleine, is writing her thesis, which is based on the marriage plot, which is the kind of (mostly) Victorian novel that revolves around marriage and usually concludes with a happy wedding between protagonists. Madaleine, though, is far from getting married, and goes through all her relationships during college. For now it seems a pretty light read, even though I don’t really like how Eugenides makes the protagonist flashback: sometimes it’s as if she’s flashbacking DURING the flashback, which is a bit confusing and not linear enough for me.
Since I love the Victorian English novel, in this book I find many references to books I love. One of the passages I’ve read that I like is when one of the characters, Mitchell, makes a reference to Franny and Zooey – and when Salinger is involved, even to cite a passage etc, 90% of the time, I’m in.
Important (for now) in this novel, is a book called “A lover’s discourse” by French philosopher Roland Barthes: basically it’s about the language of love, the meaning of certain words and how they reflect on the human behavior when in love or heartbroken: for example there is a passage where he talks about “Young Werther” by Goethe and the question is: does Werther cry because he’s genuinely sad, or because he is a helpless romantic? The more I get into “The Marriage Plot”, the more I am intrigued by what Barthes has to say in his work, so I might read it oneday, if I ever feel like it. I’m hoping that between today and tomorrow I’ll be through with TMP, but it isn’t very likely – but I already chose my next book: “The long walk” by Stephen King. Can’t wait to read it!