23 March 2004

“St. Jude” and “The Failure”

Whew. First day of class was OK. This is a lot more reading than my students are used to. A few interesting things:

Think about the clutter in Alfred and Enid’s house. How is this emblematic of what follows?

It seems pretty obvious that the second part refers to Chip, who doesn’t come across well in any of his adventures. But are there other “failures” here? (A key is to pinpoint when the events occur in relation to what happens in later sections. (E.g., could Denise be a failure? Alfred? Gary? Enid? Gitanas?)

What are some of Franzen’s key terms so far? I’m intrigued by his flexible use of correction and to correct. Also, keep track of Mexican A. It’ll turn up in unexpected locations.

For Thursday: “The More He Thought About It, the Angrier He Got”


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