Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Nightwoods" by Charles Frazier. *****

> Audiobook, narrated by Will Patton
> Orig. published 2011

> Characters: Luce (caretaker of old tourist lodge), Lilli (her sister), Bud (Lilli's husband who killed her) Dolores & Frank (Lilli's two children from other father, now living with Lucy , sociopaths), Stubblefield (grandson who inherits the lodge)

> Setting> Rural North Carolina, I think

> lyrical prose contrasts the dark, troubled story

>. LibraryThing Review: I urge you to take this journey into "Nghtwoods"! Charles Frazier has created a marvelous contrast between lyrical prose and a dark tale of emotional damage and its resolution. Luce, the protagonist, is a powerful mix of wounded creature and earth mother. She is presented with her sister's children, twins, Dolores and Frank, who are emotionally damaged almost beyond redemption. However, Luce's instincts and the night woods open the door to potential transformation. A dark, harrowing, yet hopeful story, this novel has met all three of my criteria for excellence in terms of use of language, memorable characters, and a wonderful plot!

"Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter" by Mario Vargas Llosa *****

> LT Year long author read,2011
> orig. published 1977
> Wonderfully witty
> Autobiographical
> Epigraph: "I write. I write that I am writing. Mentally I see myself writing that I am writing and I can also see myself seeing that I am writing. I remember writing and also seeing myself writing. And I see myself remembering that I see myself writing and I remember seeing myself remembering that I was writing and I write seeing myself write that I remember having seen myself write that I saw myself writing that I was writing and that I was writing that I was writing that I was writing. I can also imagine myself writing that I had already written that I would imagine myself writing that I had written that I was imagining myself writing that I see myself writing that I am writing." --Salvador Elizondo

> Setting: Lima Peru

> Characters: Narrator (18 year old Mario, works for a radio station), the Scriptwriter (Pedro Camacho, writes serial scripts for the radio station, a national star, obsessive), Aunt Julia (Mario's uncle's sister-in-law, age 34, returned from Bolivia as a widow, looking for a husband, becomes secret girlfriend of Mario)

> Vocabulary:
1) proparoxytones: having an accent or heavy stress on the antepenultimate syllable.
2) jeremiads: a prolonged lamentation or mournful complaint.
3) oligophrenics: less than normal mental development.
4) acromegalics: a chronic disease characterized by enlargement of the bones of the head, the soft parts of the feet and hands, and sometimes other structures, due to excessive secretion of growth hormone by the pituitary gland.
5) ukase: any order or proclamation by an absolute or arbitrary authority.
6) oneiric: of or pertaining to dreams.
7) coprolalia: the obsessive use of scatological language.
8) chrematistic: of, denoting, or relating to money-making

> p.91..."Aunt Julia sometimes gave me a resume of certain episodes that had impressed her, and I in turn gave her a rundown of my conversations with the scriptwriter, and thus, little by little, Pedro Camacho became a constituent element in our romance."

> p.93..."But obviously art and money are mortal enemies, like pigs and daisies."

> p.159..."Do you think that it's possible to produce offspring and stories at the same time? That one can invent, imagine, if one lives under the threat of syphilis? Women and art are mutually exclusive, my friend. In every vagina an artist is buried."...the scriptwriter

> stories within stories....clever structure...refer to epigraph

> p. 195..."How could he be, at one and the same time, a parody of the writer and the only person in Peru who, by virtue of the time he devoted to his craft and the works he produced, was worthy of that name?" narrator about the scriptwriter

> LibraryThing Review: It is no surprise that Llosa is a Nobel Laureate! This is a story about a budding author who writes news stories and short stories and is influenced by a scriptwriter who goes mad writing stories. Did I tell you that it is autobiographical? Llosa really did marry his aunt's sister-in-law and then go on to marry his first cousin. The characters in this story are absolutely marvelous as well. Just when I began to lose the thread that tied all of this together, I referred to the marvelous epigraph which made my head spin even further. Are you intrigued yet? A great read!