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Tuesday, 28 December 2010


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Did you read The Corrections? If so, what did you think?

Roger Mexico

The Patty autobiography voice threw me, too -- so much so that I kept wondering if either a.) there was some kind of weird formal experiment going on here, wherein Patty basically sounds like the novel's narrator with some slight differences in tone or diction -- differences that the reader really ought to pay attention to since they're pretty significant in understanding Patty and the novel as whole; or b.) this is just really sloppy writing.

Your post makes me want to embrace b., but I'm also hesitant to do that since I don't think everything in the novel sounds the same. Consider, for example, the first section -- "Good Neighbors" -- which is told in this breathless, gossipy neighbor voice that is radically different from everything else in the novel (except the final section, which tries to recapitulate the first part, though fails for a number of reasons I think).

Still, yeah, the totally bizarre similarities in narrative voice throughout the rest of the novel -- not to mention the perhaps even more egregious women-in-fridge thing -- are both unforgivable. Although even those are probably not as bad as steering Walter towards radical politics late in the novel and then having him recoil from that position because it turns out that the radicals he meets have dreadlocks. A real Tolstoy this guy.

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