Thursday, September 20, 2007

And he mentions my town! NO ONE ever mentions my town!

40 pages into Oscar Wao, and I'm loving it. It helps that he mentions places in Jersey I know, including the town I grew up in, streets I know. But mostly, because it's such a damn easy read - so funny, so laidback, and Oscar is this lovable fat kid that you can't help but feel for. We've all known kids like him - hell, we probably secretly made fun of kids like him - and he's endlessly sympathetic in his awkwardness. The kind of situations he puts himself in, the kind of person he is... it's so fun and well-done and yet a little bit heartbreaking in its funniness. He really makes it all seem so effortless, in a way that I very much envy.

I'm a little thrown off by some of the Spanish dialogue because I never took Spanish so I'm not really sure what some of it means (though I try, a collaboration of the little I learned from watching Sesame Street, knowledge of Latin roots and trying to find similarities between the French I remember). It frustrates me a little because, while I get the jist of what's being said, I have the sneaking suspicion it'd be even awesomer if I knew exactly what it meant. I kind of wish I had the internet with me at all times so I could google every word. But oh well. [I was similarly frustrated with Lolita, in that I didn't know all of the French, but was usually never around a comp to translate].

However, I do very much like the random footnotes that are effing hilarious but give you context for things you probably don't know about (which he pokes at endlessly, knowing full well that practically nobody knows anything about Dominican history).

Okay it's only the first 40 pages, but if it stays on track like this, I think I'm going to be enjoying my time immensely.

By the way, if you've noticed I've deviated from the "classics" for awhile now, you are correct. But it's because I feel like I need to put myself in a contemporary mindset (as well as taking a close look at what recent writers have done) as I start to try to even think about starting a novel.

1 drops:

moonrat said...

yeah, it's a good idea... especially since for some people (like me) writing style is so horribly affected by what you're reading!! my tenth grade english teacher always told me not to read at all unless i wasn't planning on writing that month. hmm. looks like i've gone entirely in the other direction.

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