Justin Kramon Justin's Comments (member since Mar 08, 2010)


Justin's comments from the Readers and Reading group.

(showing 1-9 of 9)

Mar 15, 2010 10:20AM

10168 I can understand why the use of quotes would be annoying. It's true that most nonfiction wouldn't be that open to such personal interpretation. But I think the same issue with quoting could be a problem in fiction or any writing that relies on memory. Even a fictionalized character might have trouble accurately remembering a conversation that happened when she was 3 or 4 years old. But fiction often directly quotes very old conversations.

I'm thinking that maybe each genre has its own expectations about accuracy. But I also think JoAnn has a good point that memoirs have become more popular over time for some reason. Proust could have made "Remembrances of Things Past" a memoir, and Henry Miller could have made "Tropic of Cancer" a memoir -- but both chose to make them novels for some reason related to the times they were writing in and their expectations of what books do.
Mar 12, 2010 01:28PM

10168 Maybe in a lot of memoirs, the hardship provides some of the narrative tension you get in a novel when the character faces challenges. In most novels, I feel like I read on to see if some situation is going to work out -- a love relationship, a friendship, a detective solving a case -- and in most memoirs, the situation that might not work out is the narrator's life. But there are some memoirs, like Under the Tuscan Sun, that are about lighter challenges, and still are very popular...
Mar 12, 2010 08:38AM

10168 JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "I would guess that i..."

That's an interesting point. Do you think that's the main reason people decide to make a book a memoir and not a novel? Or do you think there are other artistic reasons?
Mar 12, 2010 06:25AM

10168 I was curious about her next book, but haven't had the chance to read it yet. It is really interesting about how people decide what is "true" in a memoir. I always feel like the facts are not important when I'm reading a book -- that I'm more interested in the emotional truth -- but maybe that's because I write fiction. I guess a really good memoir should read well as a novel, too, right? I mean, would The Glass Castle be just as interesting if she was a fictional character?
Mar 09, 2010 08:11PM

10168 I agree...and also just thought it was amazing how un-self-pitying the book was. All of her feelings came out without her having to be angry or blame anyone.
Mar 09, 2010 01:56PM

10168 Thanks, Deborah and R. Nice to "meet" both of you, too. Deborah, I'm glad you realized I wasn't talking about the Booth Tarkington novel -- definitely not like Olive Kitteridge! And R, it's always good to meet more Philadelphians. (Is that the word?)

Have others in the group read "The Glass Castle"? Just finished that the other day and was wondering what people thought of it...
Mar 09, 2010 07:10AM

10168 JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "re: Alice Adams....Justin, I have just never been able to enjoy her books and I am not sure why.

I was in Philadelphia the other day...the Main Line...and now I see why people who live there take ..."


Yes, traffic and parking are two of the worst things about Philly.
Mar 08, 2010 03:16PM

10168 JoAnn/QuAppelle wrote: "Nice to "meet" you, Justin, and hope you stop in often. Many of us here loved Olive Kitteridge...I thought it was such a special book. I also like Munro's stories, although I have not read many of ..."

Hey JoAnn,

Nice to "meet" you, too! I am from Baltimore, but I live in Philadelphia now. My parents are still in Baltimore and I go there a lot. I've seen that collection you're talking about, and have read and enjoyed a couple pieces from it. I also like reading fiction set in familiar places and seeing how the authors write about them.

By the way, I just have to tell you that if you like Alice Munro and Elizabeth Strout, I think you'd love Alice Adams. I don't know if as many people read her anymore, but she has a book called "Superior Women" that was a bestseller I think in the 80's -- amazing book, amazing writer. She's just so good at talking about people's feelings and thoughts, and her books are unbelievably entertaining -- like reading gossip by a smart and funny friend. Anyway, just thought I'd mention...
Mar 08, 2010 08:52AM

10168 I hope you all don't mind, but I just saw your discussion group and it looked great and I thought I'd drop by. Like others in this group, I recently finished reading Olive Kitteridge and loved it. I just thought Elizabeth Strout made all the characters come alive and was really good at making unsympathetic characters become sympathetic, as you got to know them. I also recently picked up the newest Alice Munro collection -- she's one of my favorite authors. Just thought I'd mention her for anyone who liked Olive Kitteredge.


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