Josh's Reviews > The Abyss

The Abyss by Marguerite Yourcenar
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's review
Jan 26, 12

really liked it
Read in January, 2012

Mysteriously satisfying. As far as historical recreations go, something like the polar opposite of Deadwood or Amalgamation Polka: the past is interesting not because of its excessive color and profuse cocksucking but because of the relentless nature of its blandness. I find myself puzzling over how exactly Y manages this. She gets a certain amount of momentum from establishing and then abjuring scenes; everything is setup for more setup, narrative for more narrative, until you realize that, like most narrative-heavy books (Bolano's 2666 is another good example), the real hero of this story is fate, meaning Death, the end (The End) to which all good things must come. Which makes you think, "Okay, I guess it's okay if none of the normally exciting things happen, since really this is a book [like its protagonist] that sees excitement as a sort of cop out, excuse, avoidance". Emotional syncopation, maybe? (or "noncopation": removing the stress from the score entirely) And yet I have to admit The Abyss ends up resembling someone I never thought it would during the first 2/3rds: Albert Camus. Y's hero makes a legitimate, believable stand, and does indeed feel more heroic for doing so. Relentlessly unhistrionic.
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02/13 marked as: read

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