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message 1: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments Discuss.

message 2: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 497 comments Another great summary, Jonathan. You basically have a review in your summaries.

message 3: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 497 comments You have nicely filled out this forum with your summaries, Jonathan. I think between my review and your summaries, we did this book justice. Thank you for doing all that.

message 4: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 497 comments And you still won't consider putting your wonderful summaries into a review, Jonathan?

message 5: by Aloha (new)

Aloha | 497 comments Yeah, yeah, you hate being second. :o) You have your first place at the summaries. I love Ingmar Bergman films, BTW.

message 6: by Nathan "N.R.", James Mayn (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 662 comments Jonathan's deleted posts ::

The last chapter closed on Mayn asking himself why his marriage fell apart. This one opens trying to answer that question, if there is an answer, going back again into Mayn's past (whether he is really IN FUTURE or not). 'But what came first?' A first date. '56. A Russian Place. Young Joy gave Young Jim hell, thought him an insider and the type to keep a couple girls, but he kept at it, liked her 'slow smile made witty'. From there we jump 'elsewhere in time'-space, when-where Jim and Joy are together and/or apart, dating, married, seperated, divorced. Though we, in this first half of the chapter, often circle back to the night of a party (maybe multiple parties?) and a morning after (immediately after?) when Mayn walks his daughter to the school bus.

Joy, 'a name [Mayn] wasn't crazy about': Also known during the good times by pet names Leafie, Needles, Nuzzle, Lark. Her mother is dead. Her father, a paper chemist in Chicago. She worked before she had kids. She was in the lighting design business.

Mayn: Also known as Ghost or Ghostie, from the song "I don't stand a Ghost of a Chance With You" (Bing Crosby, but lots of other prominent folks too). He had been a newspaperman when they met, now known as a coorespondant, but he's never a beareau chief like Joy would have liked (those stay in one place). Began with the AP. Left. Came back. Ends up working for the 'clean-shaven Argentine' Long, who sent Mayn 'where he discovered he wanted to go'. Young Mayn never quite becomes his insiration Ernie Pyle (below, with Marines on Okinawa), Pyle's life was 'there in the lives of other men so that his understanding of them takes the place of their future that is not there at all', but Mayn is passionate about, 'care[s] about the work' if not a 'damn about the job'.

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Joy and Jim, short version: 'Their story covered many years and it was that Mayn spent too much time away.'

Like, Jim says he can't join Joy and kids in the country because of an airplane strike, and Joy plays a fool for a bit but isn't one, she knows Mayn isn't talking about the strike as an obstacle, but a story to cover.

A party. It's the last time Joy calls Mayn "Ghostie". We have several new characters there, but some we possibly know. Lucille Silver, possibly Luce from the earlier chapters Joy's 'never at a loss friend' but more likely another name-twin to add to our list, Ave (short for Avery, like the young Minister in the last Grace chapter, though they can't be the same guy can they? This Ave is a metal engineer. Does Ave simply stay young looking?), Rick, Martin Wagner who is some kind of money manager...

The morning: Joy tells Jim Flick is old enough to catch the bus herself. Flick: "You don't own him" "Yes I do" "Does she?" Jim: "She only rents me." He does walk her to the bus, then walks through NY street, the 'sun smeared' day version of the night streets in Alias Missing Information (and years earlier). Jim asks himself, so who will leave first?

Thanks. I have some decent ideas jotted down for a review, but I'm not really enthusiastic about the process. I don't review a ton and only feel the need to for W&M because it's woefully unread. I think you pretty much nailed the summary-review thing (and am very happy about the amount of attention it got, 'tmeans more readers!), so I don't want or feel the need to edit together my summaries and tread on that territory. We'll see what happens...

pp.1020-1054 part 1
This chapter continues to be time-diffuse. I'm going to try to stick to few events.

Hair Cut 1: Joy would cut Mayn's hair. Two different hair cut sessions are prominent. First is an early one, when Joy is pregnant with Flick (Flick is born in ~'56 by my calculations (so, really soon after Jim and Joy meet)). Mayn and Joy get into an argument about Mayn's relations with Mel culminating in Mayn accusing her of infecting his thought patterns: "'spite'? where the hell did I get that word, I never say 'spite'-it must have come from you.". Mayn, without seeing it, knows he has made a 'tear push out of her lower lashes'. He tries to cut the harshness with humor after the fact, "in future you better watch it, kid" but the event so early in their marriage seems to follow it...

pp.1020-1054 part 2

Hair Cut 2: Ten years later, under the shears again, Mayn retells to Joy a story that he hears at the bar, initially told by Spence to the bartender, before including Mayn in his address. Let's interrupt our hair cut and listen to a

Ghost Story (In Windrow?)
'For Spence had been in a fine American cemetery hunting for the caretaker so he could check the lot chart and take a look at a grave-old mound that never had a headstone'. While there he hears 'a pounding [...] in the earth [...,] it seemed to come right up from the Earth he was standing on, right?'. It's a ghost story, so of course there are details like his speculation of the 'dead conversing [...] on their backs', but I'm supposed to be summarizing, so... A golf ball skips off a gravestone. Spence sees a mausoleum open and a man in white jeans comes out, gets the ball, goes back into the mausoleum and seems to be absorbed into the mausoleum glass. A woman in a sunsuit comes looking for the ball. Spence tells her about the guy who took it, directs her into the mausoleum. Spence begins to walk away when she comes at him (with her golf iron) yelling "You bastard". Spence runs away laughing and gets into his car. (there is also this great little WWII ghost story on page 1039 that I have to draw attention to.) Also of note re: Spence, though not part of this story is that Spence knows about Sarah Mayn's suicide without Mayn having told that son of a bitch.

Hair Cut 2, part 2: Joy: "Your golf course next to the cemetery, the cemetery next to the race track." The pounding? Horse hooves. Spence didn't say a track. Joy recognized that Spence was likely in Windrow before Mayn did. Joy cuts her hand with the shears. Mayn tastes her blood and 'in the blood that clung to his tongue [...] he knew that he would give up.

pp.1020-1054 part 3

Violence 1: Eighteen-year-old Flick: "Who screwed around first?" We don't know, really. We know about Jim and Mayga. We also suspect Joy and Martin Wagner. Or at least Jim did when he made his nose '[turn] more than a corner', even if 'Wagner's trouble or pain [was] distinctly greater than assailant's jealousy'.

Violence 2: The marriage lasted ~12 years. Joy leaves soon after Mayn open-hand strikes her. They 'turned into bilious kooks who might have drunk too much' (though they had only drunk a third of a bottle three hours ago). This after an escalating fight that begins with a simple what do you want for Christmas this year? A chilling passage, especially because I feel I know them both so well. "Why did I do that?" 'They were both crazy, but no he was protecting himself thinking that.'

Parting and after: We basically know what becomes of Mayn. Joy moves to New Hampshire, is with a man named Jack (not Jack Beebe? If not, he's a name-twin -err more than twin, we have Jackie in prison and of course Jack London). Flick to a boarding school in Vermont. Andrew stays with Mom. Joy and Jim still talk on the phone, still sometimes know what the other is thinking across distance, a telepathy. Still love one another enough to be hurt by one another, like when Joy says something that shows she forgot Mayn's mom had committed suicide. (I go back to 1005) They are no longer together, 'on course to new decades','though each sometimes forgets-he waking one morning out of a hundred, she dreaming and waking in the middle of the night in the country'.


Very happy to see a mention of one of my all-time favorite films, Bergman's Persona, which involves an extreme version of the smaller, finer mirrorings occurring throughout W&M (frame from the film is below). 'thinking again how he might after all have found a way to live with his wife, [...] he could phone the dreaded Lucille once, and he could like her, and be told to see a movie called Persona and see it and wonder if women were Lesbians.'


I'll write something! I just don't want to make an über-summary, because you already did that so well.

Me too! He is incredible. Thinking about W&M and Persona got me thinking about Krzysztof Kieślowski's Double Life of Véronique. That film's mysterious trans-country doubling seems to match tonally with the more eccentric elements of W&M. Here is Weronika in Poland:


and her mirror in France, Véronique (of course, I had to get a still of her reading):


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