The Classics discussion

25 views

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
Golman writes the book as if he's writing an abridged version written by a man named Morgenstern. He even goes so far as to explain his connection with this book as a child.

Why go so far to create this story within a story? Does he simply want to make the story seem authentic to ground it because so many events in the book seem preposterous?


message 2: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) That's a good theory duckthief. I think he did it because it gives him more things to make fun of satirize. For example, starlets and publishing companies, family relationships, elements of literary fiction.

And it does ground his imaginary world in our real world, which makes the asides work. Before Italy but after pasta. (I don't have my book so I can't give you a real example.)



message 3: by Abby (new)

Abby | 2 comments I'm not sure if this has a lot to do with the original question, but it's what immediately came to mind, so I thought I'd share...
things seem to end well at the end of the book, but then Goldman tells us that what really happened was that Inigo's wound reopens, the castle guard catches up with them, and that things probably don't end as well as we'd like.
After getting so caught up in the book (in 7th grade, it literally made me forget I was at school), and seeing the film, this came as a HUGE disappointment to me.
The book is actually very cynical throughout - some of this comes through in the film, as well. Perhaps Goldman is telling us that swashbuckling tales of pirates and giants and miracles are great, but you are eventually going to have to return to your own world and live your own "unfantastic" existence.
Just my 2 cents... :)


message 4: by Peaktopeak (new)

Peaktopeak Hi! New here...I love to read the classics and have others to talk about them with...I like that idea about grounding the story. The framing kept me kind of detached so I always felt aware I was reading a fantastical story - a fairy tale. It is also a device so that readers can get what they want from the story. Sometimes, in certain moods, you may want to end at "Happily Ever After". Sometimes, in certain moods, you may be very aware that the wound will likely fester and the prince will likely chase them. It may end up being a way to experience the book differently at different times.


message 5: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
Goldman's a smart writer. He's able to get away with giving us lots of exposition without weighing down the story. Notice how he interjects every so often to tell us what he's left out. Only he doesn't leave it out, he tells us exactly what Morgenstern had written, enriching the background of the story and setting.


message 6: by Rosie (last edited Apr 20, 2009 12:40PM) (new)

Rosie (rosie_reality) | 8 comments Not to be intentionally controversial but I found the interupptions annoying, and most of what was described could have been introduced in the actual narrative. It might be my own childish nature, but I *like* fantastical swashbuckling adventure stories, and I could have done without the gimmicky Morgenstern stuff.

It also lets Goldman indirectly compliment his own book, by calling it "Morgenstern's masterpiece", yet then all he seems to say about Morgenstern is that he drivels on and goes off on tangents (exactly what Goldman himself does!) about trees and hats and Goldman paints a picture of lawsuits and negativity involved with the Morgenstern estate. Very odd.

I really enjoyed the swordfights and the actual story part of it but the author's method annoys me, personally. It's a bit narcissistic. I wouldn't mind someone adbridging the interupptions out!


message 7: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) Rosie wrote: "It also lets Goldman indirectly compliment his own book, by calling it "Morgenstern's masterpiece", yet then all he seems to say about Morgenstern is that he drivels on and goes off on tangents (exactly what Goldman himself does!) about trees and hats and Goldman paints a picture of lawsuits and negativity involved with the Morgenstern estate. Very odd..."

Rosie, what Goldman is doing is satire. He is making fun of "literary fiction" for driveling on and on and going off on tangents, and apparently he's also making fun of himself as he is doing the same.

I understand this doesn't work for everyone. Each person's sense of humor is very different. But I think it's hilarious.



message 8: by Rosie (new)

Rosie (rosie_reality) | 8 comments I realise the satire in it, I just don't think it's entirely well done. Catch-22 is a satirical novel, but it reads like a novel - Joseph Heller doesn't interuppt with anecdotes about a fictional son. There isn't a sentence in it, though, that doesn't drip with sarcasm and get the point across, which I think is the mark of a good author; to be able to tell a fluid story and still send the underlying message through.

I think it would have been better served if he'd written the entire thing in narrative prose, made events even more ridiculous, and went off on tangents the way he did in the first chapter describing all the beautiful women. I appreciated the (This was before ... but after...) additions for their satirical tone, but the inclusion of himself in his own book was just annoying. I think satire is best done when it sticks to the same form as what it's designed to make fun of. But I always seem to deviate from the majority opinion. =)


message 9: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) I'll have to read Catch-22. I tried in my teenage years but it was over my head. Maybe I'll get it now.


back to top