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Mulligan Stew - Spine 2015 > Discussion - Week Four - Mulligan Stew - Chapter 10 - 14

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
This discussion covers Chapter 10 – 14, page 323 – 446
Conclusions/Book as a whole


Mkfs | 210 comments Well, ol' Sorrentino really got his digs in at just about every genre, eh?

Westerns, erotica, horror, modern plays, physics papers, even interviews with self-made (and ego-inflated) men.


message 3: by Jim (last edited Dec 13, 2015 01:44AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
Mkfs wrote: "Well, ol' Sorrentino really got his digs in at just about every genre, eh?

Westerns, erotica, horror, modern plays, physics papers, even interviews with self-made (and ego-inflated) men."


He does grind many an axe indeed!

I've gone past the half-way point in the book, and as much fun as it is to chuckle at his barbs, I'm not finding it to be an enriching experience, as Calvino was. Will have to see how I feel when I finish.


message 4: by Zadignose (last edited Mar 08, 2016 03:36AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zadignose | 444 comments I meant to come back to comment on the ending a while ago, but I'm only getting around to it now.

Anyway, the ending was calculated to frustrate, wasn't it?

In theory, Sorrentino could have allowed Lamont to:

-Finish his book with something equally ridiculous to everything else that came before.
-Finish his book in a way that means he will have to revise everything, thus it's still open ended, and we know the process may be never ending.
-Finished in a way that satisfied himself, even though he's delusional and no one else will understand (including us.)

But, worst of all, with his lead character fleeing before the final chapter, and with Lamont trailing off into greater inanity, we're in permanent suspense as to whether he can proceed at all.

Furthermore, Lamont has been degraded in so many other ways.

After railing madly against his brother-in-law/rival's pornographic writings, he pathetically tries to pander through his own pornographic excess.

His one chapter that seems to point to a kind of radical turn in the novel is one that he disowns and is not sure that he even wrote it... he's become as mad as can be, perhaps.

His paranoia is extreme, and yet we're left thinking that there may in fact be someone fucking with him... I mean, someone at least wrote him that earlier mocking letter, and many have reasonable motive to attack him at this point.

From introducing suggestions that he may even have plagiarized his rival, we've moved to a penultimate chapter which is just a cycling and recycling of phrases already hashed out... by Lamont himself and perhaps others.


message 5: by Jim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
Zadignose wrote: "From introducing suggestions that he may even have plagiarized his rival, we've moved to a penultimate chapter which is just a cycling and recycling of phrases already hashed out... by Lamont himself and perhaps others..."

Raising the idea that there is nothing new under the sun. We keep telling the same stories, because we keep living the same lives and having the same pains and pleasures, so why do we keep doing it?

Do artists create because each generation wants their own story told? peut être...

"Every generation sends a hero up the pop charts" - Paul Simon


Zadignose | 444 comments I remember already ten years ago when I noticed I'd fallen completely out of touch with what was going on in music, and I heard the names of some new popular bands I'd never heard of before, and I just thought: What, you mean they keep making new ones?


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