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Near to the Wild Heart
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Near to the Wild Heart - Sp 15 > Discussion - Week Two - Near to the Wild Heart - pg. 93 - 194

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message 1: by Jim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
This discussion covers page 93 – 194
Conclusions/Book as a whole.

“Man is so deeply based in the imagination – Joana again – that the entire world he has built finds its justification in the beauty of the creation and not in its usefulness, not in being the result of a plan with ends adequate to its needs. This is why we see a multiplication of remedies designed to unite man with existing ideas and institutions – education, for example, so difficult – and we see him remain always on the outside of the world he has built.”
(page 112, The Little Family)

Note: Although this text is a kind of continuous narrative, each section is somewhat standalone. To help each other in this discussion, I suggest we include the title of the section when quoting passages – i.e. “Joana’s Day” or “Refuge in the Teacher”

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

Jim | 3055 comments Mod
This book gets intenser* and intenser as it goes. I'm getting a whiff of Meursault from Camus' L'Etranger - a individual whose emotional responses don't meet the expectations of the surrounding society. People seem to be attracted to and repulsed by Joana's non-conforming psyche. This is already going on my reread list before I even finish.

(*I think "intenser" is a word. If it isn't, I call copyright...)

Sarah | 10 comments It certainly does get more intense! The conflict between Joana and those around her, and the conflict within Joana create fantastic tension.

Nicole | 143 comments If I were going to re-read this, which I am not, at least not soon, I would go back and trace every time she talks about being divided from her own self, having a self who is and a self who watches and describes. I feel like that's at the heart of this book, but I can't really do any better than that vague description.

The other thing I'm finding interesting in the second half is the long sequence with her waking up next to her husband, and going through what looks like a radically solipsistic, present-moment evidence only type of thing where she feels she can know nothing about this person. Then this is somehow both confirmed by the fact that in some ways she really doesn't and can't know him, but also made to seem totally overwrought when she finds that he's not about to strangle her in her sleep, he's only cheating on her. It's a really weird and compelling passage.

Nicole | 143 comments Oh also, I find, I am unable to answer the simple question: do you like this book. What's up with that?

Jenny (jennyil) | 54 comments I think she did a masterful job of describing the feelings that one sometimes has in a marriage, particularly one that is doomed to fail. Once the initial passion wears off it can be hard to fit yourself into a marriage, especially when you find out that you may not be the best fit for your partner or able to meet all of their needs.

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