Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's First Paragraph Tuesday


Every Tuesday Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea posts the opening paragraph of a novel she decided to read based on that paragraph. That is definitely the case for me with the opening of Jeffrey Eugenides book The Marriage Plot. Here's my take on the book. I wasn't 100% sold but I'm working up the courage to tackle his Pulitzer Prize winning Middlesex. Anyway, here's the opening of The Marriage Plot...pretty enticing, wouldn't you say?

To start with, look at all the books. There were her Edith Wharton novels, arranged not by title but date of publication; there was the complete Modern Library set of Henry James, a gift from her father on her twenty-first birthday; there were the dog-eared paperbacks assigned in her college courses, a lot of Dickens, a smidgen of Trollope, along with good helpings of Austen, George Eliot, and the redoubtable Bronte sisters. There were a whole lot of black-and-white New Directions paperbacks, mostly poetry by people like H.D. or Denise Levertov. There were the Colette novels she read on the sly. There was the first edition of Couples, belonging to her mother, which Madeleine had surreptitiously dipped into back in sixth grade and which she was using now to provide textual support in her English honors thesis on the marriage plot. There was, in short, this mid-sized but still portable library representing pretty much everything Madeleine had read in college, a collection of texts, seemingly chosen at random, whose focus slowly narrowed, like a personality test, a sophisticated one you couldn’t trick by anticipating the implications of its questions and finally got so lost in that your only recourse was to answer the simple truth. And then you waited for the result, hoping for “Artistic,” or “Passionate,” thinking you could live with “Sensitive,” secretly fearing “Narcissistic” and “Domestic,” but finally being presented with an outcome that cut both ways and made you feel different depending on the day, the hour, or the guy you happened to be dating: “Incurably Romantic.”

2 comments:

  1. "Loved it"! How could any book lover not enjoy that intro? (I didn't know a movie was planned - I did enjoy the book).

    I had a hard time dinding your blog as there was no link in the email and no way to respond by email?? Must be something with your settings. I actually had to google the name of your blog to locate you.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hmmm, how odd! I entered my site url but maybe I had a typo? Thanks for letting me know.

    ReplyDelete

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