Just finished Chronicle of a Death Foretold yesterday. Didn't really feel the Nobel Peace Prize win-niness.
Also recently finished The Great Gatsby.
Went back to greater elaborate my thoughts to find that the "time-to-edit" has expired.
Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez- What's the point of inverting the chronological order of the unfolding of the crime if there's no payoff? It definitely added to the tension of the beginning of the novel, but really by the end, the murder seemed rather banal, despite the gruesomenss of how it was committed, merely because the characters seemed to find it rather banal too. I suspect it's meant to inspire some feelings of horror and empathy at the tragedy of uncaringness in the world, of the shirking of responsiblity and and inevitability of being forced by social pressure (I think some more familiarity with that culture of machismo and religiousness would help me).
But really, it's easy to write of people failing. (Which is why it is such a lazy device to kill off people in a short story. It ties up loose ends. It's a cheap thrill. But you get criticism, not constructive criticism. You don't actively *learn*.) It's especially to write of people failing when you tell the audience they fail from the beginning. Hence the most interesting parts of the story are the - the lives of twins (though their moral dilemna pre-killing Santiago is also interesting) and the life-as-a-spinster of Angela Vicario. Moving on is interesting, compelling- it teaches. Dwelling, reliving, condemning- not so much.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald:
The obsession with wealth never ceases, eh? Would people die of soul-crushing existential despair if rich people were portrayed as... happy? It's strange, isn't it? Books/movies/TV/etc, they all exploit our want for wealth (by showing it, with plenty of glitzy excess). And they exploit the fear we feel because we don't have wealth, by portraying the rich as incredibly miserable. To use the very human/cultural nature that fuels/IS the interest to moralize that the interest is bad?
Ah, dear sir, if we believed you, we wouldn't need to read your book. We wouldn't want to read your book. And so exists this limbo.
I think there's a lot of Fitzgerald trying to capture the feeling of the time period (1920s). His vocabulary is very impressive and his descriptions in the first part of the book are very evocative and vivid and on-point. Jay Gatsby kind of awesome (other than is fatal flaw of LOVE, cause them womens they be bitches and hos). And I get it's supposed to be some sort of new money vs. old money thing and in the sense that Jay doesn't have a "birthright" (but then the book goes and confirms that he doesn't have a right to be sucessful by killing him off). I guess I never bought into the plot mechanations, which were sort of classic melodrama, which was very jarring in comparison to what was at first spot-on cynical commentary by Nick. (And the poooHoor people all dying horribly, what a nice message. And the rich people being all jackasses. :rolli
Nick and Jordan's relationship is *very* interesting though. Wish there was more on that.
Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?