Friday, October 11, 2013

You could feel it: something terrible was going to happen

Welcome to Friday and our first Corrections post. Well first one where we actually talk about the book. And you know what? I actually enjoyed it.
I know, right? What? I thought it was going to be very dense and difficult to get through. The beginning, before we get to Chip's story, was a little bit difficult to start. I didn't just fall into the rhythm. I had to learn it. But once I did, the reading went really fast.

Before we get into the post I have something to share. There was some talk of how Franzey is sort of like Fonzie and hey, wouldn't it be great if that was a thing? I mentioned it to Boyfriend+, and look what he has given us:
We have our mascot

*Beware, for thar be spoilers.* Also this isn't going to be anything coherent but instead a bunch of random thoughts I had while reading. I figured that structure worked out during the HP readalong.

Even though I said I'm actually enjoying the book doesn't mean I LIKE the characters. I mean at this point I don't think enough people are punching Chip. This should be a every-time-he-shows-up type of thing. He's just so terrible and pathetic and pretentious and yes, I do think we're seeing some Franzen in there. But I think it's safe to say there is no issue with Mary Sue-ing here.

Since so much of this first chapter focused on Chip, let's see what notes I took:

Chip wore leather pants to go pick his parents up from the airport. CHIP WORE LEATHER PANTS.
Chip is watching Cent Ans de Cinema Erotique. Dammit, even your porn is pretentious. You are terrible. And you're going to be pissed after throwing your pretentio-porn in the dishwasher, because you are totally going to want that VHS back. I feel like he'd still be watching VHS porn even in the internet age. You know, because Chip is Franzen and they both hate technology.

Of course, Chip had weird sex with an undergrad. Because he's creepy. But then the whole humping the chaise searching for remnants of vaginal tang? That's moving into new and special levels of creepiness
Chip gets so angry at his sister for wearing a tank top in a photo in the magazine. At first I was on his side. "Yeah, why are they doing this girl-as-object thing??" But then I thought about it some more and thought "She's just wearing a fucking tank top? What's the answer? There can't be any photos of women? Or they have to be totally covered up? I hate you Chip." I don't know how much of that is actual anger or how much of it is because Chip sucks so much.

So did Chip end up in Lithuania? I sort of lost the plot at this point.

Now some non-Chip stuff. I am undecided on if I like Enid or not. I think she's a bit racist, from a different time, very concerned with appearances and what the neighbors think and a bit manipulative. Maybe it's more than a bit. I'm hoping to see some more of her. I sort of picture her as a light-weight, Midwestern version of Lucille Bluth. She doesn't seem as conniving as Lucille but I don't think she's as naive as she'd like people to think. Her repeatedly telling Denise the story about Norma? Yeah, she's not as sharp as Lucille, but she knows what she's doing.

We've seen Alfred and Denise, but I feel like we've really only been introduced to Chip and to a slightly lesser extent Enid. I feel like I have opinions about those characters. Al and Denise we have a sketch of them, but we haven't filled in the shading just yet. Then there's Gary who we haven't even met yet.

I hope we get more Denise and Enid in the next section. And Al. I guess.  Oh, and since this opening wasn't nearly as painful as I assumed, I'm thinking we'll be fine to read some extra pages. So read until you get to The Generator chapter break. Til next week!

Title quote from page 3
Franzen, Jonathan. The Corrections. Picador, 2001.