Sunday, May 22, 2005

Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I got it out of the library today and I'm halfway through, it's brilliant and hilarious and tragic...and well, heartbreaking, staggering, ingenious. I do quite love it, though I'm dashing this update off right now and I haven't the time for something coherent.

In a nutshell: Dave's parents die when he's 22, and he's left to raise his 7-year-old brother, Toph. He's fiercely protective and doesn't really know how to be a dad (or as he refers to himself, a "single mother"):
"I watch Toph interact with the other kids, scanning, suspecting.
Why are those kids laughing?
What are they laughing at? Is it Toph's hat? It's too big, right?
Who are those little pricks? I'll break those little fuckers.
Oh, it was that. Just that. Heh heh. Heh.
Also, as part of the extensive preface, Eggers includes an "incomplete guide to symbols and metaphors," which includes, among other things, sky = emancipation, ocean = mortality, white bed = womb, sun = mother, moon = father, dolls = mother, tiny stuffed bear = mother, Toph = mother, Lake Michigan = mother, and bridge = bridge.

Oh my. Must run. Take care dears.


Anonymous oki said...

that is one of my favoritest books of all time

11:35 PM  
Blogger T.C. said...

Too good! I'm subscribing to McSweeney's Quarterly as soon as possible. Who knew that cool cult literary magazines still existed?!

We yabs should start a cool cult magazine (like McSweeney's meets Wired meets Nylon meets Adbusters meets the New Yorker. Meets mental_floss. Meets Paste...) as part of our empire. What say you?

12:45 AM  
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