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Marj
Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:23 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
I just reread some pages. While you got the feeling Clare was leaving with mixest feelings I could not find anyplace where Jonathan's illness was a motivation. In fact, I couldn't find any mention of his being ill!

Of course I only reread a few pages and could have missed it.

But the fact that she says, "Somday you'll thank me, sweetie, or maybe you won't" to me indicates ambivilance. I can't help but think if Jonathan were truly ill, she wouldn't be ambivilant at all. Either she would have stayed and cared for him until he died, or left due to his dying. She might have been worried either way, but wouldn't say, "Forgive me, boys. I seem to have gotten what I wanted. A baby of my own. A direction to drive in. The restaurant may not be much to offer in trade but that's what I've got to give you."
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ehle64
Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:54 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 7149 Location: NYC; US&A
There's a part in the book where she's lying in bed waiting for the boys to go to the cafe. She explains what it is she has to do. I don't remember it verbatim, but she mentioned bringing up Rebecca among a lot of death.

As far as Jonathan's illness, I think Cunningham did everything BUT spell it out. Unfortunately, the movie blatantly gives you visuals.
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Marj
Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 10:00 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Wade,

You've now given a place in the book to search for.

Quote:
Unfortunately, the movie blatantly gives you visuals.

Oh, Man!
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Melody
Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2004 10:55 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 2242 Location: TX
Ehle, you are quite perceptive. I hadn't noticed any mention of Jonathan's possibly becoming ill on my first pass, but then I went back and read the passage Marj was unsure of, and I found it.

Rebecca and Clare are lying in bed, and Rebecca has just recited a story involving Bunny from her book and Jonathan and Erich...


Quote:
As I lay listening to her, my chest constricted in panic. I could feel the heat rising to my face. I couldn't tell at first why I was unnerved by what I heard. It was only Rebecca's usual stream of consciousness, the kind of babbling I'd been hearing from her for over a month. But slowly, while lying on the bed with her, I figured it out. She was coming into herself. She was emerging from her foggy self-involvement and beginning to comprehend the independent life of other people. Soon she'd leave her disembodied child-world. She'd remember things. She was a camera getting ready to shoot. Click a brown house with a blue door. Click her favorite toys. Click Jonathan coming to get her in the mornings. She'd carry these images around for the rest of her life.

What if she came into her full consciousness as Erich died and Jonathan started to get sick? What would it do to her if her earliest memories revolved around the decline and eventual disappearance of the people she most adored?

_________________
My heart told my head: This time, no.
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Marj
Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:44 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Thanks Melody,

My problem still is that I always thought Jonathan worried about getting sick. I just don't remember any evidence that he actually did!

Unfortunately that passage, confirms what I thought, but doesn't prove that he actually got sick.

Maybe I'm just missing the obvious?
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ehle64
Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:48 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 7149 Location: NYC; US&A
It's so funny that you guys completely missed that whole part. I mean, when I started re-reading the novel in 2004, I had kinda forgotten it, too. But as soon as the NYC Erich fuckboy scenes started, I was all, OMG, Jonathan's going to die from AIDs. Of course he doesn't by the end of the novel, but I guess that's where my mind led me after reading it for the first time in 1991.
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Marj
Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:57 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Wade wrote:
Funny, you lambast AHatEotW now, I seem to remember that 15 pages to the end of the novel for you, you didn't want it to end.

Melody replied:
Yeah, you're right, Ehle, about my liking AHatEotW and not wanting it to end. I've been careful to delineate my fondness for Cunningham's writing style with my irritability at the characters he chooses to populate his novel with.

I realized this quirk in myself -- believe me, I'm owning this, darlin', as a possible dimming lightbulb of my former literature-grooving self -- as I was skimming back over the novel in order to write about it over in Books.

I'm all over Clare -- I like her character most of all. I can understand why she takes off in the end, having had a very young daughter in a woefully inept living situation at one time myself. And no, I wasn't living with two unhappy gay guys -- probably would have been more palatable.

But Bobby, Jonathan and Erich, these guys are about as realistically unhappy and unsettled as any characters you'll find anywhere. And that never changes.

I realized my putting the book down 15 pages from the end was a reflection of my dread of Cunningham just ending the book with nothing resolved, characters stuck, no HEA, as Kate puts it. Of course, as I now know, this isn't the case -- and there's no HEA, fer sure -- and even YOU admitted you were incredibly sad at the ending. Could there be a tinge of disappointment for you as well that these characters won't ever smile and fucking mean it??

To which Wade responded:
You don't think Bobby means it when he smiles? Just a question, and before we get a "what the hell does this have to do with Current Toodles" post from marc, it is one. I really think that Alice is capable of having many smiles with her Indian lovetoy. I think that Jonathan is going to have many more smiles spending the rest of his days with Bobby (his, to quote you, "head over heels" true love), I think the dance on the porch was to symbolize that. I totally find Clare having many smiles, she generates them, plus there's the daughter factor. Do most people IRL end up happy as clams with big-assed smiles on their faces? Whatever your reasons for feeling the way you do after reading the book, I respect. I mean, there have been times that I have loved/been loving a book and after I read the last word totally whipped the damn book across the room! You never hit upon some of the things I felt were the main themes of the story, and if you could that would be most excellent.

I love this line in your review of wdlham, "I think I'm starting to despise forced realism." At first I thought, thank you LotR's et al. (sarcastically), but then I grabbed hold of the word forced. I, personally, don't think Cunningham was trying to force anything. But hey, that's just my opinion.
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Marj
Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:04 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Wade,

That's exactly where my mind led me too. Jonathan and Erich's affair had AIDS written all over it. BUT, Cunningham's a smart cookie. Maybe that's where he wanted to take us, and perhaps purposely left us with no resolution?

I mean it is predictable, right. What isn't, is that Jonathan lives so much of his life in worry. Perhaps the actual illness is not as important to the author as how Jonathan deals with the possibility of it?
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ehle64
Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:32 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 7149 Location: NYC; US&A
Marj wrote:
Wade,

That's exactly where my mind led me too. Jonathan and Erich's affair had AIDS written all over it. BUT, Cunningham's a smart cookie. Maybe that's where he wanted to take us, and perhaps purposely left us with no resolution?

I mean it is predictable, right. What isn't, is that Jonathan lives so much of his life in worry. Perhaps the actual illness is not as important to the author as how Jonathan deals with the possibility of it?


This post is extremely disturbing to me. I need to take a break from here.
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Marc
Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:49 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
Quote:
This post is extremely disturbing to me. I need to take a break from here


so fuck off!
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Marj
Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:49 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
Wade,

I am so sorry. No post is worth that. I'll be glad to delete it, if you'd like?

Just drop me a line. If I don't hear from you, I'll will delete it. My problem is I don't know what I said to upset you. And the last thing I want to do is repeat the same gaffe. In fact, I thought I was agreeing with you?

But that doesn't matter. I'm cc ing you in email and will look for a reply tomorrow.

I feel like such a dope. And I'm sorry.

Marj
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ehle64
Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:51 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 7149 Location: NYC; US&A
Please don't ever delete your post.

marc, i have nothing to say to you.
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Marc
Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:52 am Reply with quote
Joined: 19 May 2004 Posts: 8423
Quote:
marc, i have nothing to say to you.


THANK GOD/GODDESS.
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Marj
Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 2:56 am Reply with quote
Joined: 21 May 2004 Posts: 10497 Location: Manhattan
MARC!
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ehle64
Posted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 3:02 am Reply with quote
Joined: 20 May 2004 Posts: 7149 Location: NYC; US&A
Marj wrote:
Wade,

That's exactly where my mind led me too. Jonathan and Erich's affair had AIDS written all over it.


This completely disturbs me and is NOT where my mind was. Were they barebacking? Was there lots of talk about not using condoms? Cause if there was, I sure as hell missed it.
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