AL&P: Part of the Whole

2007-04-09 00:00

Well, I’m not quite sure what to write. I know what to write about: Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. I think perhaps part of my ‘writer’s block’ (so to speak) is the sheer volume of material that this (and other entries on this book) are meant to address. Part might also be the emotional power of the work; as a book about loss, tragedy, and coming-of-age-identity-finding, Loud & Close (or EL&IC, Extremely Loud, Incredibly Close, whatever. You try abbreviating this book title to something that fits in your mouth and flies off your fingers…) finds it home in your heart, which is a difficult place to look for analytic and reasoned thinking. Perhaps most tellingly, I find little criticism to give, nor cloudiness to unmask in Foer’s writing; he shows great craft, has timely subject matter, and addresses a complex topic with appropriate complexity. That might be it, though; hidden in this very personal little reverie over the difficulties of writing to such a work as Foer’s happens to be, there is a grain of insight. Foer’s work speaks so incredibly closely, and extremely loudly to our own hearts and minds that we find him not only hard to ignore, but hard to quantify, qualify, or deconstruct. It seems (to my eyes at least) Foer’s novel contains a great deal more than the sum of its parts, and to break it down, to analyze it, would be to do it a disservice. Hopefully I can find a way to address the novel as a whole after I’ve finished reading it, but the next two segments (a third each) will not be completed until the end of this week (9 Apr-13 Apr), so I have no great hope of appropriate analysis until then.

Note: This entry imported via Facebook's Note feature from my old website, much is expected to be broken.