06-08-2010 09:11 AM
V, I agree with you about the critiques not being on the "up and up" within the group. I am also looking for the secondary characters to do something unexpected.
I just wanted to comment and decided to put it here.I would be distracted in this group.First ,because when men and women are brought together in such a setting,and if there are any attractions to one one another,or affairs have taken place,then its not a fair assumption that all that is critiqued,is on the up and up..too many agendas..and Trust.issues..Their Group is very unbalanced..and that is my focus today....BethAnn and TWJ..Thanks for your comments..And just to add .The secondary characters are probably going to surprise us..
06-08-2010 10:48 PM
The venue is The Writing Circle meeting at Virginia's house, starting pg 96, and Nancy is reading from her novel:
"He had her father's stature but the face from maybe when he was young. Gillian said to get to the main issue, what went wrong, to find out why the doctor should feel guilty. Chris pointed out it was only the first chapter and there's time. Gillian said there's something withheld here that is artificially withheld. The narrator knows how the baby died but isn't saying anything yet. Gillian kept going on and on...who's fault is it, is there a malpractice suit? Where's your story if it isn't about guilt? What is driving the narrator? Nancy revealed her grandfather was a doctor and so was her father. This is a novel, fiction, but Gillian was still smiling."
Okay, I just thought that Gillian was too adamant about getting answers here. Her interest went above and beyond being a member of TWC. I could just hear a narrator reading this section in an audio book with rage. Is Gillian somehow involved with the couple that lost the baby? Interesting thought.
In the Nancy section, starting pg 156, Nancy says she was certain she wanted to marry Oates but yet felt a peril. It wasn't Oates she was afraid of, it was something else. Later on in the chapter, Nancy is telling Diedre about her new literary friends and said "You'll like Virginia, maybe Chris, but not Gillian. Gillian is ambitious, egotistical and I just don't trust her. She's always perfectly nice to me but there is something I don't trust. At the end of this chapter, Diedre has mingled with all the guests and then goes over to Nancy and says "I would keep my eye on that person we were talking about, she's smart and she's sly. Diedre was talking about Gillian.
There just seems to be so many red lights going on here with Gillian.
06-13-2010 10:52 AM
I agree that the voice and the point of view approach make it difficult to connect with the characters. Also, I think it is due to the amount of characters that need to be introduced. It will be interesting to see where the book goes once the characters have been described and the narrator can focus on the actual story.
Nancy seems like the type of writer that wants her writing critiqued and not her personality. But I think that will be impossible joining a group like this...They are judgmental from a mile away.
Even though Chris states his reason for lunch with Nancy, I believe he wants to meet with her to get her on his side. It seems like there are cliques in the group.
Although Gillian seems to dominate the group, I think the focus on the dead mouse reveals Gillian's vunerability.
06-13-2010 07:41 PM
How would you describe each member of the "Leopardis" and how they came to be a part of the group?
All the members from the Leopardis group were looking for something out of the ordinary on their lives and when the group was created they all decided to join because they had reached that age on which they were not young or old they were in transit , and for them to be in transit was annoying which is why they decied to get into the group to relax and find a place where all the members talked the same language without having to deal with the problems of every day life.
How do the group members relate to each other? Do some seem to dominate? How does this writing group function--do we get a sense of the rules?
Gillian seems to be the boss, not the leader because a lot of members dont seem to agree with her they just let her be because they do not want to get into trouble. It seems that the only rule is to attend unless there is a big situation and to listen , talk nicely about everyones work and then criticize it, they are not written rules but rules that whoever joins is supposed to deduce, learn and know without asking questions directly about them , it's like common courtesy rules.
We watch Nancy come into the group for the first time. How do you think she fits in with the others?
I believe that Nancy does not fit at all , from the beginning she seems to have a much more nomal and happier life than all the others this will clearly influence the way all of the members see her and it is why at first some are doubtful to let her in, I believe Nancy will come to stir up some change within the circle.
What is Chris' motivation is for inviting Nancy to lunch?
I believe that it is 50% date 50% curiosity , when Chris first calls her he believes that he will get the chance to spend the night with her and maybe have a relationship but then when he talks to her , he starts also feeling curosity about Nancy what is she like , what secrets does she have etc. Which is why during the lunch they dont talk a lot about relationships but about other things because Chris is trying to learn what Nancy is does etc.
Do you get a sense for how each of the characters is reflected in the work he or she does as a writer? Are their writing styles a part of their personalities here?
I believe that each member reflects in their writing what they are going through with their life, from my point of view I think Gillian will begin to write about her relationship with Adam and then about gilt because I am certain she will begin to feel like she messed up and now needs to apologize to Jerry and Paul.
Karl Theodor Jaspers
07-01-2010 09:28 PM
How would you describe each member of the "Leopardis" and how they came to be a part of the group? It would appear (if memory serves) that the group began with the now deceased former member and Bernard. The other members became members through connections or friendships.
How do the group members relate to each other? Do some seem to dominate? How does this writing group function--do we get a sense of the rules? It would appear that Virginia and Nancy try to be politically correct when relating to the other members. They each give positive and negative comments. The men (in particular Chris and Adam) are typical men - they say what they think without considering the feelings of others. The criticism that they give isn't necessarily harsh, but it can come across as such. Bernard vacillates between the two types of criticism. Gillian seems the harshes with her criticism. Often, I think she appears as a spoiled brat who doesn't want anyone to share the limelight - even though her style of writing is different than the others'. The writing group seems to function as a typical (dysfunctional) family. There are those that try to keep the peace, those that try to avoid confrontation, those that like to stir the pot, and those so focused on themselves that they don't have an interest in others. I find it hard to follow the rules - they don't appear to be obvious, and could be ever-changing.
In these early chapters, what relationships can we see taking shape? What background relationships do we get to know, and which relationships are still left in the shadows for us?
We watch Nancy come into the group for the first time. How do you think she fits in with the others? There's the budding yet hidden relationship between Gillian and Adam. I'm not sure I quite understand that one, since she seems very high maintenace and Adam seems a little more grounded. We know about Bernard and Virginia, and Bernard's short-lived relationship with Gillian. Chris is divorced but seems to be interested in Nancy. Nancy's relationship with Oates hasn't been thoroughly divulged, nor has Chris'. After the first meeting, I thought Nancy didn't fit in with this group at all. If I were in the same position, I would've felt the same way she did - very upset that she was being "interviewed" and discussed after the first meeting without being told that's what it was. Initially, I thought the group to be a bunch of snobby writers in an exclusive club that wouldn't benefit someone like Nancy.
What is Chris' motivation is for inviting Nancy to lunch? I still am not entirely sure about this - and I'm now halfway through the book. At first glance, I thought he had a romantic interest in her and wanted to get to know her better. He stated what his interest was, but I believe that was because he needed to save face.
Do you get a sense for how each of the characters is reflected in the work he or she does as a writer? Are their writing styles a part of their personalities here? I still have a little bit of a hard time seeing the characters' personalities reflected in their work. I mean, some of them are obvious - because they've been described quite thoroughly. Bernard's personality certainly shows in his work. I think he's a dodgy, self-important old fart who enjoys history. He's a very caring man, but a bit clueless when it comes to interacting with others. Nancy seems very down to earth, but quite reserved. Her reluctance to share her work with the group seems a little silly, given that it's a writer's group. Gillian seems to think she's much better than everyone else and that probably shows in her work. We've seen so little of Chris' work and none of Adam's, so it's hard to say whether or not their personalities are reflected in their work.