Obviously, the boys are duty-bound to support any legislation that allows them to drink beer outdoors on Mass. Street, but in truth we are a bit skeptical of allowing the obnoxious drunks at Louise's, who are normally relegated to the back deck, to join the rest of us civilized folks on Mass. Street.
See you at City Hall tonight.
Readers, our time with Franzen's new novel is fast drawing to an end (unless we reread it immediately), but before we finish it up allow us to share with you one final sentence that illustrates the genius of JF. This is upstanding married man Walter Berglund feeling guilty over an affair:
"It would have been useful to be able to add that there was nothing between him and his assistant, but, in fact, his hands and face and nose were so impregnated with the smell of her vagina that it persisted faintly even after showering."
Richard: "A lesser writer would use the word 'pussy' here, but Franzen recognizes that the more clinical 'vagina' is the right choice in this instance, better suited to Walter's uptight personality. But the true beauty of the sentence lies in the unexpected word choice of 'impregnated,' which mirrors the book's concern with issues of overpopulation."
Chip: "Wait. Why does his nose smell like vagina? Oh, I get it. This book is sort of naughty, isn't it? I wish I could discuss it directly with Oprah."
Our feminist readers: "It seems to us that Franzen, who is so critically lauded for his 'penetrating' insights into American culture, rarely penetrates much deeper than dick-length, which we suspect is not very deep. It should be noted that our greatest American female novelists, such as Marilynne Robinson and Allegra Goodman, manage to cover similar terrain without undue focus on their own twats."
We're not sure 'twat' is the right word choice there, but it's probably the funniest.
Now let's turn to our next choice of reading material (assuming we don't quit reading altogether for seven or so years until Franzen gives us something new).
Currently we're leaning toward a novel called Room, which is not (as we first thought) Tommy Wiseau's novelization of his film masterpiece, but rather a novel by Emma Donoghue described by the NY-Times thusly:
"Emma Donoghue’s remarkable new novel, “Room,” is built on two intense constraints: the limited point of view of the narrator, a 5-year-old boy named Jack; and the confines of Jack’s physical world, an 11-by-11-foot room where he lives with his mother...The main objects in the room are given capital letters — Rug, Bed, Wall — a wonderful choice, because to Jack, they are named beings."
Chip: "Sounds too cute. I'm leaning toward getting my nonfiction on with Nell Irvin Painter's The History of White People. White people have done so much to shape our world, but have so rarely been acknowledged for their efforts."