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Then Rebecca’s much younger look-alike brother, Ethan (known in thefamily as Mizzy, “the mistake”), shows up for a visit.
A beautiful, beguiling twenty-three-year-old with a history of drug problems, Mizzy is wayward, at loose ends, looking for direction.
That was an exercise in genre mixing, of wild and fantastic The best book I’ve read since Mario Vargas Llosa’s “The Feast of the Goat.” Really? Karma is doing me a favor; Fortuna’s Wheel, in my case, travels heavenward... I was left hella-impressed by “Specimen Days,” a book the literati have literally forgotten.
That was an exercise in genre mixing, of wild and fantastical flights of fancy. I began thinking about “Death in Venice” by Mann, and suddenly Cunningham makes an allusion to it right in the middle of it.
They are wary about whether he has returned to a past drug addiction.
Like his legendary, Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Hours, Michael Cunningham’s masterly new novel is a heartbreaking look at the way we live now.
The loss of his beloved brother to AIDS in the 80’s gnaws at his consciousness as well. I can’t tell if this restrained, bloodless tale is some form of indictment of the hollowness of modern life at the core of civilization, which we all tend to take New York City to be. There is no slicing of our soul here with the pathos of the road not taken.
There is no redeeming humor or chaotic scramble for modes of youth like we get from so many masters of the mid-life crises (think Bellow, Updike, Russo). And maybe with the problems in the temptation to see people as living art.
While we wait for something significant to happen and our moral judgements to be exercised, we spend a lot of time with Peter as he goes about his business.
I enjoyed the window on his world and warmed to his sensibilities and day-to-day interactions with the artists and his staff.