Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The blue flower

While I found the book carefully written, it also seemed to me to be pointless and nihilistic. I didn't care what happened to the characters, and didn't feel the author had much affection for them either. The whole thing seemed unreal and pantomime-like. The central betrothal was founded on such misunderstanding/lack of point that I wonder if this infected the whole novella. The most interesting material for me was reserved in the afterword! How often do we see this? As if the author hasn't the courage of their convictions to deal with their (best) material. While a meaty afterword can, I think, work if the novel has worked, in this instance it just highlighted for me the vacuity of it all. I must admit that I find Fitzgerald an unduly dispassionate and bleak novelist. "The Bookshop" was even worse for this. She seems to go out of her way to make everyone miserable and frustrated (and, often, dead). I find precision of language to be no substitute for point/heart/purpose. I would, however, be grateful for your thoughts on the final separation: why did Fritz abandon her? Because he couldn't pretend that she'd get better? Was it this: "that [was] not the case" (when he speaks to her sister, has some sort of epiphany, and leaves), or was it that somehow she'd ceased to be his ideal? Help, please!