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Be quiet the doctor's wife said gently, let's all keep quiet, there are times when words serve no purpose, if only I, too, could weep, say everything with tears, not have to speak in order to be understood.

José Saramago

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🦋 The more he thought about it, the angrier he got

He'd had the sense, moments earlier, that Caroline was on the verge of accusing him of being "depressed," and he was afraid that if the idea that he was depressed gained currency, he would forfeit his right to his opinions. He would forfeit his moral certainties; every word he spoke would become a symptom of disease; he would never win an argument.
Digging The Corrections, finding Franzen's voice fits my psyche like a glove. I'm finding all of his characters easily inhabitable, Chip's anxiety, Denise's frustration, Gary's irritable paranoia... even the parents are easy to understand, identify with.

posted evening of Wednesday, January 11th, 2012
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this reminds me of a bit of Jerzy Kozinski. in "The Painted Bird", the character says (more or less) "When people claim to know me, I can no longer act freely."

the idea being that when a person says they know you, they are essentially telling you that they have expectations of you. and, once you are aware of other people's expectations, they become part of your decision-making. you can no longer act freely, because, from then on, you will always consider your actions in terms of how your actions will fit that person's expectations of you.

posted morning of January 12th, 2012 by cleek

Yeah, that makes sense. My memory of The Painted Bird suggests that Kozinski was not going for exactly the same fear as what Franzen is talking about here, but certainly on the same spectrum.

posted evening of January 12th, 2012 by Jeremy


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