Alice Munro (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) - download pdf or read online

By Harold Bloom (Editor)

ISBN-10: 1604135875

ISBN-13: 9781604135879

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Additional info for Alice Munro (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)

Sample text

The eyes of Miss Marsalles look on things that we do not see and it is this that teaches us the absurdity of our own self-importance. When the special visitors do arrive, we experience a deepening shame as we have to admit, once again, to our own misplaced compassion. While the narrator plays her own “dogged and lumpy interpretation” of the “minuet from Berenice” (DHS, 220–221), the room is filled with the heavy bodies of the strange children. Their physical presence demands our attention and yet we are not able to join Miss Marsalles in her easy and innocent compassion.

For the narrator, as for Del in Lives, words are consequential and vital, with physical properties of their own that, combined with the proliferation of associative logic set in motion by their use, are capable of sensuous, rich, sometimes uncontrollable signification. For Julie, the statement “He’d tried to cut his throat” is a cool, dry factual statement that can be easily contained and qualified by “It wasn’t that bad. ” For the narrator, the statement associates itself with “suicide,” a word with an almost unbearably physical reality: “Mention of suicide is like innards pushing through an incision; you have to push it back and clap some pads on, quickly” (188).

That makes it worse. Hypocritical humility” (59). 13 Despite their attendant uneasiness about doing so, Munro’s protagonists are driven to listen and watch, record, and reshape what they see around them. Mary in “The Shining Hours” (DHS) draws Mrs. Fullerton’s story out of her by pretending to know less than she really does; Dorothy in “Marrakesh” is a retired schoolteacher driven to observe whatever is before her: “Beautiful or ugly had ceased to matter, because there was in everything something to be discovered” (SIBMTY, 163).

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Alice Munro (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) by Harold Bloom (Editor)

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