Thursday, April 29, 2010

Foul Matter Take Two

While this is, indeed, a funny book and a terrific send-up of the publishing industry, I'm still caught up in what I found to be a running theme: the past. Ned and Saul both spend a lot of time thinking about this subject. Saul says about himself, "I live in a houseful of artifacts. It's drenched in the past. I never change anything, beyond turning a desk around so that it faces a window. I want it to stay the same." Ned feels like he's lost the past--in part because he "lost" his parents when he was young. "He wished he hadn't been so careless of the past....His parents had died within a year of each other, and he was orphaned. Everyone made sure he was aware of this particular disgrace, as if he'd been careless with his parents as well as with the past and now look what had happened." Grimes makes some very good observations about how the past can haunt us or envelop us or even weigh us down...I do wish she had brought it to some kind of closure in the final chapters, though. She seemed to abandon the theme....perhaps losing it like Ned "lost" his parents.


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