Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Finished. Gracías, Professoro Díaz.

¿Ahora, tenemos que esperar otros diez años?

¡Qué dolor....!

Me disculpo, I don't mean to be sin gratitud, pero...that was a hard wait. Still, everything has its own rhythm, and this ritmo came to fruition.

Truly, having heard Junot Díaz read there is so much of the rhythms of his own voice in this work. But notably, in what I read as a very clear and conscious choice, he's also included the voices of the women who have previously operated as rich plot markers and instigators of plot flow. The pathos of these characters as experienced by the various protagonists in Drown was almost so fleshily profound as to make one forget that those women's voices were never fully embodied, and as a result part of the story was missing. In The Brief and Wondrous Life... Díaz took on the challenge of not just creating these voices, but putting both the lead character, Oscar and the book's narrator in a world primarily populated by women. The choice illuminates some of the confounding aspects of culturally mediated gender relations, masculinity and femininity, and mother-daughter, father-daughter, relations within a context that Díaz specifically identifies as heterosexual (while allowing for some commentary on questions of homophobia in the New York/New Jersey area Dominican community). These female voices fill out the missing aspects of those prior tales of Dominican life, diaspora and politics. The rebellious daughter Lola (and her doppelgänger mother Belí) likely to become something of an archetype for brilliant, spirited, self-aware, diasporic daughters for a new generation of women living on the cusp/border of the cultural spheres to which their families have immigrated and those they left behind. Unfortunately, I don't have time to write my full thoughts about the work now, and plus I'm considering re-reading it, if I can find the time (ha!). But, yes, yes, a wonderful work, sharp, ruthless and sensitive and compassionate, and it earns its mileage, its scars and its balms.

Lastly (for now anyway), the use of footnotes are a geek's dream. How to simultaneously tell all the stories needed to tell the central story one is weaving? But not a technique for the faint of heart. All the rules of storytelling still apply, and the importance of editing for coherence, flow, and an even tighter rhythm than the main story, cannot, cannot, be underestimated. If I could figure out how to do this as densely in a multimedia context (you'd think more layers of mediums would make this easier, unh-uh), I'd be one ecstatic artist!

Interview with Díaz by John Zuarino at Bookslut
Interview with Díaz by Edward Guthman at SFGate
Interview with Díaz by Boris Kachka at New York
(This interview features the Díaz quote: “When I talk to people I’m such a dumbass. When I enter that higher-order space that’s required to write, I’m a better human. For whatever my writing is, wherever it’s ranked, it definitely is the one place that I get to be beautiful.”)
Audio Interview with Díaz from Writers At Cornell
From Laila Lalami's blog: "Reading Recap: Junot Díaz in Los Angeles"
Interview with Díaz by Johnny Díaz at
Interview with Díaz by Dave Weich at

Labels: ,


At 9:59 PM, Blogger ReggieH said...

Oscar is my favorite book this year. Just amazing...and yeah, I hope it won't be another ten years for the next one.

At 1:12 AM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

ninest123 09.28
oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, ugg boots, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet, louboutin outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, louis vuitton outlet, prada outlet, tiffany and co, nike air max, cheap oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, louboutin, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton, michael kors, burberry, louboutin shoes, ugg boots, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet, uggs on sale, longchamp, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, chanel handbags, ugg boots, replica watches, nike air max, gucci outlet, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, tiffany jewelry, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet, nike outlet, nike free, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton, polo ralph lauren outlet, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, replica watches, oakley sunglasses

At 1:14 AM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

nike roshe, vans pas cher, true religion jeans, longchamp pas cher, ray ban uk, lacoste pas cher, nike air max, michael kors, kate spade handbags, mulberry, air max, nike free, coach outlet, true religion outlet, north face, nike air max, lululemon, coach factory outlet, air jordan pas cher, nike air max, hollister, michael kors, true religion jeans, true religion jeans, hogan, north face, ray ban pas cher, sac longchamp, burberry, michael kors, oakley pas cher, ralph lauren pas cher, nike blazer, air force, hermes, michael kors, abercrombie and fitch, coach outlet, timberland, louboutin pas cher, vanessa bruno, converse pas cher, hollister pas cher, nike roshe run, new balance pas cher, coach purses, tn pas cher, sac guess, nike free run uk, ralph lauren uk, kate spade outlet

At 1:18 AM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

nfl jerseys, bottega veneta, giuseppe zanotti, birkin bag, insanity workout, mont blanc, vans shoes, gucci, converse, oakley, hollister, louboutin, celine handbags, beats by dre, nike air max, hollister, jimmy choo shoes, instyler, wedding dresses, north face outlet, reebok shoes, soccer shoes, baseball bats, asics running shoes, chi flat iron, hollister, nike air max, nike roshe, mac cosmetics, longchamp, ferragamo shoes, abercrombie and fitch, herve leger, new balance, ghd, iphone 6 cases, converse outlet, nike huarache, lululemon, p90x workout, vans, soccer jerseys, mcm handbags, ralph lauren, babyliss, valentino shoes, nike trainers, timberland boots, ray ban, north face outlet, moncler

At 1:20 AM, Blogger ninest123 Ninest said...

juicy couture outlet, links of london, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, sac louis vuitton pas cher, moncler, moncler outlet, pandora charms, canada goose outlet, karen millen, canada goose, lancel, canada goose, swarovski, ugg boots uk, ugg pas cher, hollister, montre pas cher, moncler, canada goose uk, doke gabbana outlet, michael kors handbags, coach outlet, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet, replica watches, doudoune canada goose, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, moncler, toms shoes, wedding dresses, barbour jackets, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, swarovski crystal, barbour, moncler, thomas sabo, marc jacobs, moncler, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, canada goose, moncler, pandora jewelry, pandora jewelry, pandora charms, supra shoes, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, bottes ugg, michael kors outlet online
ninest123 09.28


Post a Comment

<< Home