Here at The Artist’s Bookshelf, we’re gearing up for our next meeting (7 pm, Thursday, Aug. 3rd), during which we will discuss the wildly popular Jeffrey Eugenides novel THE VIRGIN SUICIDES. We’re reading it in conjunction with the current Cameron Jamie exhibit, which we will tour that same night at 6 pm.
As always, our discussion is certain to wander off course, and stumble upon natural tangents which will prove infinitely more intriguing than anything we might suggest. However, if you do happen to need some food for thought, or if you’ve only seen the movie (hey, that’s okay, this isn’t a class; no one will test you) or you’re just curious about what we’re all about, consider the following:
1) The novel seems to be narrated in an unspecified voice by a group of neighborhood boys, now grown, who seem to have conducted their own investigation into the grisly events of their youth.
How does this limited view add to the mystery of the story? Why did the author consciously employ this narrative technique?
2) Jeffrey Eugenides and Cameron Jamie both seem to be obsessed with American suburban life-forms and exploit this environment to comment subtlely and not-so-subtlely on our culture. What is it about the suburbs that they find so irresistible?
3) The author and the artist also seem to share a fascination with ritualized forms of violence. What is the nature of that fascination, and how does it inform and/or influence their work?
For an interesting interview with Mr. Eugenides, check out the following: http://www.powells.com/authors/eugenides.html
For more information on Mr. Jamie, including a video interview in which he describes American suburbs as an apocalypse, link to:
See you Thursday!