pp 131-150 (through “You’ll meet Anais. Egisto”)
January 12, 2021 by A Public Space
Giuseppe to Lucrezia: “Real friendship does not scratch and bite, and your letter scratched and bit me.” The affair between them is over, but their letters, full of love entangled with discontentment, are the most passionate and wounding words in the novel.
“She is unhappy because now she finds herself carrying around the weight of so many ruined years.”
Thank goodness for Albina and Egisto, two people, despite living with their own muddles, are clear-eyed observers and narrators.
Lucrezia’s marriage ends. Alberico’s little family flounders. Giuseppe starts a relationship with his brother's widow. All these dramas, dryly told in letters, are the best antidote to that old, questionable instruction: show, don't tell.
pp. 108-130 (through “Let me know if you are still sleeping in the room with the bear-cubs. Lucrezia”)