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Day 13

Pages 199-216 (The End)

August 4, 2020 by Elizabeth McCracken

Suddenly, an epigraph, & this time I think the antecedents to these pronouns are purposefully unclear, though we can hope we know. —Elizabeth

Lou’s triumph. Is this a renunciation of romantic love or a redefinition?—Elizabeth

“She had once tinted or dyed her own life the hue of his, this one man’s out of billions mostly unknown. She no longer leaned her life on anyone.”

I find Maytree lovable but not likeable (like some other of men of his generation I have known). —Elizabeth

Any time you visit a beloved place after an absence of decades, you are a time traveler suddenly in the incomprehensible future: Lou treats Maytree’s shock & judgment & squeamishness with a drag show. —Elizabeth

& yet he himself loves scandalizing the neighbors, throwing off convention. When we dismiss convention, we always pick & choose: some conventions are invisibly dear to us. That may be one of the messages of The Maytrees. —Elizabeth

Dillard loves the natural world, but the fabricated world is always running through it, “like a brochette” (like Reevadare & her husbands.) —Elizabeth

“The Little Dipper looked like a shopping cart.”

We get Deary’s beautiful death, & now Maytree’s. Lou’s death is last chronologically, but first in the book, chapters & chapters ago. —Elizabeth

The Maytrees ends with some of the most astonishing prose I have ever read. I have no other gloss or comment on it, at least right now. —Elizabeth

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