10 October 2010

In Miranda's Books

One of my major goals for this blog is to make clearer the debts of A Kiss Before You Leave Me to the work of other writers. There are prominent signposts in the novel itself, starting with the epigraphs (from Plato to William S. Burroughs) that precede each numbered 'book' of Kiss, and they're so important to me that I'm tempted, on slow days, to 'serialize' those epigraphs here, usually with no comments, as a sort of look back over my shoulder at the novel as a whole. But today I introduce another category of entries, which I call 'In Miranda's Books.' Miranda is one of the principal characters in Kiss, a sympathetic, beautiful, passionate 'work in progress' whom we first meet as a translator trying to get back on track professionally after a chaotic period of alcoholism, adultery, and divorce. She is by preference a literary translator (French to English), and her education is mostly in the area of European literature. She has her favorite writers, those who have long impassioned her and whom her (now ex-)husband Vince has read over her shoulder, so to speak, for almost 15 years. Today there's time only to mention some of the names--Homer, Cervantes, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Marguerite Duras--and to promise to return to them individually....

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