Question 6

1

Did the structure of the book, in terms of the diary entries, and the forgetful narrator who was himself a mystery work for you?

Comments

  • 1

    Yes, I've touched on this in some of my answers to the other questions. I think it invites us to examine the narratives we tell ourselves about who we are and what our place in the world is. (I was reminded of the movie Memento.)

  • 0

    Is Memento the film where events are presented as scenes in a kind of random order, and part of the plot is to work out the true order? And there's something about making notes on the protagonist's own body to help his memory?

    Anyway, yes it worked. For me personally, part of the reason it worked was that the writing was very lyrical and well-crafted. There was a sense in reading the prose of encountering the perfection of the House and its Statues.

    BTW has anyone read Susanna Clarke's first book (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)? I thought about getting hold of it, but it's very long and with everything else going on I seriously doubt my ability to engage with a long novel. But Susanna intrigued me enough as an author that I keep being tempted by this.

  • 1

    Worked very well for me, but I am a fan of epistelatory novels and novels as journals.

  • 1

    @RichardAbbott said:
    Is Memento the film where events are presented as scenes in a kind of random order, and part of the plot is to work out the true order? And there's something about making notes on the protagonist's own body to help his memory?

    Yes, that’s the one.

  • 2

    @RichardAbbott said:

    Anyway, yes it worked. For me personally, part of the reason it worked was that the writing was very lyrical and well-crafted. There was a sense in reading the prose of encountering the perfection of the House and its Statues.

    I'll echo the quality of the prose had a lot to do with the appeal of the book. Piranesi's adoration of the House shone through very clearly. I think the diary structure allowed Clarke to include not only the events that occurred, but also Piranesi's reflections on them. That added some depth to the work, while also increasing our connection with Piranesi's inner life. That's one thing the book was about: hidden or forgotten knowledge, and how that is uncovered.

    BTW has anyone read Susanna Clarke's first book (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)? I thought about getting hold of it, but it's very long and with everything else going on I seriously doubt my ability to engage with a long novel. But Susanna intrigued me enough as an author that I keep being tempted by this.

    It's long, but written as well as Piranesi. The action generally moves along well, apart from a stint of holidaymakers looking for a mad cat woman in Venice. It's a very good book.

  • 1

    Yes - and I wasn't keen when I'd heard it was diary entries - but they worked for the book. I also like that it tripped along at a fair pace, giving very evocative descriptions without using too many words.

  • 0
    I have no objection to diary entries, though in my case listening to the audio book the dates just became a blur, so if there was any meaning in them other than to break the book up, that would have been lost on me. I mean, for example, if the dates were out of order or if the time between entries was significant, then I missed it.

    Totally agree on the prose. That was my favourites aspect of the book.
Sign In or Register to comment.