Chapter 1: Overture p.1 to p.3.
Narrator: Nathan Glass.
Place: Brooklyn, New York City.
Overview: Nathan introduces us to his life, family, decisions and projects as well.
Extract Divided into 4 parts:
Part one: Childhood: choice of the place.
Part two: Family, Himself, his wife, and his daughter: on bad terms, very negative part.
Part three: The routine inBrooklyn.
Part four: Project: “writing a book about human foolishness (his and others experiences), memories of the past.
The beginning of the extract is unusual, it sounds like an end. Generally the last chapters that are placed first are called “prefaces”: We sense that the narrator is going to face something new. Probably a new life or things he didn’t expect to happen. From the very beginning, welearn almost everything about Nathan’s life and Family. He is divorced, recovering from lung cancer, and he’s a retired Insurance salesman.
Paragraph 1: This paragraph is very depressing. Nathan has no hope, no beliefs anymore. He considers himself as a “crawling dog” (very low self image).
Paragraph 2: Then follows a transition to his daughter, a very negative one too. She obviously gets on hisnerves. He has a bad opinion about his daughter. She’s described as “not stupid”, she is compared to his mother in a negative way: “she speaks in platitudes”, “exhausted phrases”, “hand me down ideas”. In short, he considers his wife as a boring an uninteresting person and his daughter too. He has an argument with his daughter but he obviously doesn’t care about it.
Brooklyn Routine: He has astrong attraction to a waitress named Marina. Apparently, the heart and the love are not dead yet. It contrasts strongly with the first sentence: Someone eager to die would not be attracted to anything. Marina is the starting point of his daily routine in Brooklyn (Cosmic Diner). Another contrast: Someone willing to die or someone hopeless would not have any projects (he plans to write a book).Vocabulary:
To scope out:
To crave: solliciter, avoir besoin, convoiter, désirer.
The proceeds: produit d’une vente, montant.
To commute: faire l’aller-retour.
To cram: bourrer, bachoter, fourrer.
An Unexpected Encounter.
Narrator: Nathan Glass
Characters: Tom Wood, Nathan Glass, Aurora, June, Lucy.
Places: Brooklyn, Harry Brightman’s attic.
Overview: Thisexcerpt can be divided into three parts: At the beginning of this passage, we discover Nathan’s family; June; Nathan’s late sister and her two children, Tom and Aurora. Aurora has got a child, Lucy. Because of June’s death, Nathan has lost sight of them until his recent return to Brooklyn. Nathan gives us a quite accurate description of his nephew and niece. So we learn that Tom used to be a whizzkid promised to a great future. (With the passion of literature) Aurora is described (when she was young) as a mysterious and fragile girl, nicknamed “the Laughing Girl”. (At that time she used to be a happy girl, before her mother’s divorce) When her mother remarried, she ran away. Aurora, during her years of wondering around, got pregnant and had a daughter: Lucy.
Part one: Familydescription especially Aurora’s.
Part two: About Tom: The common passion between Nathan and Tom: Literature as a refuge. We learn that Nathan and Tom used to spend hours debating over Poe and Thoreau. Through Nathan’s description we feel the admiration of the uncle towards his nephew. Nathan praises Tom and remembers his great intellectual intelligence. He never ever doubted about Tom’s ingeniousknowledge for literature and imagined him being a teacher in a prestigious school.
Part three: In this part Nathan has a huge shock, He unexpectedly meets Tom in a book shop he affectionate, he would never have imagined finding his nephew working there. He saw a complete different person: -Physically: fat, someone who doesn’t look after himself (who doesn’t care anymore). He actually, looks...