Fates and Furies

Fates and Furies

Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff

“His terrible hunger he’d thought would be sated was not. The end apparent in the beginning.” Page 9.

So this is a love story?


Fates and Furies

Trying to establish bona fides, with my solely Texas heritage.

“He drank slushies outside the convenience store down on A1A.” Page 21.

Too much Buffett, and too many Dorsey novels?

Death, sex, and taxes.

Fates and Furies cover shot.

The initial thought, had to do with the way a female writer imagines that a male feels that climatic point during a sensual congress.

The novel is divided into two pieces, separate but the same. Literary allusions abound. Rife with it. Lousy with it.

“Most operas, it is true, are about marriage. Few marriages could be called operatic.” Page 218.

The story is quite layered, nuanced, and heavy, with some symbolism perhaps, to me, too quaint? “Damn with faint praise,” sure, no, that’s not it. Almost too cute. Tries too hard but is easily accessible?


The same story, from two different points of view. One is the husband and the other is the wife, who, as it turns out, has a great deal more depth than one would expect. The ferocity, the character’s, surprised me a bit.

“Anger’s my meat; I sup upon myself,
And so shall starve with feeding.

Volumnia says this in Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. She—steely, controlling—is far more interesting than Coriolanus. Alas, nobody would go to see a play called Volumnia.” Page 272.

In part, though, it is a good romance in that it demonstrates a male character, the husband, who, once he gets the prize? While not entirely a prize, certainly statuesque in her own right, but once he gets her? From — spoiler alert — philandering bisexual to puppy dog in love.

As the second narrative explores her side, her sexual dynamics are for more layered and for some of it, even compartmentalized.

While the first portion of the novel, the male’s story, is simpler, with muted highs and lows, a stately rhythm, building to its climax? The second portion, about the same size — number of pages — is far more interesting with literary, psychological cliffhangers balanced against that more modern — and disjointed — narrative technique that strays from a conventional plot structure.

Certainly worth reading. Pausing to think about it, in a way, it pays a certain homage to the Southern Gothic of the previous century, with its grotesques.

There was an answer, a simple way to explain it? It was a love story; that’s my thought at the end.


Fates and Furies – Lauren Groff

Fates and Furies: A Novel

Briefly, I followed an online discussion about the problem with the current crop of writers coming from the MFA university workshop–sweatshops. Merits. Problems. Incest, inbreeding, and this type of novel seems to be a product of the most current literary traditions. Certainly formidable, almost daunting, and yet, accessible, plus clever — very clever — the workshop, high–brow background shows through.

I can relate, and I did gloss over certain passages because the material was either too painfully evocative or too stilted with its inherent architecture. What I admired was the relatively accessibility of the material, the plot itself, the way the story was told. The problem — for me — comes from this being too much of “an English major” type of book, and those being too frequent. Alienates many readers.

Apparently, I can also alienate readers. Who knew?

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