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Saturday, December 12

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff or how people are made of myths

Fates and Furies is dissecting marriage, both sides of the coin: his and hers. The story's catch comes from the feast of language, the mythological references and the fluidity of the narrative. Lauren Groff has a certain nonchalance about seizing things with the eyes of her mind and then putting them on paper. Her easiness with language and the nuances of things she peels off both people and tales, make her writing layers softly addictive. Once your eyes grow accustomed to her dancing letters, words begin to haunt you in a repetitive manner. Her books makes by far, the best book of best lines there is. 

All you have to do is write the best sentence you've ever written. Then 10,000 more of the best. Then find a way to string them together into the story of something.

Lotto, the husband, has his story written under the auspices of Fates, whereas Mathilde's account of marriage comes to alter the reader's perception with her Furies. We shift angles and points of view in an attempt to answer some important question: Is this how we live along people, not truly knowing their innermost thoughts and feelings, their hidden paradoxes, their tormented inner monologues or does this stand for a peculiar marriage? The truth lies on both sides, mostly, in-between the commonalities. We make unbearable beings to ourselves and most of the times, impossible to tolerate by those close to us. It brings me back to Julian Barnes and his belief about the militant and the moderate in every marriage. Switching roles on a constant basis is the very essence of every relationship's liveliness. We either do it or bury ourselves under the treacherous founding of this institution. Add children to the mix and it is the perfect recipe for failure.

Lotto and Mathilde have no kids, few responsibilities and the freedom to make mistakes. In their close to perfect relationship, one remembers the good, the glamorous, the exciting side of life and marriage, whereas the other has a story of struggle, frustration and aching to match it all. It makes one wonder about the success of their relationship, at least in the eyes of the others. Would Lotto's egocentric nature have survived and thrived, had it not been for Mathilde to pick up the pieces and readjust, rewrite, reshape, redecorate the entire edifice of them? Is this the ultimate proof of love, the need to relinquish one's true self to build the other? It takes strength and resilience and much patience. It is not designed for everyone. Lotto's genius is meant to live on and weave its path with Mathilde one more time to deliver her from the dark and to reinforce the conviction that in our attempt to build others, we build ourselves.

As for the book, Fates and Furies met right where I was. It is how such books come across and how they are bound to stay in your mind. It spoke my kind of language, revealed itself unexpected and raw, like a warm wound that grows into a limb, a necessary part of you. I live organically inside my books and then, as I move one, I leave myself there, only to reclaim me later. Later on, the book shall read differently as I am bound to be a different reader. Meanwhile, there is much drama in steady seas, as the author herself put it. 
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