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Day 9

Chapter 3, pp. 159-176 (from “She noticed with a faint hear” through “shortly she fell into a deep sleep.”)

December 11, 2020 by Claire Messud

Andy, to whom Miss Goering will attach herself, explains straight away that “I have a habit of never paying attention to whoever I am talking to.” (p.159) His honesty perhaps surprises; but his way of being is eminently familiar is “his way of attributing qualities to her which were not in any way true to her nature” (p.160), which makes her feel “inconsequential.” What woman hasn’t had that “eerie” experience?

The opposite of utilitarian, Andy, “Citizen Skunk,” threw over his sweet girlfriend on account of his sexual fantasies about Belle, the woman with no arms or legs. Dostoevskian, he has ended up “in the mud” (p.167) – not unlike Miss Goering, indeed…

“One must allow that a certain amount of carelessness in one’s nature often accomplishes what the will is incapable of doing,” Miss Goering thinks (p.170). When the super-ego is relentless, the id must occasionally intervene…

“It is absolute nonsense to move physically from one place to another,” Arnold advises. “All places are more or less alike.” (p.174) On one level this statement is mad, of course; but on another quite true.

Daily Reading

Day 1

Chapter 1, p. 1-18 (through “She was not sure that she did not find him a bit too familiar.”)

Day 2

Finish Chapter 1

Day 3

Chapter 2, p. 37-62 (through “The other two women looked across the street and they all watched him disappear.”)

Day 4

Chapter 2, pp. 63-83 (through “Oh, I’d love to Pacifica,” said Mrs. Copperfield, running out of the room.”)

Day 5

Chapter 2, pp. 83-102 (from “When Mrs. Copperfield arrived in Mrs. Quill’s room" through “Mrs. Quill was dignified and remote and did not give her the lavish thanks which she had been expecting.”)

Day 6

Finish Chapter 2, pp. 102-121 (from “Early the next morning Mrs. Copperfield and Pacifica were together in Pacifica’s bedroom" through “Listen, your pal’s been out of the room two whole minutes already. She’s gone to look for Pacifica.")

Day 7

Chapter 3, pp. 123-142 (through “She held her hand over her heart and smiled to herself.”)

Day 8

Chapter 3, pp 142-158 (from “When she arrived at the tip of the island" through “something would happen to interfere with her departure.”)

Day 9

Chapter 3, pp. 159-176 (from “She noticed with a faint hear” through “shortly she fell into a deep sleep.”)

Day 10

Chapter 3, pp. 176-196 (from “At about five thirty on the following afternoon" through “Then all three of them politely bade good-by to Andy’s back and left the room.”)

Day 11

Chapter 3, pp. 196-210 (from “Arnold’s father had been sitting in the ice-cream parlor" through “He’s never going to listen to me,” Miss Goering said to herself.")

Day 12

Finish Chapter 3, pp. 211-End

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