Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections


This might be the most devastating book I’ve ever read. At the same time one of the most amazing. He has such amazing insight. A most accurate and extremely sharp mirror he holds up to society and its ills but on a micro-level. Human miserable existence as it grows from the individual, from our families, our relationships.

Our foibles, jealousies, ambitions, best of intentions all conspire to make us miserable – prisoners of our own feeble bodies, longing for understanding, relationships, power. We’re all like children not quite sure what we’re doing, just trying to survive even though all of it is possibly against us. Needless to say this is not an uplifting inspirational novel. More like a medieval treatus on the sins of humanity and how we are destined for hell. But more of a Sartrean hell where it is us and each other.

On the other hand this is a writers and a readers novel – some of the passages are just expertly writ. Beautiful poetry. There are quite a few characters here, both genders in all stages of their lives and not a moment feels false – their external actions, dialogues and internal motivations all ring true and all feel like reflections of ourselves or those who are closest to us. Throughout I marveled at Jonathan Franzen’s skill, and kept asking myself how did he do it, truly amazing.

MCA Chicago – eighth blackbird with Nico Muhly and Bryce Dessner

Another great night courtesy of eight blackbird and the MCA. All of our favorites in one space, a special treat seeing Nico, and experiencing his music. Also surprised and enjoyed hearing a piece by Tristan Perich – toy pianos, electronics and joy on the performers faces. Lisa Kaplan’s world premiere of whirligig, continued the energy and playful atmosphere. And of course what night of eighth blackbird wouldn’t be complete without some Philip Glass. It was fantastic. I feel like I found new transformative depths in his Two Pages. A new world opened up to me. Tim Munro, eight blackbird’s flautist, introduced the piece as an ultra-marathon for the musicians. Watching their skill, focus, and flawless execution, I could feel the sheer level of exertion required. This added an extra layer of contemplation to an already meditative piece. Likewise we were mesmerized by a selection of songs from David Lang’s newly released album death speaks. Shara Worden’s voice and the haunting lyrics lingered on in our minds long into the night.

Apr 30 – May 1, 2013
museum of contemporary art