Raw Clay

Reading their life story in scattered posts feels exactly like reading Lawrence Durrell’s Alexandria Quartet. The landmark 1957 novel about modern love was told in four books written from different characters’ points of view against the backdrop of inter-war Egypt. Incidents we glimpse in the first novel, Justine, aren’t fully realized until we see the observations of characters in the subsequent stories. Readers are asked to construct the whole picture by collecting puzzle pieces sprinkled throughout four narratives.

Of course Susan and her circle are more of a satire, as their banal posts give us a hilarious glimpse of early 21st century life. But the online confessions offer just the sort of raw clay that fiction writers love to lay hands on. Let me quote from her bio: “I’m madly in love! I’m free!” Many friends click the thumbs-up “Like” button.

Shannon Rupp

Ok, I hadn’t thought about that, but it reminds me that I really should read the whole quartet (re-read Justine and read the others) now that I’ve found all four of them. I can call it research.