ePUB Darconville's CatAuthor Alexander Theroux – 91videos.co

The Main Story Is A Love Affair Between Alaric Darconville, An English Professor At A Virginia Women S College, And One Of His Students, IsabelThe Style Relies On Complex Syntax And Unusual Words The Satire Is Broad, And Uses Southern Culture Cliches But Is Often Very Funny Some Of The Names Of The Girls At The School, For Example, Are Mimsy Borogoves, Barbara Celarent, And Pengwynn CustissThe Story Is Said To Be Based On Theroux S Years Of Teaching At Longwood University, And Places Described In The Book Are Easily Recognized Buildings On The Campus Citation Needed


10 thoughts on “Darconville's Cat

  1. says:

    I failed, I failed, I gave up, I m sorry It was written in English, Jim, but not as we know it, and I flipped forward and it was all like that This book has too many brains and it frightened me in the way a sufferer from dementia must be frightened when they look at a clock and realise they no longer can tell the time It s not a novel at all, it s a cruel and unusual punishment Using oven gloves I placed it in a plastic bag then I double bagged it and hid the whole thing in a dark recess of my cellar, shuddering the while I couldn t throw it in the bin because I tried that the previous week and they refused to take it.


  2. says:

    A stupefying triumph of superhuman eloquence A loved up homage to the OED and Roget s Thesaurus A sacrificial offering to the Gods Rabelais, Sterne Burton A starry eyed drooling hymn to amour, esp with down at heel bimbos A caustic and comic whirligig of varnished to perfection insults and Dickensian character assassinations A nuclear missile launched at the Southern United States An enormous loving hug to all literature of significance pre 1800s A novel bursting with prose so sublime, inventive, haunting and spiteful only quackshites would let it slip out of print A novel to induce encomiums of stut tut tuttering adoration and spells of sp sp speechless drooling A novel that makes you beg for , and , that makes you scream out in literary ecstasy for another 400, 600, 800, 1200 pages , , That s all I have to say, except the implied READ THIS Holy bejesusing mercy, this is the real deal My contribution to the explosive outpouring of Darconville s Cat scholarship will be an exhaustive list with definitions of the deliciously recondite wordage Theroux uses in the book Watch this face.


  3. says:

    As a matter of honour Against the disease of writing meviews one must take special precautions, since it is a dangerous and contagious disease. AbelardDebating in the quiet chambers of the mind many hours how to review this book Flinging ideas at the ever patient partner about the dialectic of why a thought is what is thought, asking to be challenged because this book is seductive by nature and intellectual by design and how can a reader resist such a potent combination Writing many opening sentences and discarding those, concocting a structure and burying it under a dense blanket of autobiographical rhetoric consigned to the bonfire of the vanity, and considering simply silence, as the excruciating riposte At the last, it begins and ends with a list.Read this book if you love vocabulary any adjective here would render me asinine reading for as near as you will find perfect sentence structure sustained voice pages upon pages puns in apundance, some clever, some from the school yard labyrinthine caricature, sarcasm, invective and ridiculing the stereotypical foibles and follies of those you hold in contempt discourse on the nature of romantic, heterosexual love the logic of hate the rationale of revenge plunging into the abyss of anguish as the rejected virtuous death puzzles that you may or may not decipher lists within books books within lists stories within stories carnevalesque description innovatively phrased aphorisms discovering a source for literature you have yet to read observing a writer s joy in displaying her his deep knowledge of the literary tradition to which he she lays claim clues within the text which lead you to obscure knowledge which is valuable the because of its obscurity re reading uncovering forgotten and deserving authors and living authors.Avoid this book if you would define satire as 1 Criticism of behaviour with the intent to educate an audience and foster social change 2 Irony, used humorously, to illuminate the behaviour criticised and 3 Connotation, to infer the verdict against the criticised behaviour without explicit statement prefer writers who reject sexism in both their writing and their public persona insist on finding misogyny either vindicated or venerated feel offended that the enormity of misogyny is trivialised via the creation of a character which serves not the purpose of villifying misogynistic behaviour, but to satisfy a writer s grudge and expect a writer to maintain authorial distance from her his protagonist and antagonist.Read these reviews Megha They don t write books like this any Garima The cause of it all How I loved this book Nathan N.R Onanism is the terrible core of creation and other notes of interest.Paul Bryant The Lone Ranger lost in the wilderness it was the cat in the cellar.Ali lol For the updates.MJ Nicholls A bunch of sentences starting with A for Alex.Stephen M Disquisition on the moral philosophy of a Cat and its Keeper.Rob Mayhap misogyny but mystery delights.Anthony Vacca Two sides of the same heart.Geoff Wilt Soul saviour.Jonfaith an obstinate macroce p hallic umbrage Other reviewsRead these links


  4. says:

    Recent bloggish review of The Cat in which some of you good goodreaders get yourselves quoted and a tip o the hat to someone sic who looked up every godsdamn oversized 10 word Darconville s Cat The Power and Glory of Vengeance Writ Fantastically Large, by Stuart Mitchner, 21 Mar 2013 review will be a bit delayed, likely until I revisit our Spellvexit story.Meanwhile, the vocabulic efforts of MJ, Megha, Ali, and myself is available under My Writings, a not thorough annotation of big words and Therouvian word mastery you find yourself in difficulties about locating a copy, which should not be a difficulty just yet until Ali s flaming therouvianism gets truly out of hand and dries up the entire non collectors market, there is what should be a prime bit of therouvian word and language love forthcoming in February 2013, The Grammar of Rock Art and Artlessness in 20th Century Pop Lyrics._______________To my merriment I have not run across the word masturbatory in any goodreads review of Darconville s Cat, although we well know this word has popped up in reviews of other Theroux books and books by other very smart people To call an author of Theroux s talents self indulgent or masturbatory is the abyss of stupidity Onanism is the terrible core of creation Away with a prose squeezed free of the real The shallow jealousies he d felt low in his soul ate through to his conscience, shot through with self indulgence and merciless egotism where the difficulty of writing even the attempt had its origins He had committed, he saw, Durtal s sin of Pygmalionism corruptly falling in love with his own work while bearing a grudge against anything that went against it Onanism Onanism and incest It was a new sin, the exclusive crime of artists, a vice reserved for priests of art and princes of gesture, the father violating his spiritual child, deflowering his dream, and polluting it with a vanity that was only a mimicry of love p157.__________A Theroux Primer from The Millions an essay by Colin Marshall which covers all four Theroux novels Highly recommended for an orientation within Therouxville.___________Interview with Steven Moore from Review of Contemporary Fiction Spring 1991 regarding Darconville s Cat and An Adultery._______________Audio interview with Michael Silverblatt on Bookworm.____________My copy Purchased 03 November 2011 at Powell s City of Books hot off the Buy Table for a mere 6.95 It is a 1st edition 2nd printing hardcover, not inscribed 1st printing having p483 a dot matrix checkerboard rectangle, 2nd a solid black rectangle altogether now, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Red speckle spray on the bottom edge apparently indicates having been remaindered, but dust jacket is not price clipped The jacket is in rather a tattered state with price tag gunk residue on the lower right corner of the front An aborted reading by a previous possessor of this volume is indicated by underlining in black ink on the first few pages The following words are underlined p1 imperscrutablep2 gulsarp3 skitep4 archistrategesp5 mundus grimoire demulcents and rubefacientsp6 none p7 .ther, though that, than on the invest tle boy whose earliest memory was of trying to pick up pieces of moonlight that had fallen through the window onto his in the left margin, accompanying the above two underlinings, p8 none p9 Spellvexit fin de la lectureThe Committee for Cataloguing Underlinings and Annotations would like to apologize for peremptorily entering fin de la lecture into the record Further instances of Underlining and Annotating have been discovered subsequent to its prior report.p84 quoppedp94 kaleidogynsp100 dysphemismp101 like a small batrachian in a hide in margin is written pompous prattle p106 Scaurousp108 below the final words of the chapter, I love you , is written Boo What kind of reader would make notations like pompous prattle or say Boo to a character s discovering his being in love The Committee acknowledges that the condition of this copy of Darconville s Cat is such that it may well have been previously read in its entirety Our earlier judgement concerning the despair in reading of a prior reader may well have been simply mistaken The Committee, as a preliminary finding, would recommend that, even for book buyers in the habit of buying only clean, unmarked books, consider purchasing a well marked, annotated and underlined exemplar, being as this novel lends itself well to entertaining previous readings.______________ Nothing exceeds like excess Crucifer______________ Anthony Burgess chose Theroux s Darconville s Cat as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century It contains multitudes It is a story of love, obsession and revenge and it is a story and celebration of the life of the English language all styles of writing and demotic species are incorporated in its vast body I speak of the book at its near Proustian bulk, and of the language And, it is as funny as anything you ll ever read in your life Ben Waugh In his dazzling, invective filled novel Three Wogs, Alexander Theroux noted in an afterword of sorts that he has a very amplified prose style, and he spoke of the leisure, the languor, necessary to art It s clear that the language Mr Theroux has employed in his own books is closer to that of such writers as Dickens, Sterne and Corvo than to the minimalist offering of his contemporaries and all his work demonstrates a love of verbal pyrotechnics and an instinct for the grand In the same essay quoted at the beginning of this review Mr Theroux wrote, Writing is life become art, not simply the random copy made out of one s dishwatery day or diary or panfurious whims It selects, must do it beautifully Michiko Kakutani What s best about Darconville s Cat is the advantage Theroux takes of the tradition of The Book, the large storehouse of knowledge such as The Bible, Gargantua, or Moby Dick Elaboration is all The reader who doesn t care for a chapter on college girls late night rap sessions or the dialogue in verse between Alaric and his beloved Isabel or a classical oration by Crucifer can skip ahead or back without losing essential continuity There are learned disquisitions on love, hate, and the human ear wonderful odd lot lists Shandyian japes such as a one word chapter and a page of asterisks and Swiftian renderings of small town southern life, ranting religionists, academic foolery, and much The parts are all related but don t disappear into a whole, into an illusion of reality Darconville s Cat is boring and brilliant, both puerile and profound, self indulgent and often cruel Theroux lacks Thomas Pynchon s interest in this century and the popular humor of Gilbert Sorrentino s Mulligan Stew, the novel Theroux s most closely resembles Madness, Darconville says of a book very like the one in which he is a character But like that excessive anomaly of the 1950s, William Gaddis s The Recognitions, Darconville s Cat should find a dedicated following, readers with an appetite for ambition and literary aberration, for a prodigal art that, in Darconville s world, declassifies Tom LeClair.


  5. says:

    Gosh What a book They don t write them like this any Most of us have come across books that we adored and worshiped despite their flaws There are those long books with some boring portions we are willing to forgive There are books which we find admirable than enjoyable There are those where we have to give ourselves a pep talk to make the difficult journey so we can eventually find the treasure The Cat demands none of that forgiveness and apology A pure pleasure to read from cover to cover There was not a moment when I wished it to be over, not even when it really was over The Cat is full of riches from comical satire to sublime emotions to abyssal darkness, all brought to life via eloquent and exquisite prose The Cat is a tale of love and hate and of Darconville s obsession with love Revolving around Darconville s interior life than exterior, his consciousness and brooding thoughts slowly seep into the pages His intensity is difficult to ignore, and at some point you find yourself living inside Darconville s mind, thus bringing him alive in your mind All the while, you can imagine a quiet, subdued atmosphere, perhaps dimly lit by candles, with an old timey smell There is something haunting about it.The narrative rises in a crescendo with the entry of the antagonist, Dr Crucifer Despite his brief appearance, he easily joins the ranks of the most memorable characters to be found in literature He contributes what must be the vilest and most intense tirade against the woman kind I have and will ever come across He is the keeper of The Misogynist s Library, the catalog of which is long enough to occupy 10 pages Not impressed Here, take this 20 page long formal oration on the subject Not convinced yet Here are 20 pages of The Unholy Litany chanting the names of women he wants his soul to be saved from And if all of this isn t enough, he gives you 10 pages worth of never before heard of ways to torture and kill a former girlfriend This is a character fully wrapped in darkness, the kind that can make a reader uneasy But somewhere he crosses over from serious to ridiculous, to the point of appearing comical.Between Darconville and Crucifer, there is a satirical portrayal of the American South There are numerous peripheral characters, often painted as hilarious caricatures There are excerpts from literary works, prefacing each chapter There is wit and scholarship at display everywhere And there is that luscious prose swoon.I could read this book and rate it 5 stars, for the prose alone It s a great celebration of the English language Pick any adjective of your choice for the best prose you ve ever read, and it will, without doubt, be fitting here It is the kind of writing that can cause you to drool, and render you speechless, rapt in admiration There are many a sentences that make you want to read them aloud Sure, he uses plenty of archaic words you ve never heard of before, but it certainly isn t about showing off It see it as being about using the perfect word There is a certain flow to Theroux s writing and despite the presence of difficult words, nothing about his sentences sounds out of the place One can easily read through without knowing the meanings of the arcane words and still be fully engrossed Whether you decide to read it with or without the knowledge of the word meanings, be sure to enjoy the sound and the rhythm of Theroux s writing Immerse yourself in his words and let them wash over you.________________________________________Book jacket Trivia The portrait of Darconville on the cover was painted by Theroux himself.________________________________________Vocabulary If you are reading or planning to read Darconville s Cat, you may find the following link useful


  6. says:

    Darconville s Cat is what I would clearly call maximalist fiction A basic summary would not be enough to describe why The plot is threadbare, and without the luxurious prose style it would be bizarre a young naif intellectual falls in love with a poorer college student The whole affair is based upon idealism and projection, and he is of course heartbroken when she leaves him for a big eared sailor At Harvard, he is inducted by a Coptic eunuch into a bizarre and disgusting litany of revenge Horror of horrors, he writes a book about her What makes this book so large and contain such multitiudes is the luxury and overexertion of the prose style Theroux s diction is theological, baroque, chemical Fingernails are the color of potassium permanganate and the moon is bulgarious There are lists of lists of things Lists of imaginary places as romantic vocations, lists of names invoked as enemies, lists of books which justify hate The book itself is a duality The first section of the book is a laughing and slashing satire of college administration and little southern towns Then when Darconville moves to Harvard, the place is run by what I would call a demon What petty mistakes are held here are far overshadowed by the evil which Darconville meets and succumbs to.There is another dimension which was pre eminent to me the balance and rapid slide between love and hate Darconville s feelings towards Isabel are not really what I d call love, but mere pity and infatuation, where he falls in love with his constructed image of her It is an idealism of not knowing After he takes lessons in misogyny, he falls into a course of ridiculous and exorbitant hate, hate overcompensating for his own flaws and omissions The misogynists library demonstrates to me that this hatred is from knowledge and is well credentialed, or that misogyny has a long societal tradition At first you can laugh at the little lives and foibles in the beginning, but there is little else which is funny after The book falls into hyperbolic, consuming, awful, ugly hate It seems apparent to me that Theroux cannot possibly endorse these actions, but a portrayal of what hideous things are within.This book would never really become a best seller The reasons are obvious Too big, too complicated, too avoiding of a cut and dry plot resolution But I can also imagine another secretive cabal, one devoted to its care.


  7. says:

    As the world goes by, with actions and reactions taking place at a light speed, I grant myself few blissful moments of solitude in the lap of nature, where I m partial towards the splendor of our empyreal sky The playfulness of various celestial bodies fascinates me by their resplendence and teases me by their yonder charm One of the phenomena which I long to see is that of Earthshine The lovely sight is not only one of the few treasures I keep in my small box of happy memories, but it signifies something very special in terms of a promise of completeness, brightness and most importantly, beauty The exquisiteness of this view is something that comes closest, metaphorically to express the beautiful writing in Darconville s Cat I, for one, haven t read anything like this It s a rarity of rarities, of which there is a huge dearth in the world of literature On one hand, I was completely besotted by Theroux s prose and on the other almost jealous of his talent by repeatedly questioning myself as to how on earth such heavenly writing is even possible If there is a thing like magical pen that exists in this world, then Sir Alexander is definitely its worthy owner and the magic begins from the very first page of this book The simple and old school premise of the story starts with Alaric Darconville, a former student of priesthood, a writer and later a school teacher at Quinsy College for girls in Quinsyburg, a fictitious town in American South, which Darconville detest to almost hateful extent In college, he fell in love view spoiler at first sight hide spoiler


  8. says:

    Twenty years ago I worked in an antiquarian bookstore in Boston JP , wrapping and shipping rare books and lugging mail bags to the post office for 7 hr plus side benefits like learning at least the titles of so many interesting books, running the side of my hand along the signatures of so many immortal writers, being introduced to Shunga, and experiencing the sort of restlessness and depression that comes from working in a generally closed to the public antiquarian bookstore located in a place where it s usually cold from October through June I worked with an older guy 35 who spent his day at a computer describing and pricing stacks of books He loved incunabula and fishing and dreamed of hosting a TV show in which he fished and talked books their form, not so much their content One afternoon I asked this older bibliophile for suggestions on what to read He was only ten years older than I was but already seemed or less middle aged he was graying and wore a jacket and tie to work every day and had quit drinking and found God after surviving immersion in the 80s East Village NYC poetry scene he occasionally mentioned some connection, possibly amorous, to Ginsberg He suggested Elias Cannetti s Auto da F , John Kennedy Toole s A Confederacy of Dunces, Thomas Kempis s The Imitation of Christ, and Alexander Theroux s Darconville s Cat I acquired three of these four Read half of the first one but wasn t into it, read all of the second one but wasn t into it, read nearly none of the third one because I didn t want to quit drinking and find God, and couldn t find the fourth one at the time Years later, I found an inexpensive first edition hardcover, I m pretty sure for 1 at a thrift store, of Darconville s Cat that included this letter from the publisher the Cat was there on my shelves for years, always enticing, always something I stayed away from, maybe because I wasn t all that into the bookseller s other recommendations On here of course I encountered so much love for Theroux that my eye always returned to its spine when I wondered what to read next, but not until mid November 2017 did I finally start it and find myself pleasurably surprised by how much I loved it Oh I should have read this twenty years ago, I thought, really enjoying the ridiculously high flung style juxtaposed with the simplest teacher student love story set in rural Virginia spatially and doubly dated temporally in what felt like the early 1970s but also a sort of Dickensian 19th century thanks to the scrim of language o er it all The vocabulary of course revealed delights when I looked up the words and so often found them not only not neologisms but also perfectly descriptive The characters were finely drawn and ridiculous but memorable The whole thing fizzed along through its first 200 pages as love bloomed and the figure of Darconville, so out of place in the place he found himself, his plight expressed in such high language, negotiated new love and old school academia But then what happened The story began to turn as the relationship with Isabel became inevitably complicated There was a stint in Charlottesville so the author could describe Charlottesville and its inhabitants, a stint in London so the author could describe London, of a sense of estrangement as Darconville tried to capture the feeling slipping from him via marriage, and then a stint at Harvard so the author could describe Cambridge and introduce a nefarious concoction known as Dr Crucifer, so perfectly named, a diabolical misogynist eunuch, but ultimately for me where my attention and affection for ye olde Cat pretty much died out By page 450 to 500, with 200 to go, I just couldn t stick with Crucifer s rants and I didn t really believe in or care for Darconville or Isabel or any of it The story seemed too simple, too stereotypical, dressed up in excessive language and ideation and reference in a way that I had little patience for I skimmed for plot points and paragraphs that didn t repel my eyes with thickets of fireworks Like my reading experience of Gravity s Rainbow, the book seemed to transform into a hose of prose opened all the way and aimed right between my eyes In moderation, revved up language is all the rage, but over 700 pages, in this, I found my experience of the reality of the situation and the characters and their emotions undermined I tried to commit to extended sittings and be patient with the book but I found myself falling asleep or not really caring or discovering the delights I certainly wasn t looking up words any when I did keep my eyes open My rating therefore mostly reflects my love for the opening 200 pages and my affection up to page 400 I ultimately failed the final 300 pages, despite Dr Crucifer s efforts to bring me back into it The book is a celebration of excessiveness and I partied with it up to a point, after which I started to fade and wanted to switch to water I kept eyeing a collection of Richard Yates stories and head home I don t think I ll get to my copy of Laura Warholic or, the Sexual Intellectual anytime soon, although I am glad to have a better sense of Mr Theroux and can cross the Cat off from the list of well loved masterpieces recommended to me long ago that I can t really say I unconditionally loved.


  9. says:

    Fantastic reviews of Darconville s Cat exist on this site, browse through and like them all, but they are by people other than myself I can t bring myself to push many buttons or keys or whatever in coherent succession today, so those will have to do This is one of the great novels, though, one of the GREAT NOVELS, kin to Lolita and Madame Bovary, that was my impression, and if you love language as this living, loving, lovely, saving, graceful, eloquent, hilarious, dark, all creating, all encompassing thing, one of the only things that makes us not animals, one of the only things that lets humanity even approach divinity, one of the only things that can t be stripped from us, turned into a commodity to use against our interests, owned by others, devalued and defamed by market forces, something that only dies when the universe dies, something that can t be used to beat prisoners or assemble weapons, something that can be employed to cause pain but can also just as well and even better act as a shield and counterattack against those causing verbal treachery, something that is in fact yours and yours alone to do with as you please, but that at the same time allows you access into the very minds and hearts and secret worlds of everyone else around you, the only something that allows you to approach reality in any way, approach another being in any way, approach a god or a demon in any way, approach a color or a texture or a scent in any way that means anything, something that makes love and hate exist, you should read this immediately Drop what you re reading and read Darconville s Cat today Or don t Finish what you re reading and read it next You should pay attention to Alexander Theroux You should turn off your devices and go to museums and libraries and look at dead things and go breathe outside air and touch other people You should be okay with being still and silent You should be okay with being overwhelmed by the immensity of your vacant interior A chaos of thoughts are within you, you should be okay with that, to let them be and boil and rise Human life is very funny and very tragic and very ugly and very beautiful and very calm and very terrifying When all is said and done, it ends so whose side are you on when the deal goes down How have your hours gone down the drain Read read read and think Think think think and make Temper your ecstatic energy into lasting works of art or acts of beneficence There s lots of things humans can make and actions we can undertake that aren t destructive Dreams say, view, create, shadow leads You can make something beautiful out of your life or you can do the opposite, which is vanish I direct you now to reviews of Darconville s Cat by Anthony Vacca, Megha, Nathan N.R Gaddis, Scribble Orca, Garima, Stephen M, Rob, Jonfaith, MJ Nicholls, David Lentz, and anyone else you damn well please who doesn t happen to be my Goodreads friend but has written a review of this book If you are one of those hucksters who is always seeking out The Great American Novel , thus to chain it up and show it around in a cage like a freak at the fair, I give you another candidate for your pointless chase.


  10. says:

    Sitting there, turning the pages, Darconville nevertheless found one particular aspect of the treatise disagreeable its misogyny That bias rose like a poison fume from almost every paragraph, and Darconville, who, even in his early teens, had been somewhat scandalized the first time he read it, was no less so now and, possible for being in love, How he wondered could anyone hate women A Portrait of the Philosopher as a Forlorn LoverIf Joyce took the english language to extremes never thought possible, and Pynchon dissected the paranoia of a post war world, and Wallace brought out the connection between addiction and entertainment, then Theroux s contribution to the encyclopedic canon would be an examination of misogyny and its close relation to romantic, idealized love Owing stylistic debts to the Victorian era novels with its elevated prose, plot twists and melodrama Darconville s Cat is, if nothing else, a wonderful thing to read on the sentence level Within the first few pages, Theroux provides a devastating critique of life in isolated areas of the south and the religiosity that permeates in the region that the book takes place It was a little world unpardonably misled by fundamentalist drivel, a stronghold of biblicism, and one drowned in the swamp of its execrable simplicities Nowhere could be found anything in the way of adornment It was a place that liked its coffee black, its flapjacks dry, its adjectives few, its cheeses hard, its visits short, its melodies whistleable, and its dreams in black and white preferably the latter.Almost every page features this type of piercing judgement While they make for an engaging and sometimes hilarious read, they also work with an overall conceit within the novel that concerns itself with the problematic relationship between philosophical thinking and human interaction The free indirect style is a function of the main character, Alaric Darconville, an intellectual of academia who falls head over in heels in love with one of his students, Isabel Darconville bears such a close resemblance to his creator, that parsing the differences between intentional and unintentional personality traits imbued in him, and their subsequent significance in the novel, would be an exercise in futility Judgements, of the type excerpted above, are often intertwined with postulations about philosophy and direct references to famous philosophers Plato and Kant especially The writing is infused with analysis and critical examination as directed against those unlucky enough to fall under Darconville s judgements There is no doubt that philosophy, as a field of study and practice, takes as its defining characteristic to be critical thinking and a dependance on the foundations of logic Whether intentional or not, the novel applies the practices of critical thinking and analysis to all aspects of Darconville s relationships with paranoiac intensity Darconville overhears a conversation where a man says that no Quinsy girl could ever love Darconville s love, Isabel, is a girl who attends Quinsy college, so Darconville spends the whole night a whole chapter in the book working out a sixteen step argument to try to assuage the fear that Isabel might not love him And when not relying on strict syllogisms, Darconville bides his time analyzing everyone around him in an negative, degrading way as it seems sometimes the trajectory of philosophy aims Anyone of Darconville s temperament can relate to the discomfort of an overstimulating social situation The presence of other human beings, causes him the extreme discomfort that all introverts struggle to overcome and Darconville automatically resorts to his defense mechanism, over intellectualization and analysis, a mechanism which Darconville becomes acutely aware in a rare moment of honest self reflection But the majority of his interactions go as follows This particular party was characterized by that mood of horrid democracy one so loathes disparate factions didn t separate but actually tried to relate to each other and while old farts, trying to dance, flapped about like wounded birds, self assured teenagers in whom confidence is such a vile characteristic pontificated above the noise about politics, careers, and money schemes.It is unclear what argument, if any, that Theroux makes against the usage of philosophy in aspects of personal relationships, but it is apparent that the majority of this book relies on such a wealth of philosophical lingo that it makes the association between Darconville s actions and the role of philosophy that much stronger In another move of philosophical self defense, Darconville dissects the otology of the word fun when Isabel says that she never has fun with him The value assigned the abstract notion Fun in this rigorous proposition, while it may seem only putatively factual, actually extends itself here to a philosophical calculus of common truth functions beyond ostensive definition to the suggestion of an unsubstitutable and immutable absolute in life by which, had it never been uttered, the straightforwardly empirical protocol established in the pursuit of sufficient linguistic assessment might otherwise be distorted.The book rides on the weight of western thought which, as evidenced by selections from Dr Crucifer s Misogynist s Library, is absolutely male centric and oppressive of women It may not be the true that Theroux is decrying logical thought entirely but he makes it obvious that the type of mind that Darconville has high brow intellectual, logical, and ultra sensitive is susceptible to the erroneous, misogynistic thinking that the character Dr Crucifer embodies We are exposed to a painful bout of rhetoric infused word dumping in which Dr Crucifer propounds the virtues of hatred and the degradation of women The entire speech bears a remarkable similarity to an essay written earlier by Darconville on Love Thus, we see the strong connection between Love and Hate, that they are not just the flip side of the other but so intricately tied that they become one in the same The heavy emphasis on misogynist rhetoric may leave many with than a few qualms with the author and his intentions of such liberal usage of hatred towards the other sex A good chunk of its usage can be subsumed into this conceit about the history of western thought and the usage of logical thought in trying to make sense of volatile human emotions but much of the misogyny seems in excess and lacking in the justification that our moral conscience craves But I don t think any book exploring misogyny would be doing its job if I wasn t offended at some point in the narrative That, added with the fact of the intentional fallacy should prevent anyone from completely hating the author for his aestheticization of misogyny These qualms are bound to arise any time that someone writes a story as male centric as Darconville s Cat The strengths that this book exhibits far outweighs this potential flaw and the book gives enough substance for any reasonably thoughtful person to chew on and struggle with.Despite the thematic weight that this carries, the book remains multifaceted and finds time in proper maximalist fashion to explore a wealth of various topics in different writing genres The book is stuffed with lists, poems, prayers, telephone conversations, unholy litanies, essays, arguments, rants, syllogisms and Shakespearean blank verse in play format Much of the novel celebrates the english language and excavates the OED for nearly every word imaginable Dictionaries are required and an etymological knowledge of greek and latin roots is recommended Some paragraphs rip through vocabulary left and right and Theroux is not shy about making up words to fit the rhythm of a sentence or compliment the sounds of the adjacent words.Regardless of any vocabulary pretensions, Theroux has an impressive command of narrative and narrative delivery His sentences are often long, but they never feel run on The wind was up and the pale undersides of the few leaves left on the trees were layered to windward as, frantically, Darconville set off on the run to find a recording machine across Langdell, over to Paine Hall, into the science Center, and then cutting back through the Yard he found one upstairs on the fifth floor of the Lamount Library where, conveniently, no one was about The librarian pointed to a machine Darconville tore off his coat, clicked the tape into place, and holding his breath pushed the button to play.Many will be surprised by how fast they can read his chapters as they are often plot centric and aim for suspense and excitement The first four hundred pages could be published on its own as a quality romantic novel And what s so unique about Theroux s addition to the encyclopedic novel is the straight forward narrative and limitation of characters Anyone familiar with the novels in the canon are well aware of the demands it can make on the reading w r t character, plot threads, and shifts in style Much of this book is flat out fun to read.Theroux muses on writing frequently and makes sure to sprinkle aphoristic, one liners throughout The present tense, he thought, overflows categories of past, present, and future and drifts into the unreal, timeless realm of ideation. When love isn t proof of itself, it is suddenly impossible to prove and words, which fit to fill the mouths of myst and mummer alike, cheapen on the tongue.In short, this novel is extraordinary in its ability to communicate and for anyone who has a love of great writing, this book will fill their heart s content with its mellifluous prose and deft descriptions But for anyone with commitments against the problems inherent in a male centric society and a male centric tradition of philosophical thought, they may find a lot of the morally questionable aspects of the novel lacking in justification and lacking in a direct refutation of its presentation in the narrative Regardless, Darconville s Cat deserves a place among the literary greats that tackle the difficult issues it ought to be argued and dissected by the fans and detractors of such literature, literature that does as it should push its readers to think, push its readers to feel.