Thursday, July 7, 2011

30 Days of Books, Day 14 (and oddly, 17).

[Favourite book from your favourite writer.]

Because I said Melina Marchetta yesterday, we'll continue with that.

I don't know why.
But I very much love it.
I love her way of handling dialogue. Something I've always been told is never do chunks of dialogue. How did my Extension English tutor phrase it? [hunts through extremely massive journal]
Okay, I cannot find what she said. But it was something about it being a fruit cake. You can't have all sultanas and cherries (being dialogue); it'll take away from the cake. But, too, you can't just have cake (description).
But Marchetta seems to take that rulebook and go, "Yeah, whatever" while stomping on it emphatically.
Not saying that she doesn't write properly. It's more, she does massive chunks of dialogue, then massive chunks where Francesca's thinking and describing. It's just amazing. And not what we're taught to do.
To show what I'm getting at, I refer to this:
After a moment, I realise I'm not alone. Will Trombal is walking alongside me, and I know he's not there by chance. It's been a week since the party. In front of us is Siobhan Sullivan, her arms draped over two boys beside her, her uniform riding up. She lifts herself up and swings herself into the air.
“I think you should speak to her,” he says to me.
“I beg your pardon?”
“There’s stuff written about her.”
I stop for a moment and look at him. “Would you ask me to speak to a guy about the same thing?”
“Why turn this into a gender issue?”
“Because you made it into one. Would you go up to a guy and warm him if there was stuff written about him?”
“Listen, don’t shoot the messenger,” he almost shouts. “The stuff* that’s written about her in the toilets is awful and if she was my friend I’d talk to her about it.”
“Well it’s not in my job description.”
“You’ve made it your job…”
“No, I haven’t.”
“I’m trying to work with you here…”
“No you’re not. We haven’t got one thing on that list except for that humiliating basketball game and now you’ve decided to be Mr Moral Policeman.”
“Forget it,” he says, walking away angrily.
“And what’s the name for people who kiss other people when they’ve got a girlfriend?”
He stops and turns around, looking me straight in the eye.
“A weak, spineless prick.”

I feel, in this dialogue, as though I'm eavesdropping on Francesca and Will as they make their way home through the park. And, because it's late and I'm hardly eloquent, that's about the best we'll get.

Favourite quote from this book?
Well, it's more a snippet of conversation between Francesca and Mia, her mother.

“Are you and Daddy going to be okay?” I ask her.“Why do you ask?”“Because people grow out of people. You’ve known him for over twenty years.”“I’ve known you for seventeen and I haven’t grown out of you and I never will. Why should it be different for Daddy?”“Because I’m your flesh and blood.”“Oh gosh*, Frankie, I breathe in rhythm with that man. You think that’s not my flesh and blood after all these years?”
The concept of such a love - I know, way to miss the point of the book, Tash - floors me. Breathing in rhythm, defying what we're told the world is like. You can find a person like that. At least, I hope you can.

As it is with every book, this text is copyrighted by the author - namely, Melina Marchetta. Where asterisked, I've edited it for my own personal belief happiness/general avoidance of some terms.
Whatever, call me prudish, say what you will, but that's what has happened. Mwahahahadealwithit.

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