LITERATURE: Cannery Row and Poetics

A most interesting development in the reading…

For many chapters, Mack and the boys have been planning a party for Doc just to show their appreciation of him.  Well, it starts out as they need to make money to be able to throw a party, so they visit Doc and find that he needs frogs, at least 300 of them.  Back and forth haggling with Lee Chong for the use of his truck–for which they barter its repair, getting gas, getting there while Doc is off on his own trip collecting baby octopi, and an incredible series of mishaps to get all ready, the party is almost pulled off, but Doc is late returning home, and in the manner of Suttree‘s Harrogate, the best intentions leave a mess without proper planning.  Eight hundred frogs are traded to Lee Chong for food, booze, decorations, etc., and while the party goes on fueled by drinking and fighting and general merriment before Doc even gets there, his lab is destroyed and the frogs all escape.

That’s a brief summary without all the details that make this part of the narrative so intense and enjoyable, but the point that struck me is what do we have here

A comedy of errors that makes itself into a tragedy. 

So now I need go back to Aristotle to see what he would say about this, after explicitly delineating the separate branches of Comedy and Tragedy by specific values.  Plot would be primary in Tragedy, and the Characters imitative of comedy, and this may well fit with the theory.  This will take me some time…

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2 Responses to LITERATURE: Cannery Row and Poetics

  1. Mark says:

    Aristotle is dead counting dry rocks.
    Plato is dead considering their forms.

    I wish you would stop analyzing everything and just write.

  2. susan says:

    I HAVE been writing. I will likely have two stories ready to be sent out to lit journals this week. I need to analyze reading in order to understand writing, Mark, and to learn and improve.

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