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Marina's picture

sorrows

Reading Sorrows of an American was a nice departure from the more dense texts we have read thus far. I enjoyed reading Sorrows, but I was also annoyed at times. I often felt that the characters in the novel were being whiny and melodramatic, especially towards the end. I can definitely see a connection between Sorrows and Whitman as both are highly related to the unconscious. Whitman writes in a style that attempts to recreate unconscious experience while Hustvedt borrows a lot from psychology regarding psychoanalysis, dreams, associations, and therapy to bring some light to the unrconscious experience of different characters in the novel. For instance, Erik's dreams and Miranda's drawings bring a lot of their unconscious feelings to the forefront ... perhaps even Lane's photography and Lisa's dolls. I was also puzzled by the title when I first started reading the novel, but after finding out it was named after another novel about a man's unrequited love it makes sense and reflects a bit of Erik's storyline.

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