So I am sitting here in the library, wishing I were somewhere else. I do not want to write, this paper, and I can’t honestly figure out why. I’ve read, and re-read this story. I guess I am not sure how I feel about it. I know I am not ambivalent. I’m stuck somewhere between frustration, and unease. Frustration because I was so excited to read the first few lines. I really like the writer’s style, but not the subject matter which causes my unease. Since I like the writers style, I am assuming he is intelligent. More intelligent that his story gives him credit for having. I am so disappointed in Yunior.
I’m upset with Diaz’s lack of originality with the story line. The story is the same old, same old. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, girl is too nice, boy is bored, grass is greener on the side, or should I say “chocho” is way better with another woman? (I have been schooled in Dominican/Spanish slang. ) Boy steps out, relationship progresses, and girl finds out. Instead of breaking it off, of course they drive each other mad, slowly until ultimately the relationship crashes, and burns like a 747 engine with a goose sucked into it’s intake. Nothing good is going on. It’s dead. Of course only after boy realizes girl is the love of his life.
The refreshing prose, straight up, no watered down adjectives, the simplicity of the main character, I loved. “I cheated on her with this chick who had tons of eighties freestyle hair”, “The gifts she holds on her lap, like the bones of a saint. ” I loved the writing. Loved the words the author chose. Love how his writing makes me see frizzy Aqua Net hair, along with a feeling a fellow passenger’s joy in anticipation of seeing a loved one. I loved the cadence, the slang, flow. Honestly in reminded me a little bit of Ernest Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea, it had the same ease of style, I’m not sure, something.
If it just wasn’t the same tired men are dogs story, I might’ve really loved this short read too. Junot Diaz certainly has a knack for storytelling. I could feel his emotion. I was pulling for Yunior and Magda, even though I felt like I knew what was coming in the end. I’m not aware of any of these stories ending well. No matter how gifted the writer, or sincerely sorry the cheater. Now, in hindsight after writing this, I enjoyed this story, even the tired story line. I just gave some weight to the quote you gave us on the first day of class, it would seem as if Didion isn’t alone.
Anyway, Magda was likeable. Being a “Bergenline original” and completely innocent other than trusting an “sucio” , I began to resent the authors painting of her as a bitch as the story winded down- But then that is inevitable too, right? The cheater has to find some way to justify his crappy decision making. Again pretty typical, it’s not like we haven’t seen that before. Hopefully Yunior/Junot will get around to writing the other story he made mention of briefly, the one about “the sea” “cross-eyed niggers” and “Calle XXI”. I’m pulling for him, and craving more of his writing.