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BEFORE SHE MET ME by Mind Map: BEFORE SHE MET ME
0.0 stars - reviews range from 0 to 5

BEFORE SHE MET ME

well-crafted, satirical short novel with a clear dramatic structure, setting and power

SYNOPSIS

Barnes's second book under his own name. Graham Hendrick divorces, remarries, and finds himself consumed with jealousy as he investigates his new wife's former love affairs. The novel is gritty, shocking, and quite moving in its portrayal of the slow deterioration of its central character.

THEMES

reading life vs. reading books

a follow up from Metroland

love (triangles)

guilt vs. liberation

reason vs. passion

control of primitive and unwanted emotions

obsession

Jealousy, romantic love implying failure

coming to terms with one's identity

Graham defines his personalities- profession- wives- daughterResult - absence of identityunable to cope with life experience, with "darker qualities of the adult world"unable to face his emotions

CHARACTERS

Graham

fact vs. fictionreason vs. emotionpast vs. presentquasi-logical flights of imagination

age 42

victim of patriarchy

Anne

age 35

Jack Lupton

poaches on other people's experience - turns it into textswhich Graham then uses to recreate "history"understands power of the imaginary

Barbara

pragmatismbitternessassuming a rolelacking emotionsanniversary "marital obligations" throw light on Graham's character

SEMINAR TOPICS

Postmodernist approach to past

reconstructing the past from textual evidence

Motive of search

CONTEXT AND SETTING

the TRIUNE brain

Paul D. MacLean The triune brain consists of the reptilian complex, the paleomammalian complex (limbic system), and the neomammalian complex (neocortex) Formulated theory in the 1960s, Carl Sagan's Dragons of Eden made it widely known in 1977.

PATRIARCHY

UNFAITHFUL WIFE =lack of social power and sexual potency of the man considered to have authority - the husband

social norms: sexual revolution and its long-term effects

RULE of men over both men and women, need of control

collective expression of power - social control

STRUCTURE

epigraphs

MacLean

Moliere

CHAPTER TITLES

Three suits and a violin

The horse and the crocodile

Cross-eyed bear

Feminian sandstones

voice - narrator

cluastrophobic

limited number of characters and locations

ending

psychologically plausible, not socially realistic

quotes

Rebecca

Gormenghast

The End of the Affair

Kipling

GENRES

In ''Before She Met Me''... Mr. Barnes is once again playing fast and loose with literary categories. This time, although he has stuck closer to the traditional novel form, he has mixed subgenres, devising something halfway between the academic romps of Kingsley Amis or David Lodge and the violent, steamy tales of James M. Cain. This combination makes for an uneasy hybrid of comedy and melodrama. But while the book lacks credibility in places, few will be able to resist its easy humor and almost insidious readability.

tone

dark humor, heavier than elsewhere Before She Met Me is another such novel of unease, growing menace, and mental disturbance. Barnes himself calls it "a rather nasty book about unpleasant sexual feelings, jealousies and obsessions. It was meant to have had a rather sour and hard-driving edge to it. I think it's my funniest book, though the humor is rather bleak and in bad taste usually." He is right: it is a very funny book. Writing a book this funny which nevertheless turns out to be this savage, without tonal inconsistency or unintended humor, is quite an impressive accomplishment

psychological thriller

black comedy/farce

fabliau

A fabliau (plural fabliaux) is a comic, often anonymous tale written by jongleurs in northeast France between ca. 1150 and 1400. They are generally characterized by an excessiveness of sexual and corporeal obscenity. Several of them were reworked by Giovanni Boccaccio for the Decameron and by Geoffrey Chaucer for his Canterbury Tales. Some 150 French fabliaux are extant, the number depending on how narrowly fabliau is defined. According to R. Howard Bloch, fabliaux are the first expression of literary realism in Europe.

cuckold

man of honor

lover's revenge tragedy

Othello