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This Must Be the Place
An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and...
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For an epigraph, O'Farrell selected a quote from a poem by Louis MacNeice. What do you think it means, particularly in the context of the story, and why do you think the author chose it?

Created: 07/20/16

Replies: 8

Posted Jul. 20, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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For an epigraph, O'Farrell selected a quote from a poem by Louis MacNeice. What do you think it means, particularly in the context of the story, and why do you think the author chose it?

For an epigraph, O'Farrell selected a quote from a poem by Louis MacNeice: "World is crazier and more of it than we think, / Incorrigibly plural." What do you think this means, particularly in the context of the story, and why do you think the author chose it?


Posted Aug. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

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RE: For an epigraph, O'Farrell selected a quote from a poem by Louis MacNeice. What do you think it means, particularly in the context of the story, and why do you think the author chose it?

All the characters have deranged lives (as it seems every person alive does), seemingly not to be improved or changed and having many facets.


Posted Aug. 01, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ednaj

Join Date: 08/01/16

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RE: For an epigraph, O'Farrell selected a quote from a poem by Louis MacNeice. What do you think it means, particularly in the context of the story, and why do you think the author chose it?

The epigraph was well chosen. All the characters seemed to be very complex as we followed some of them over a period of 72 years; their achievements, their declines, their growth, their craziness. We are all a bit crazy as we endure a lifetime of choices, good and bad.


Posted Aug. 02, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marymargaretf

Join Date: 09/05/11

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RE: For an epigraph, O'Farrell selected a quote from a poem by Louis MacNeice. What do you think it means, particularly in the context of the story, and why do you think the author chose it?

I agree with the previous observations, but for me the quote especially pointed to the clandestine relationship of Daniel's mother Teresa with Johnny Demarco. Their chance encounter spanned her lifetime and it fostered a depth of feelings ("crazier----/incorrigibly plural") that no one close to them could ever believe.


Posted Aug. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

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RE: For an epigraph, O'Farrell selected a quote from a poem by Louis MacNeice. What do you think it means, particularly in the context of the story, and why do you think the author chose it?

It was certainly appropriate for this book. The characters are all from such diverse backgrounds and all end up in totally non-predictable places doing equally non-predictable things. The stories of each person are in themselves moving on very unusual and convoluted paths and when they, again unpredictably, meet the resultant events are always a bit of surprise. Each character has his/her own way of dealing with events and some of these choices are a bit unusual though quite interesting and believable.


Posted Aug. 03, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

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RE: For an epigraph, O'Farrell selected a quote from a poem by Louis MacNeice. What do you think it means, particularly in the context of the story, and why do you think the author chose it?

I think the quote underscores the complexity of our lives and those of the people around us. We all tend to think about how difficult and complicated our lives are, but we forget that our friends and family and the strangers we encounter every day also have complicated lives. I think the use of different narrators in the book helps to support this quote. O'Farrell made even her minor characters very complex and well rounded, giving the reader just a slice of all these other lives and hinting at complex existences that we as readers will never know more about. It gives depth to the story. I would love to read separate novels about many of these minor characters!


Posted Aug. 04, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Mary J

Join Date: 04/26/15

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RE: For an epigraph, O'Farrell selected a quote from a poem by Louis MacNeice. What do you think it means, particularly in the context of the story, and why do you think the author chose it?

This is certainly relevant to the story and the characters that O'Farrell brought forward. We may have intended directions for our lives, but it is challenged daily by the people and events that we encounter. As in our own lives, each of the persons in O'Farrell's story have complex and imperfect lives.


Posted Aug. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
flute4u

Join Date: 08/14/13

Posts: 23

RE: For an epigraph, O'Farrell selected a quote from a poem by Louis MacNeice. What do you think it means, particularly in the context of the story, and why do you think the author chose it?

I agree. We all have complicated lives and relationships that are intersected by the ripples of random pebbles we cannot avoid, but must choose how to respond. Danielle, Claudette, Niall, Ari and Nicola have defining events collide with their lives that push them into life altering decisions. The poem expresses that beautifully.


Posted Aug. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

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RE: For an epigraph, O'Farrell selected a quote from a poem by Louis MacNeice. What do you think it means, particularly in the context of the story, and why do you think the author chose it?

On one level, this is a perfect epigraph because the whole novel shows how many other people intersect with one person's life and fate, each with his or her own perspective, and that one person may not even fully realize their influence. On another level, MacNeice's use of "plural" can refer just to that single soul, in this case Daniel, who is actively struggling to bring all of his disparate parts and connections into one whole-hearted being. In many ways he has been holding back in his relationships, shattered by guilt and grief. His need to find out about Nicola is really his need to begin dealing with all that, which he's buried for so long. And sadly for him, he can't talk about it, leaving Claudette to give rein to her own demons, and separate from him-- despite still loving him--which just fragments his life even more. And when he falls completely to pieces, due to more losses, more guilt and grief, what helps him find his way out, into the wholeness he seeks, is the "plural," his children and his chance encounter with another person he barely knows, but whose influence is all-important. Like Daniel, every person's sense of self, of identity, is made up of many personae or roles that we have played throughout our personal relationships, and if the "inside is not the same as the outside," as Pascaline observed of Daniel, that is a clue that we haven't fully integrated our fragments into a whole that we can live with.


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