Well, I said I’d be doing chapter-by-chapter commentary, and I’ll start with this book. It’ll probably take me a long time to finish this book, because I’m a massive procrastinator.
You are warned, though – I seriously
hate dislike this book, so if you’re of the kind who can’t stand to see people hating it, leave now. There’ll be lots of posts for you, and I’ll put my commentary under a read more for your convenience. ‘Kay?
John Green owns all bolded content used in any of my Fault in Our Stars commentaries. I lay no claim to any of this content.
I’m not gonna start Chapter One for a while. However, I am going to do a quick commentary on the author’s notes and such.
As the tide washed in, the Dutch Tulip Man faced the ocean: “Conjoiner rejoinder poisoner concealer revelator. Look at it, rising up and
rising down, taking everything with it.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“Water,” the Dutchman said. “Well, and time.”
—PETER VAN HOUTEN, An Imperial Affliction
Hmm. I can’t say that I’m too pleased with this particular quote being used, as…y’know, it isn’t an actual author. It makes sense in context, but I feel like this is just an example of what we will see throughout the novel – John Green patting himself on the back with his faux-philosophical genius.
There are many quotes that would fit in the context of his novel. This one, and this one, and this one, and this one. Unless Green wanted to have a nice, fancy quote without having to do all the copyright stuff, it doesn’t make sense to me.
Another point: how do any of the words used apply to water?
This is not so much an author’s note as an author’s reminder of what was printed in small type a few pages ago: This book is a work of fiction. I made it up.
Neither novels nor their readers benefit from attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story.
Perhaps this story is a work of fiction. However, the basis of the story, an important point in the story, is that the main character has cancer. Cancer is what brings the two main characters together. This story would be considered ‘realistic fiction’.
So, logically, there would have to be facts. There would have to be a realistic portrayal of cancer (a fact), a realistic portrayal of treatments (a fact), and various other things. In fact, a book like this requires a lot of research and a lot of work. And you have to get your facts right.
Such efforts attack the very idea
that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species.
Made-up stories mattering is not the ‘foundational assumption of our species’, Mr Green. It sounds impressive, but then, I realised that he’s saying that the foundation of the human race is that fiction matters.
A foundational assumption is an assumption that is an underlying basis and principle of something. So, the foundational assumption of our species is what triggers our reactions to something, what we base everything on.
As another blogger has said, the foundational assumption of the human race is probably ‘survive’.
I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
Phew. I’m tired already. Until next time, then, when we meet a whiny teenager, a rude teenager, and a counselor. Which sounds like one of those jokes, y’know: Hazel, Augustus, and Patrick walk into a bar…
See you then.