“A necessary defect “

<<Since then, I must have given The Rosie Project to at least 50 friends. Graeme has been busy too, writing a sequel called The Rosie Effect. As soon as we heard about it, Melinda and I asked him for an advance copy, and we enjoyed it so much that we invited Graeme to come to Seattle to talk to us about it.>>

 

 I don’t usually trust the reviews of others about books, but if Bill Gates is careful to dwell on the book to all his friends and write reviews everywhere, this a intrigues me quite a bit:

Don is a professor of genetics at the Melbourne’s University who recently made an incredible discovery: married men are on average happier than single men. This is why he decided, as a scientist, to change the fact that he doesn’t have a partner and he never managed to find one in a project: The Wife Project. -, the main character seemed very particular and the incipit was captivating, so I decided to read this book.

 

tumblr_lovsv6jtz31qk2le2o1_500“I met Rosie at the airport. She remained uncomfortable about me purchasing her ticket, so I told her she could pay me back by selecting some Wife Project applicants for me to date. 
‘Fuck you,’ she said. 
It seemed we were friends again.” [1]

 
And I didn’t regret it at all!
Honestly, as often happens, I trust the title of the novel they chose to give to the Italian version, “Love is a wonderful defect”, it is ambiguous and makes it look like a trivial love romance, while it is a brilliant book on a very original aspect of love. The original title, in fact, “The Rosie Project”, is much more in line with the plot! But I can understand the choice from the perspective of Don, who would actually define love as a defect. A necessary defect though.

tumblr_inline_ml74zf9mfe1qz4rgp

 

The novel is the brilliant literary debut of the Australian screenwriter Graeme Simsion[2]. You will notice immediately that there is the touch of a screenwriter because the scenes appear in front of the reader just like in a film, for this reason reading this book is really pleasant, appropriate for a lazy spring afternoon.

 

e0fcfa4520c76cd19d4361bcb74f471cDon is a meticulous man, a man different from the mass, he suffers (not knowingly) from a specific mental disorder called Asperger’s syndrome[3], which leads him to livea life in a disciplined way, in which every minute is very well organized, without the option to do something that hasn’t a practical utility. In this type of condition, social relationships have little space, even for Don’s inadequacy to demonstrate empathy.

“Fault! Asperger’s isn’t a fault. It’s a variant. It’s potentially a major advantage. Asperger’s syndrome is associated with organization, focus, innovative thinking, and rational detachment.” [4]

 
tumblr_lvq0o9h5xo1r3h4efThanks to Rosie, who at first sight is undoubtedly the farthest woman from Don’s strict standards, he makes a change not rational at all.

 

“I know this song!’
Rosie laughed. 
‘If you didn’t, that’d be the final proof that you’re from Mars.” [5]

 
I really adored reading this book, associated it to a good glass of white wine and Bach *, following Don in the quest not only about the “ideal wife”, but for an adventure that upset his life. It starts with the “parent project” to continue with journeys and new experiences that increase his perspectives but never totally change it. He remains close to his being while managing to approach someone so unfit for him.
I think this is the most difficult challenge for all of us, don’t you think?

 

I was fascinated by the hand movements and silent for a while as I tried to work them out. Were they a sign of distress at not knowing who her father was? If so, it was not one I was familiar with. And why had she chosen to punctuate her speech at that point … of course! Punctuation! ‘Quotation marks,’ I said aloud as the idea hit me.[6]

 

un-difetto-necessarioDon is not quite an unreliable narrator, but he misses social cues that the reader does not. Talk a little more about this narrative device. Do you ever find it limiting?
On the contrary, it’s a very effective device for conveying Don’s character at the same time as telling the story. And it’s one of the key sources of comedy: the disconnect between what Don describes and what we think is really happening. I don’t feel a desire to take over as narrator and insert my own direct observations into the text. I know that for some readers, the fact that the story is told exclusively from Don’s point of view is disconcerting. I think the majority of relationship stories are told from a female point of view—this is certainly true of the chick lit genre. Someone accustomed to having the woman on the page at all times is going to miss Rosie! [7]

 

 

 

 


 

[1] From the novel.
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graeme_Simsion .
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger_syndrome.
[4] From the novel.
[5] From the novel.
[6] From the novel.
[7] An interview with Graeme Simsion on a blog.

 

Un pensiero riguardo ““A necessary defect “

  1. L’ha ripubblicato su Thr0ugh The Mirr0re ha commentato:

    “Fault! Asperger’s isn’t a fault. It’s a variant. It’s potentially a major advantage. Asperger’s syndrome is associated with organization, focus, innovative thinking, and rational detachment.” [4]

    Mi piace

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