Thanks very much for the Franzen article. I enjoyed it, though like you, I can't say I sympathize at all with Undine.
I have read Blooms Novels and Novelists, but had forgotten the anecdote about his class. I suppose that is where I got the idea that he considered TCotC her masterpiece.
I hadnt' thought of the initials. I suppose you are right. I wanted to bring up this name. Why in the world did she choose it. Can anyone not consider it an ugly name? Ralph doesn't seem to; he says it's perfect for her. And I suppose I don't think it any uglier than Gudrun which appears in Lawrence's Women in Love and The Rainbow. Edith writes about the naming of characters in The Writing of Fiction, but I don't remember much of what she says, just that she sometimes suspects authors of filling in the names last.
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