Jeffrey Eugenides Message Board

Andreea Lupei posts on 1/1/2012 Andreea Lupei has just written a review of The Marriage Plot which you can see here
Leslie posts on 7/28/2010 5:55:01 PM I read Middlesex a couple of years ago, and I really wanted to know all about Cal's story. I was so disappointed that the main story was not directly Cal's but Cal's other family members story. This made the book too long for me. I was really looking forward to this book. Books are very personal, maybe other readers will like it. Have a good day.
posts on 7/5/2006 2:37:04 PM Doesn't the author bring up a poem about Smyrna in the story? I remember he does, I just can't remember what it was about. Overall I thought this was a good book, it just used a bit difficult vocabulary causing me to look up quite a few words.

heather posts on 8/2/2005 10:58:18 PM That's a really good point. I haven't gotten that far in my 2nd reading, just to where Cal runs away. I had forgotten that Chapter Eleven ruined Milt's business. I'll read that section with special attention this time.
Christy posts on 8/1/2005 11:02:16 AM Heather - I think he is called Chapter Eleven, because he screwed up his father's (Milton Stephenides') hotdog business. I think Cal said at the end he made a bunch of poor business decisions after his dad died, and they lost the business. Then Tessie and Yia Yia had to move in with Sormulina down in Florida - they lost the house and everything. I think that is what happened, as it has been a year since I read the book. I'll have to look it up. But I am assuming that is why Cal refers to him as Chapter Eleven (Chapter Eleven is a form of bankruptcy that businesses can claim). It is rather enigmatic that Cal never gives a proper name for him - sort of like he has little to no respect for Chapter Eleven. Anyway, that is my theory!
heather posts on 7/31/2005 12:43:14 PM this is the 2nd time I've read Middlesex, and I love it. But I keep trying to determine why Cal's brother is named Chapter Eleven - I've read carefully to see if there is a mention of a real name, and didn't find one. Does anyone know?
Christy posts on 1/26/2005 1:28:40 AM I was wondering if anyone knew whether or not Eugenides is a pen name. I was thinking about this, because there is a stanza in T.S. Eliot's poem "The Wasteland" where a Mr. Eugenides a merchant from Smyrna turns up. He even asks a question in bad French like Lefty does on page 61 when he and Desdemona are trying to escape the burning of Smyrna. It's strange too that Tiresias the hermaphrodite prophet also turns up in the story Middlesex and is also in T.S. Eliot's poem "The Wasteland" as well. It's some weird synchronicity. Look up "The Wasteland" and go to part III which is called "The Fire Sermon" and then go down to the stanzas that start with the words "Unreal City." It's kind of interesting!
Jadie posts on 1/2/2005 2:49:53 PM Okay so I'm not fully done Middlesex, BUT this book is the most engaging book I have every had the pleasure of reading. Although some parts are somewhat dense. The compelling way that Cal traces the mutated gene that started generations before himself. I don't want to say too much about the book, just that you should DEFINITELY read it!

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