He talks about "writing desperate love letters on sidewalks in the shape of bloodied snow angels" (Plascencia, p.109). He agrees to participate in Saturn's war because Saturn's war is, at its core, about love.
Moreover, Saturn acknowledges the importance of love. He is at war, which if there is ever a time for a man to be ruthless and set aside compassion, war is that time. However, his enemy has been hurt. His wife has left him for another man. Saturn respects that. In fact, Plascencia acknowledges this by noting: "while it is said that everything is fair in love and war, the dictum is nullified when both love and war occur simultaneously; then, the rules of battle become more stringent. The politics of war can always be argued, but there is an undeniable sympathy that must be extended when a woman leaves a man" (Plascencia, p.105). That statement reveals the heart of the whole story, which is that love is universal. All people...
However, Plascencia is also careful to present the woman's point-of-view and have her describe why she left, and why she should not be vilified for it.
It is very difficult to write about love in Gould's Book of Fish or the Paper People, because the novels are incredibly complex, both in topic and in writing style. Moreover, neither novel deals primarily with the idea of romantic love. However, both novels reveal the important role that love plays in driving a story, even if that love is on the periphery. Neither novel makes love the hero that redeems a former villain, saves a life, or makes someone a better person. However, neither novel makes love into the villain. Instead, both novels acknowledge the complexity of love, and the fact that, while love may rarely be the main plot in life, without love, there is no meaningful plot.
Flanagan, Richard. Gould's Book of Fish. New York, Grove Atlantic, 2001.
Plascencia, Salvador. The People of Paper. Orlando: Harcourt,…
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