The real milagro

was that any of us could talk intelligently about The Milagro Beanfield War at all, given that only one or two folks who attended our lecture on "Fiction Lessons from the Milagro Beanfield War" had read it in the last 20 years. Sadly, the instructor (moi) was in the same boat, but I did a very close read of the first 70 (of 470+) pages (some of the pages re-read upwards of 20 times as I continually forgot where I was). We were still able to come up with some things to steal and think about, including: (1) the up-and-down-the-scale tone and diction shifts that accommodate a novel about a multifaceted, multilayered community; (2) the use of an omniscient narrator as a ballsy way to capture community as character; and (3) something about character? The hit of the day may have been the woman who wrote from a child's perspective about how many pills Auntie took to get some rest (you know who you are) as well as a guy writing about a bearded man nicknamed the Captain who takes too much to heart. Oh, and the uncomfortable lunch scene featuring a woman looked down upon by her father-in-law; or any of the myriad others that came out of that writing jam. Thanks, all, for a memorable afternoon.