Bandini Question #29 - The Final Question

by John Fante

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Liz
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Bandini Question #29 - The Final Question

Unread postby Liz » Tue Oct 02, 2007 10:02 am

We have one final question about the book before we end this discussion and move on to our next book, Ask The Dust. This has been one of my favorite discussions at ONBC. I hope you’ve enjoyed it too. Look for tidbits on ATD to begin on Oct. 15 and the discussion to begin on Nov. 8. So without further ado.....

Let’s speculate……If Johnny had actually written the introduction to Wait Until Spring, Bandini as planned, what angle do you think he would have taken?
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:13 am

I'm glad you asked this question because I was thinking of this (and feeling deprived! :bawl: ) as I read the book. I look forward to hearing everyone's ideas! But I sure don't know! Johnny has such a way with words and thoughts that I truly can't imagine. But I think he would praise Fante's style of writing and make reference to empathizing with Arturo's feeling of being an outsider as a kid.
Liz and DITHOT, thank you so much for introducing me (and Mr. Betty Sue, who's equally as enthusiastic!) to Mr. Fante! We'll be reading everything he wrote (and checking into Bukowski, too). Loved the book, and got sooooo much more out of it from all of the fantastic insights from all you Noodlemantras! Thanks so much, everyone! :bouquet:
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Unread postby Parlez » Tue Oct 02, 2007 12:23 pm

Oh, man!! What a way to wrap up the discussion!
Well, I don't know what Johnny would've said if he did write the introduction, but I can certainly understand why he didn't! Who's got the time? This book requires thoughtful contemplation on so many levels. You can drown in this story. Maybe someday, when he's old and gray, Johnny will find the time to write - not only an intro for this book, but a ton of other amazing things as well!
Thanks for a great discussion!:cool:
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Oct 02, 2007 1:11 pm

I'm glad to hear that Mr. Betty Sue enjoys Fante also. :cool: Mr. Liz liked the movie, Ask The Dust; but he's not much of a reader of novels. :-/

Betty Sue and Parlez, I’m looking forward to you both joining us for ATD. :bounce: I have to say that I think I enjoyed the book more after the discussion started because of the insights given by all of you. You all helped me to see the book in a more positive light.

I think that Johnny would say something about Arturo, the outsider. But I think they were all outsiders, in a way. I wonder if Johnny would have touched on the continuing story of Arturo. I’m assuming he would have even more praise for ATD……but I can’t tell you yet why I think that. :shhh:
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Unread postby nebraska » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:07 pm

I think Johnny would have praised Fante's writing, especially his incredible way of expressing emotion in such raw, tangible words. Judging by the books we have read here at ONBC, I believe Johnny loves to read authors whose prose is lyrical and descriptive -- the quality of the writing seems to bridge the gap of all manner of stories and subject matter. I think he would have praised Fante's writing by expressing how the book touched him rather than by giving a literature lecture.

I believe Johnny would have felt more empathy for Svevo......who was also an outsider, often even feeling like an outsider in his own family at the same time he was obligated to provide for them under the most difficult of circumstances (including his own weaknesses as a man, sabotaging himself over and over). I can't defend that opinion, really, except by the strength of my gut feeling.

I wish we had the chance to know what he would have wrote.........it is a big disappointment that didn't come to pass.

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Unread postby Betty Sue » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:42 pm

Liz wrote: I wonder if Johnny would have touched on the continuing story of Arturo. I’m assuming he would have even more praise for ATD……but I can’t tell you yet why I think that. :shhh:

Mr. Betty Sue seems to agree. He began reading it late last night, couldn't stop reading till Chapter Fourteen, and is :-O about it.
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Unread postby fansmom » Tue Oct 02, 2007 4:45 pm

As I read the book, I wondered what Johnny saw in it. Yes, I enjoyed it; yes, I thought it was an interesting story; yes, I thought it was well-written. Clearly there a theme of being outside of society that we know resonates with Johnny, as does idea of a disfunctional family. But I kept wondering, to paraphrase the ONBC sticky, "Why this book?"
Liz wrote:I'm glad to hear that Mr. Betty Sue enjoys Fante also. :cool: Mr. Liz liked the movie, Ask The Dust; but he's not much of a reader of novels. :-/
I married the only man I know who reads novels. :blush:

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Unread postby suec » Tue Oct 02, 2007 5:50 pm

nebraska wrote:I think Johnny would have praised Fante's writing, especially his incredible way of expressing emotion in such raw, tangible words. Judging by the books we have read here at ONBC, I believe Johnny loves to read authors whose prose is lyrical and descriptive -- the quality of the writing seems to bridge the gap of all manner of stories and subject matter. I think he would have praised Fante's writing by expressing how the book touched him rather than by giving a literature lecture.

I believe Johnny would have felt more empathy for Svevo......who was also an outsider, often even feeling like an outsider in his own family at the same time he was obligated to provide for them under the most difficult of circumstances (including his own weaknesses as a man, sabotaging himself over and over). I can't defend that opinion, really, except by the strength of my gut feeling.

I wish we had the chance to know what he would have wrote.........it is a big disappointment that didn't come to pass.


nebraska, you have summed it up for me. I think Johnny also writes in a raw tangible way and that he would love his style. Also the way we really get inside the characters. He's great at making the connection, and I think I agree with you about Svevo.

Liz, I think you and DIDHOT have excelled yourselves with the questions. The discussions really helped me get into this book, and it's become one of my favourites. Thanks, everyone!
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Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Oct 02, 2007 6:10 pm

As I read I made a few notes about why Johnny would have been drawn to the book enough to write an introduction. I'm still hopeful that will come to pass one of these days. :hope: As you all have said the outsider theme, the downtrodden lifestyle, Arturo and his issues with school :lol: and the time period I think were all draws. nebraska, your words about the writing sum it up very well I think!

Thanks for a very insightful discussion, Noodlemantras! :applause: And the saga continues...we hope to all of see you and more for Ask the Dust!
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Unread postby dharma_bum » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:23 pm

Nebraska, you expressed it well.

I much agree that JD favors spare, gritty prose in an almost stream of consciousness style.

I’m not so sure his sympathies would lie with Svevo though… he was one of the architects of Arturo’s pain. I think its Arturo’s experiences that parallel his own. Arturo was the one who most keenly experienced “otherness”—feeling set apart by ethnicity, poverty and shame over his parents behavior.

JD has certainly talked about the turmoil he experienced growing up and the fact that, to him, the dysfunction was normal until he had a point of comparison to his own family. In WUS, Arturo reaches the point of revelation that the rest of world doesn’t live like the Bandinis, and his obsessive fantasies about Rosa and baseball distract him from those harsh realities, just as music provided an escape for JD.

I came across the quote and I that I think expresses why he is attracted to themes involving pain, acceptance, growth, and transformation:
"I don't trust anybody who hasn't been self-destructive in some way, who hasn't gone through some sort of bout of self-loathing. You've got to bang yourself around a bit to get to know yourself”... I feel like I've had a lot of different lives, you know? And I don't particularly remember the moment of death and the moment of rebirth and everything. But I feel like I've gone through whatever I've gone through and then this other guy emerged."
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Unread postby Liz » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:46 pm

dharma_bum wrote:
I came across the quote and I that I think expresses why he is attracted to themes involving pain, acceptance, growth, and transformation:
"I don't trust anybody who hasn't been self-destructive in some way, who hasn't gone through some sort of bout of self-loathing. You've got to bang yourself around a bit to get to know yourself”... I feel like I've had a lot of different lives, you know? And I don't particularly remember the moment of death and the moment of rebirth and everything. But I feel like I've gone through whatever I've gone through and then this other guy emerged."


Wow, I think this quote is so Arturo!.....at least in this Fante book. What is this quote from?

And Nebraska, I think you expressed it so well..... "especially his incredible way of expressing emotion in such raw, tangible words".

But I do agree with Db that he may not have been so sympathetic for Svevo.
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Unread postby Linda Lee » Tue Oct 02, 2007 11:55 pm

I have no idea what angle he would have taken, but I have enjoyed reading everyone's ideas.
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Unread postby dharma_bum » Wed Oct 03, 2007 12:13 am

Liz wrote:
dharma_bum wrote:
I came across the quote and I that I think expresses why he is attracted to themes involving pain, acceptance, growth, and transformation:
"I don't trust anybody who hasn't been self-destructive in some way, who hasn't gone through some sort of bout of self-loathing. You've got to bang yourself around a bit to get to know yourself”... I feel like I've had a lot of different lives, you know? And I don't particularly remember the moment of death and the moment of rebirth and everything. But I feel like I've gone through whatever I've gone through and then this other guy emerged."

Wow, I think this quote is so Arturo!.....at least in this Fante book. What is this quote from?


It was part of an interview that appeared the in the short-lived magazine helmed by Tina Brown, Talk in October 1999. I recommend the profile. As you can see, JD was quite unguarded... fatherhood, France and a nice glass of Calon-Segur seemed to agree with him.
"You can't broom out your head. You certainly can't broom out your heart. And there's a hot wire between them, and everything shows in the eyes."

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Unread postby gemini » Wed Oct 03, 2007 1:51 am

You all have covered this pretty well so I will just add, I imagined Johnny feeling a connection with Arturo as a young boy who was embarrassed of his ethnic background and wanted to be an American baseball player. I remember Johnny saying he felt that he was an outsider as dark haired part Indian kid. And he stayed in his room to teach himself guitar to make something of himself. I think to this day Johnny identifies with the underdog because of his childhood.
Thanks everyone, I really enjoyed this discussion even more than I thought I would when I read the book.
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