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Mark Llobrera

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Cover art forEither/Or


Elif Batuman

Started Reading
Jan 21, 2024
Finished Reading
Feb 05, 2024

I’d been picking away at this for a couple of weeks but finally read most of it over the last several days. I enjoyed getting reacquainted with Selin, and there are specific cultural hallmarks Elif Batuman is describing here that remind me so much of my own college experience—especially the music and accessing email via UNIX/VAX terminal.1 I’m not sure how well this narrative would work during a smartphone/social media era—so much of the book worked because Selin is in her head all the time, with only sporadic signals from the people she’s obsessing over.

  1. I remember using finger (what a terrible name for a command) and talk to keep in touch with my friends, especially during junior year when various folks did a year abroad. ↩︎