What I’m reading: One Day by David Nicholls

“In his last four years he had seen any number of bedrooms like this, dotted round the city like crime scenes, rooms where you were never more than six feet from a Nina Simone album, and though he’d rarely seen the same bedroom twice, it was all too familiar. The burnt out nightlights and desolate pot plants, the smell of washing powder on the cheap, ill-fitting sheets. She had that arty girl’s passion for photomontage too: flash-lit snaps of college friends and family jumbled in amongst the Chagalls and Vermeers and Kandinskys, the Che Guevaras and Woody Allens and Samuel Becketts. Nothing here was neutral, everything displayed an allegiance or a point of view. The room was a manifesto, and with a sigh Dexter recognized her as one of those girls who use ‘bourgeois’ as a term of abuse. He could understand why ‘facist’ might have negative connotations, but he liked the word ‘bourgeois’ and all that it implied. Security, travel, nice food, good manners, ambition; what was he meant to be apologizing for?”



  1. Christina says:

    One of my favorite books. Did you enjoy it?

  2. erin flanagan says:

    Yes, I did! I thought the structure was great. What did you think of the ending?

  3. Dr. No says:

    Bourgeois as a term of abuse is intended to critique the substitution of “manners” for actually caring for people outside one’s family. It ridicules the idolization of a nicely-mown lawn, which so often serves as a cover for all the regular dysfunctions in the home behind it, dysfunctions the bourgeois family looks down upon in others, especially those without a lawn or training in rituals of etiquette which exist only to mark out one’s place in social class hierarchy.

    I LOVE using it as a term of abuse. Sorry, Dexter. All those nice sheets and towels in a bourgy house often signal a point of view, too. A whitebread, snobby point of view.

  4. erin flanagan says:

    Yes, Dr. No! He’s pointing out as much about himself as he is about that apartment.

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