A (Somehow) Perfect Pairing

funeral The_Travelers_Wife

Generally, I have an open mind, especially when it comes to music. However, about six months ago, when a friend with somewhat questionable musical taste insisted that I rip her copy of The Arcade Fire’s Funeral, I was more than a little hesitant. We’re talking about a girl who used to rock out to Shania Twain and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Of course, I thought, she’d like the one band that I’ve been avoiding like the Bubonic plague. Not because I knew anything about The Arcade Fire, but because of an ongoing personal war with Spin magazine, which has managed to mention them something like 174 times since they released Funeral in 2004, and which won’t stop sending its piece-of-crap rag to me even though I cancelled my membership over a year ago. (Guess they have to keep their numbers up, huh?)

Ultimately, as with most music I acquire that’s at least halfway decent, the iPod turned me around. I liked one song, then two, and soon enough, I was playing the album over and over again.

Around the same time I was nurturing an obsession with Funeral, I was reading Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler's Wife, a devastating love story posing as science-fiction novel about the unique relationship between Harry DeTamble, a man with Chrono-Displacement Disorder, and his artist wife, Clare. Harry has little or no control over when he travels, where he travels to, or how long he’ll be gone, so the book is basically about the effects that time travel has on Henry and Clare's marriage. I won’t give anything else away, except to say that it’s a compelling read, if you don’t mind crying a little (or a lot) at the end.

Why does Funeral go so well with The Time Traveler’s Wife, aside from the fact that I enjoyed them simultaneously? Both offer moments of pure bliss and pure devastation, both convey an intense, almost painful yearning, and both address love, and the wonder and pain it inevitably brings.

On a side note, the rights to the book were purchased by Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston back in ’04; it’s rumored that Pitt will star in the adapted film version to be directed by Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Psycho). Hopefully, they won't fuck it up too bad.

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