Geoff Dyer and Jigsaw Puzzles

Geoff Dyer is a very interesting writer (as usual, a great place to start finding out about him is at the Complete Review‘s author page).  Like most of us, he knows a little about a lot of things and a lot about a few things.  And like most of us, some of what he thinks he knows may not be as unusual as he thinks.  I was surprised to see this in a recent essay from the Threepenny Review:

My mother had a particular way of doing jigsaws: we sorted out the side pieces and made a hollow, unstable frame, then filled in the middle. Our approach to jigsaws was, in other words, methodical, rigorous.

Doing the frame first — isn’t that the way everybody does jigsaw puzzles?? I remember reading in Margaret Drabble’s jigsaw-infused memoir, The Pattern in the Carpet:  A Memoir with Jigsaws, a discussion of sorting pieces by color (and I’ve been tempted at times to sort by shape, but usually don’t) — now that seems methodical and rigorous, but doing the frame first, that just seems normal, not especially “particular.”

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