Monday, April 2, 2012

The Chronology of Water

 I read a review of this book in Bitch magazine an issue ago and had requested it from the library. In the interim I read two Game of Thrones books....which were great. This book was totally worth the wait though. I'm probably going to buy a copy just because I can't believe how well written it is. It's kind of reawakened my interest in biography. I love biographies. If the person's life is interesting it doesn't even matter if it's poorly written, if it's well written it's just even better. I can't even really compare her writing to anyone else's, there is a poetic and non-linear quality to it, it's really visceral and just rings really true emotionally.
She doesn't even detail too much what kind of trauma her childhood left her with; there was some alienation of affection from her parents, her mom was an alcoholic and her father sounds at least emotionally/verbally abusive. She sort of cannonballs out of her life with her family into one messed up situation after another and tries her best to sabotage every good thing that starts to happen to her.
In the course of becoming a writer she goes to grad school, gets a PhD, exorcises demons with S+M and finds her voice. She mentions gravitating toward the 'deviants' in her English studes: Kathy Acker, Dennis Cooper, Marquis de Sade, Georges Bataille and William Burroughs.
I read my first Dennis Cooper book a short while ago, I realized I'd had a graphic novel of his a long time ago and never knew who or what he was. The book I read was Try; it was again unlike anything I'd read before. Except maybe Hubert Selby or William Burroughs, just incredibly disturbing. It's kind of like the feeling a really good horror movie gives you, like a free fall into something totally sickening where you have to surrender to the story because you couldn't come up with this kind of stuff if you tried. Or maybe you could, but don't want to acknowledge it.
Anyway I'm super excited about this book, excited to read more of Yuknavitch's stuff, plus happy to be reminded of Dennis Cooper and Kathy Acker (I went out and bought 2 books by each of them).

Couldn't help but think again as I've thought as million times before reading a memoir, that the idea that a memoir has any real basis in reality is probably totally crazy. That the concept of an objective reality is crazy, because people are crazy and once they filter information through their crazy minds, there cannot be any objectivity left. I pretty much never believe anything I read in an autobiography; but I think the point of an a-b is to read what the writer WANTS you to think is reality. Or what was their reality. I can't remember what happened last week, never mind convesations about contentious issues that happened months, years, decades ago. I like this though, I like the idea that we create our own realities. To read an autobiography is to hand over control to the author, go with them on the ride and don't question too much how they got there or how 'truthy' the whole thing is.

No comments:

Post a Comment