The Body: An Essay

The Body: An EssayCultural Writing Poetry Essays Comprised Of Footnotes To A Non Existent Text, THE BODY AN ESSAY Is A Meditation On Absence, Loss And Disappearance That Offers A Guarded Narrative Of What May Or May Not Be A Love Letter, A Dream, A Spiritual Autobiography, A Memoir, A Scholarly Digression, A Treatise On The Relation Of Life To Book Christian Bok Describes Boully S Groundbreaking Text As One That May Simply Annotate A Fantastic Biography From Another Reality, Referring Only To Itself As A Kind Of Dream Within A DreamThe Reader Can Only Fantasize About The Original Contexts That Might Have Made Such Information Significant To Its Author, And Ultimately, Implies That The Body Of Any Text Consists Of Nothing But A Void Filled With The Exegetical Projection Of Our Own Imagination First Published In 2002 And Excerpted In Such Anthologies As The Next American Essay And The Best American Poetry 2002, THE BODY AN ESSAY Continues To Challenge Conventional Notions Of Plot And Narrative, Genre And Form, Theory And Practice, Unremittingly Questioning The Presumptive Boundaries Between Reflection, Imagination, And Experience. Carl told me I d love this, that it was the perfect time for me to read it And I did, and it was, though I don t know that I fully understood or absorbed all of it. I m completely in love with Jenny Boully I ve read some of other works before, and I have to say that the line she walks between poetry and essay is nothing short of masterful I m also a sucker for any work that s dually about language and the inadequacies of language at the same time The idea of an entire essay expressed without the essay is something close to if not sheer brilliance, and it s also amazing to me just how much Boully trusts the reader to then, in their own minds, replace the narrative that isn t blatantly written down Because Boully pushes thresholds on form and function so much, it s hard for me to nail down exactly what I would have imagined the essay having been, but there s a beauty in that kind of non conformity, too It could have been any number of things The possibilities are only limited by the imagination of the reader What I found most appealing is the idea this essay suggests in the underneath of it all that there will always be untold facets of a story, that language is an illusion I loved it. The experience of time translates itself into language, and language translates itself into distance, which translates itself into longing, which is the realization of time how sad and strange that I, Jenny Boully, should be the sign of a signifier or the signifier of a sign, over, the sign of a signifier searching for the signifies Jenny Boully The Body, an essay Sometimes texts just catch me, without me being able to explain why But if I, in spite of my incapability, should try to find words for my enthusiasm for The Body I will choose sentences like I love how the narrator moves rapidly around in her own textI love the combination of literary high lowI like the way the narrator makes fun of herselfI love the way she lays herself bare, the rawness of itI like the genre breaking quality calling it an essay, when in fact it is poetry written down as footnotes or isn t it Share this A modern classic in the new form of lyrical essay writing She s a dream that you don t quite understand. I started this at 1 30AM I had three cups of black coffee after dinner, finished reading Ishiguro s An Artist of the Floating World and it was only a little past 1 I tried starting Joy Williams the Changeling, but because I consider everything she writes to be scripture not a type of scripture literally scripture I had to put it down because I was the wrong mix of antsy and sleepy So I was left with The Body, which I had picked up at Eliot Bay Book Company, a small book by Bolano, another by the Jewish guy who killed himself escaping from France and, again, this one I tried reading the Body I read a fitful 30 odd pages and somewhat angrily turned off my light wishing I wasn t so coffee addled In the morning I took it up again but again couldn t appreciate the essay though I was and still am desperate to appreciate it and love it and sympathize with Jenny and her sister and Robert Kelly and the cooed fuck you s Ok, so what s wrong with these words between the bindings 1 It s poetry and autobiography and essay and confessional and reference material A friend of everyone is a friend of no one 2 There s a fine but charismatic line difference between being something new tearing down reader s expectations and something that s trying too hard to get your attention I d go as far as to say multiple footnotes are tired old genre motifs no or less interesting insular than YA High Fantasy The imprint s catalogue, Essay Press, implies as much 3 In other words, some footnotes literally write themselves a problem in its own right Let s go through a list of nouns and you ll have read the essay Derrida, menstruation, Jacques, pubes, sign and signifier, holes, Levinas, masturbation, and Nabokov In a phrase it all seems a bit too precocious neat requisite it spends too much answering some writing prompt that I don t actually care to know because who I want to know and the books wants me to know, dying for me to ask, crying at me for attention etc is Jenny I want to know her because she wants me to know her so badly but then she plays hard to get and while I love games the game has to be either well played or fresh to get my attention. I m a big fan of creative format fiction vignettes, non linear texts, etc , but honestly, I couldn t get into this The fragments are so random as to make finding a thread difficult impossible, and what the author seems to want to come off as profound and emotional just feels detached and empty. unique meditation on deletion, told exclusively through footnotes to a main body text which does not actually exist and never did wild exploration of love, relationships, mythology, and omission Beautiful book, I love the idea that it is all written in footnotes, but it is a bit hard to get through because of this There is a great sense of disconnect. One quality of a good artist, I think, is the ability to recognize the elements of his artform that he s weakest at and then construct his style so that he doesn t have to face them or so that they become positive features of his style Boully s texts tend to be less plot driven though the footnotes certainly do produce a plot a change in a relationship and a character as the pages turn and interested in the accrual and juxtaposition of references, externalia, letters, dream images These details relationships grow and change, producing a plot intricate and emotionally engaging than any actions performed by characters could, which is why she s wise for composing the book entirely of footnotes.The character focused moments often seem either expected no question that a character like X would do Y, so no surprise or soppy sentimental in vocabulary and tone, so the absence of the novel s text is an excellent idea it allows Boully not only to write a novel without having to present and explore characters in the conventional way, but it also gives her the opportunity to leave only bits and pieces of them, which minimizes sentiment Whatever my issue with the sentimentality of some of the footnotes, I m so impressed by Boully she makes a mean novel out of juxtaposition, addition and palimpsest, better than a lot of character driven stuff I ve read This is not just a cute trick, a book made entirely out of footnotes it s a rich and fun book made out of footnotes This could also be the result of the character being a young woman in love with a mentor, who may be inclined toward that kind of blahblah, but it still doesn t make for a character I wanted to explore deeply or think about once the book was closed. I ve heard a lot about this book and was glad to finally get my hands on it I m interested in essay play and I was surprised to learn that pieces of this book had been published before as poetry This is gratifying because I think the lines between poetry and essay can often become blurred, and for that matter between fiction and nonfiction as well For any doubters of that massive, muddled gray zone, The Body is a great piece to test any hard and fast boundaries against There s a lot of play with language and some playing with ideas Is there truth to what happened in these pages I m not sure There were wisps of a narrative, but I found those strands very hard to keep hold of It did remind me of David Foster Wallace, who does a superb job of playing with essays via footnotes Where DFW uses footnotes to explore alternatives ad infinitum, Boully focused on absence What does it mean to be present and what does it mean to miss something Can you miss something that wasn t there The text certainly could use another read through, but at this point I can say that yes, I do miss something that s not there For my liking, there was just too little for me to hold onto and while I like the idea I was unable to really get into the text or annotated lack of text.

[EPUB] ✽ The Body: An Essay ❂ Jenny Boully – Rarefishingbooks.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 88 pages
  • The Body: An Essay
  • Jenny Boully
  • English
  • 22 June 2018
  • 9780979118920