‘no one is talking about this’

I spent part of my weekend reading a book I had been given for Christmas, and for which I just hadn’t found time or focus until now – Patricia Lockwood’s ‘no one is talking about this’. I won’t spoil the story, but – emerging from the whirlwind of the experience – I recommend it. It is not an easy read, though, and is probably compelling and repelling in equal measure, certainly to begin with. It flows through the world of the internet – the ‘portal’ – and the confusing, affirming, repulsive, attracting, all-consuming content of the messages therein. Where they clash – and fuse – with ‘real’ life is where the novel (Lockwood’s debut novel) finds its feet.

I treated myself to discipline and openness when I read this book – it was a gift, and I deliberately did not read about it, or prepare myself in advance through research … so much of what we do in life is expected and anticipated, and it can be refreshing to – quite simply – not know what is going to happen. As a result, the book hit me between the eyes, causing me to reel and totter, not always knowing where it was heading, but – as I breathed in its deliberate adeptness and at times astonishingly juxtapositional vocabulary – evolving a sense of emerging perhaps-ness, which arguably transmuted into purpose…

It is really hard to write about the details without spoiling the story, and so I shall not do so! I wanted to share, however, my euphoria at the bewilderment born of creative dislocation, of the use of words which floated, seeded, bounced and rebounded … the joy and terror of language made visible on the page… the joy and terror of not knowing what the next page would hold … what a way to spend a weekend!

Now, of course, being me, I will go away and read more about the author and her work, and I will – again, of course – have to re-read the book with a different, more pre-loaded, knowledgeable lens. In fact, I am ahead even of myself; I have just been reading about her experimental and dislocating prose and poetry, and marvelling at it.

Bathing in the creativity of other human beings is sometimes just the tonic we all need. What amazing beings, we human beings can be …

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