Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Lineup

Last Summer


On Deck


Jeff said...

Very curious about the Miranda July book--I love the two films of hers that I've seen.

Bruce Schauble said...

Yeah, I dunno. I picked it up because one of my students was reading it and she said she thought it was great. I haven't seen her films, but the stories are trying pretty hard, maybe a little too hard sometimes, to be innovative and edgy and hip. The characters are mostly older teenagers and 20-somethings who seem to be acting out because they have no other sense of who they are. Awkward and sometimes implausible sex, humor that wants to be quirky but seems a little sad. I can see why a teenager would think these stories are daring and fresh, but to my eye and ear they seem largely self-absorbed and angsty. I've not found one yet—I'm a little more than halfway through—that really works for me. By way of illustration, here's the last paragraph from "This Person:

In the bathtub this person pushes the bubbles around and listens to the sound of millions of them popping at once. This person's breasts barely jut out of the water. By now everyone must have realized that this person is not coming back to the picnic. Everyone was wrong; this person is not who they thought this person was. This person plunges underwater and moves her hair around like a sea anemone. This person can stay underwater for an impressively long time but only in a bathtub. This person wonders if there will ever be an Olympic contest for holding your breath underwater. If there were such a contest, this person would surely win it. An Olympic medal might redeem this person in the eyes of everyone this person has ever known. But no such contest exists, so there will be no redeeming. This person mourns the fact that she has ruined her one chance to be loved by everyone; as this person climbs into bed, the weight of this tragedy seems to bear down upon this person's chest. And it is a comforting weight, almost human in heft. This person sighs. This person's eyes begin to close, this person sleeps.

- B