If you don't have a hard-on for psychoanalysis, this meta-book is not for you. It's not for me; I know that now. I learned more about Freud, Winnicott...moreIf you don't have a hard-on for psychoanalysis, this meta-book is not for you. It's not for me; I know that now. I learned more about Freud, Winnicott, and Virginia Woolf than about the author, which is weird because at the same time reading this book is like being stuck in her mind during a binge of especially boring thoughts. The book looks pretty. I like the coloring. That's really the only compliment I can give it. If you liked this book, tell me why. I'm legitimately curious because I suspect that only lesbian memoir writers obsessed with psychoanalysis and the length of time they were breast fed could possibly relate.(less)
I decided to write a paper on Barcott's Carolina For Kibera for my History of Nonprofits class. Naturally, this is t...moreThis is kind of an amazing thing.
I decided to write a paper on Barcott's Carolina For Kibera for my History of Nonprofits class. Naturally, this is the first resource I've viewed in depth. So there's that: the story of co-founding and maintaining a non-profit. I believe there's insight to be gained for NGOs within CFK's story.
Then there's just the fact that it's a compelling story, highlighting the vast inequality that exists. There's sadness and hope, too, but man, is that sadness overwhelming. (Note to self: WHY DID I CHOOSE TO MAJOR IN SOCIOLOGY? DEPRESSION.)
Don't get me wrong--the book has an uplifting message. CFK has made a difference. I'm just bringing my own sense of futility to the reading. (less)
After 65 pages, I was on the fence as to whether to continue reading. Then I read a review which mentioned that for all her grief, Oates remarried a y...moreAfter 65 pages, I was on the fence as to whether to continue reading. Then I read a review which mentioned that for all her grief, Oates remarried a year after her husband's death. Fuck that, indecision settled: I quit.
I simply decided that there's nothing for me to be gained by reading this--no insight or closure for me personally, dealing with my own version of death and loss (of a father, not a spouse). In fact, it was starting to bring out something in me I am hesitant to acknowledge: something akin to envy, only more inappropriate considering the context. Intellectually, I know there's no comparison of one loss to another. Regardless, I'm struggling to feel empathy here. It's hard to shut off that voice that says "Well, you were both in your seventies, you both knew how much you meant to one another, you told him you loved him the night before, his passing was quick--of no fault of anyone, no malicious intent--and you didn't have to witness it, and hey, apparently, you can replace a husband fairly easily...." That part of me is a total bitch. (Hypocritical, to boot, because I do understand the need to wallow in grief.) That's why I have to stop reading--to silence that voice.
This isn't so much a review as it is me saying "I'm a horrible person." Oh well. I'm sure there's someone out there who has been waiting for me to say as much.(less)
This is not nearly as interesting as the story of Schindler itself--a good half of the book is about the reception of the book, receiving the Booker A...moreThis is not nearly as interesting as the story of Schindler itself--a good half of the book is about the reception of the book, receiving the Booker Award, and eventually having the movie made into the film--but it does has its moments. Leopold Poldek is introduced to the world as the driving force behind making sure Schindler's story was told. Poldek was a strong personality--he passed away in 2001 and the book is in part dedicated to his memory--and gave the book more "character." (less)
"She rivals Erica Jong in the bungling, incompetent pornography of her unchecked desire to disclose. There are like 10 pages in this book about how he...more"She rivals Erica Jong in the bungling, incompetent pornography of her unchecked desire to disclose. There are like 10 pages in this book about how her pussy was too tight for J. D. Salinger's cock, all written in the language of a Sunday school teacher finding moist inner self through sex education."
After reading Margaret Salinger's memoir, I'm feeling a little burnt out, but how could I not have a renewed interest in J.D. Salinger exploitation thanks to that review?(less)
There's something charming about these simple drawings. If I give this book too much thought, I may get depressed because I can relate to it too well....moreThere's something charming about these simple drawings. If I give this book too much thought, I may get depressed because I can relate to it too well. Maybe if this were available to me at a younger age, I would have been more prepared for the disappointments of life. Actually, the word "prepared" implies that the book offers some countermeasure to disappointment; it doesn't. I just mean that children should read this so they know what to expect from life: failure and loneliness. :D(less)
A part of me wants to give this a higher rating for the chapters that I enjoyed, but the chapters that I didn't like were such a chore to read. There...moreA part of me wants to give this a higher rating for the chapters that I enjoyed, but the chapters that I didn't like were such a chore to read. There are moments that interest me: the chapters in which the Ariel deals with questions of her sexuality, whether or not she can identify with other lesbians, whether or not there is scientific reasoning behind homosexuality, whether or not heterosexual sex somehow offers something that she can never have with another female. It's almost heartbreaking to think of how it might feel to "lack" the ability to connect on the same physical level as heterosexuals--"lack" being in quotations because she felt as if lesbian sex was inferior to straight sex, but this is, of course, arguable. I even sympathized with the obsessive longing for her ex-girlfriend... for awhile. The first few times she's curled up in bed alone, eyes filling with tears, it tugged at my heartstrings. By the middle of the book though my sympathy and patience had worn thin. It doesn't help any that the object of her affection isn't very affectionate, but in fact rather detached, only displaying interest in an attempt to keep Ariel from breaking ties.
This brings up one of the main topics of Likewise--the portrayal of friends, acquaintances and everyday situations in Ariel's writing and whether or not she is exploiting the aforementioned as well as her own emotions. She even entertains the idea of jumping in front of a car on the last day of class to give the book "a climax like no other." Although this idea was more of a joke, there are more subtle ways in which Ariel starts to manipulate situations with how it will translate into her comic in mind. So much of the book is just Ariel scribbling away on her comic, lamenting over misplacing her drawing compass, giving up on drawing in favor of masturbation--to an extent that I wonder how it can interest anyone other than the author. (I can relate to masturbation interfering with goals, but still....)
The artwork and style are good--definitely an improvement if the covers of her previous books are any indication. However, there are many chapters in which the artwork seems unfinished, neglected no doubt in favor of masturbation. The carelessness of these sections makes me reluctant to give any of her previous work a chance. Her writing frequently switches from coherency to a stream of consciousness that is confusing to me, having not followed the events of her life previous to her senior year of high school. The flashbacks can be confusing on occasion as well. In her excitement to record her thoughts in the very moment that she has them, the time frame of events isn't always clear.
It may be an accurate depiction of her life, but it is in need of editing. There's probably some value in recording minute and irrelevant details in a diary; however, I don't see a need to include moments that lead to nowhere, especially when publishing something with the expressed ambition of proving that graphic novels are a legitimate form of literature. Ariel sitting on the toilet is the kind of scene I could just as well do without seeing once, much less several times throughout the novel. It would be different if it in some way advanced the plot, but it doesn't. It's more like "O hai, look, this is me taking a shit." Except without any narration or humor.
Some of the dialogue failed as well. The many conversations regarding "It" seemed juvenile and pretentious. I guess that's high school though. (If you're wondering what "It" is, then you must not possess "It," laugh out loud lame.)
The book was disappointing in that I wanted to enjoy every moment of reading it, and didn't. It's easy to look back at the book with fondness for what it gets right, but in the end I have to remind myself that so many parts of it just dragged on needlessly. I would still recommend this to a certain niche, young lesbians in particular, but with the advice of skimming over (m)any chapters in which the reader loses interest.(less)
I read this and didn't like it; however, I checked out the audiobook from the library just for the Sea Wolf song and in addition to not liking the boo...moreI read this and didn't like it; however, I checked out the audiobook from the library just for the Sea Wolf song and in addition to not liking the book, I must say that--from the few minutes I could stand hearing--Burroughs does an AWFUL job at reading his own writing. It made me dislike the book all over again--stronger.
Sea Wolf's "Song of the Magpie" breaks my heart though. <3 <3 <3 <3 This book isn't worthy of it.(less)
I appreciate the author's examination of her relationship with her father through use of literary allusion...more(What's the deal with lesbians and Ulysses?)
I appreciate the author's examination of her relationship with her father through use of literary allusions. It is a strange, complex relationship, and the author gains my respect for not diminishing it with cliches and platitudes regarding the dead.(less)