Marcus's Reviews > Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs

Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs by Ellen Kennedy
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Jan 31, 13

Read on January 27, 2013

There is a sexy short story in three parts that kicks off the collection. The two main characters are Woody Allen and Ned Vizzini. I had to look up Ned Vizzini. I guess he writes about anti-depressants. And young adult books too. Ned looks young and sexy from the pictures and makes me feel better after medications.

We are all know what Woody looks like. Have you seen him recently?

There is heart in this collection. Heart everywhere. The heart is flat/deadpan and it moves me. A lot.

I mean, sure it may be an "alt lit" or stylistic twitch. This flattened style. But not only.There were others before Alt Lit that have done it well. And there others after "alt lit" that will do it well. This is contemporary absurdism. Absurdism never dies because well . . life is fuckin absurd.

And like anything when it's done well it's done well. Sam Pink does it bloody well. Tao Lin does it bloody well. And this writer Ellen Kennedy does it bloody well too. There are others. But these three are my fav so-called young "alt lit" writers right now.

But forget the label alt lit. It may be a problem if you have pre-conceived notions of alt lit (e.g. drugs and narcissism). Like some of the great writing of the beats, the work itself can get overshadowed by the hype and cultural youth marketing machine (see Vice or American Apparel or Urban Outfitters or Lower East Side NY or Brick Lane in east London or or or or). Good shit is good shit. And this is good shit. There are flash fictions, short stories, and poems and they all just work. Just fit. And they move me, A LOT!

OFTEN OVER-USED COMMENT TO DESCRIBE ART/WRITING/FILMS BUT HERE IT IS:

I FELT MORE ALIVE BOTH DURING AND AFTER EXPERIENCING SOMETIMES MY HEART PUSHES MY RIBS.

That's the main thing I want from any art form: to feel AWAKE! AWARE! I don't care about showing off academic discourse or MFA writing workshop crafts (unless that makes you feel more alive and awake to the world RIGHT NOW)

I will read it again. Because I like it. I like it a lot.

There are some of the familiar tropes/metaphors/images of Tao Lin's work (well hamsters in particular) but this didn't bother me. It is just as much not Tao Lin. But if you like Tao Lin and Sam Pink's work you are going to like Ellen Kennedy's work too. Some slightly older generation (mine) that fits well into this type of writing: Matthew Rohrer and Mike Topp (there are others too). So if you like the work of those fellas you probably will like this book.

If you don't know the work of Tao Lin or Sam Pink or Matthew Rohrer or Lydia Davis or Camus or Mike Topp, well it doesn't matter. You can start here. Or end here. It's all good!
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