Ben's Reviews > No One Belongs Here More Than You

No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
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's review
Aug 28, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: books-i-gave-up-on

Miranda July's radio pieces are excellent. She tells her off-beat and romantic or oddly sinister stories, dramatizes quirks as real characters and situations, and enchants you with her squeaky little voice. Nothing makes sense, but nothing *has* to make sense. You just have to listen and be carried away.

I thought her movie was pretty good too, although right on the edge of being twee and pretentious. You see, when you take a picture of something you give it weight. You're saying: this moment is important enough to be recorded exactly, in sight and sound, for posterity. And Miranda July's fancies just can't take very much weight. They're will o' the wisps, soap bubbles. Pretty but ephemeral.

Which is why this book was so totally unreadable for me. Fiction, even more than film, demands that its subject be sturdy. It is inexorably linear, permanent as acid-free paper, and stored in a physical object that must be enshrined in a way that film and radio, ultimately only memories of light and sound, are not. These little vignettes can't take it. They crumbled to pieces as I read them, and I felt like a toddler who tears a butterfly's wings off because he doesn't know that you don't play with beauty that way.

Go back to performance art, Ms. July. No matter how many hipsters are crushing hard on you and your cute little curls, you can't do everything. And it's sad for both of us when you try.
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07/12/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3)

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message 3: by Richard (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Richard You know how I felt about that movie, and Ms. July.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes! You said everything that I felt about this book, exactly. I've felt bad for not liking it, since so many people are passing out over it. I'm going to check out your book list, now.

message 1: by Samantha (new)

Samantha How do you decide what ideas are "important" enough to be recorded, whether in writing or on film? Importance is subjective, and that seems like a major point of her writing and her art. Every moment, every idea is a soap bubble. Some may be labeled as silly and fanciful, others as profound and important. But what are the criteria for labeling them as such? Really, the idea that anything is profound and important is in and of itself pretty silly.

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