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Real to Reel

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  65 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
With an intelligence that scalds every pretense and surface, Lidia Yuknavitch's camera pans across subjects as varied as Keanu Reeves and Siberian prison laborers. She zooms in on drug addiction, crime, sex of all flavors, trauma, torture, rock and roll, and art, all the while revealing untried angles and alien shapes. She traces the inner lives of characters teetering on ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 14th 2003 by Fiction Collective 2
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John Madera
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Impressive engagement with cinematic techniques, language, and themes, and a virtuosic dismantling of narrative structure, these short fictions often preoccupied with language qua language, being qua being, form qua form. Yuknavitch's style, alternately lyrical, disjunctive, and paratactic, is a marvel.
Nov 06, 2016 added it
– It doesn't matter what one chooses or doesn't choose in life. Certain stories override any will you may or may not have. Certain stories write us. – 'Scripted'

– Then she looks at the bar mirror which is him. They look at each other like that for a long minute. Then she pitches her drink in his face and leaves. It is unbelievably overdramatic. The words "hyperbole pick-up-sticks-fuck" knock around in her skull like dice in a cup in her leaving, though he doesn't know this precisely. He knows th
Nov 09, 2011 rated it liked it
you are not yourself, and what's worse, you know it

so call the literary cops of the Anyone Who Remotely Gives A Care department, cause here's something i've discovered: lidia yuknavitch is a goddamn plagiarist.

ok, a self-plagiarist, but still.

as some of u may recall, back in an age of innocence, a naive, starry-eyed lil bitty baby zan wrote a wine-soaked, grudgingly admiring review of yuknavitch's "the small backs of children," which you can fondly reread right here.

well hold the phone, ch
Roy Kesey
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
A very cool collection. Some truly beautiful hardcore reaches in language. “Scripted” in 3 columns is very smart. “Shoot” has all kinds of great meta tricks, including a paragraph that is simply a great long run of definitions for the title with no other commentary, no pointing. “Siberia” (the novella-in-stories that closes the book) has some of my favorite long stretches.

A favored passage:

"And if there is water there let it be from a river. And if there is peace let it be from silence and forg
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Perhaps the worst thing about this collection of stories is that some of them feel so tightly tied together that you begin to read the whole thing as a novel in stories, as everything interconnected, and then something comes along that completely breaks this, and you realize that you weren't reading a new chapter that gave some new insight into the protagonist, you were reading something different. Of course, this is also the strength of this collection, that they seem to feed on each other, bui ...more
Elizabeth Metzger
I'm in and out of this book because that seems to what it does. Like Thalia Field's work I'm pushed in and out, and that's fine. I just set it down for a while.

I recently saw Yuknavitch present during an AWP panel titled Quantum Narratology (thank you, Lance Olson & FC2). The panel was by far the best thing to happen at this year's AWP, and Lidia's piece was moving, funny, smart, i don't know. All these dumb adjectives seem reductive to what she made for us that day. Maybe I can't talk about
Lorra Fae
Nov 16, 2011 rated it liked it
This book was okay - a couple of great stories, but I find that despite Lidia's amazing writing ability, the short stories are devoid of a lot of character - the characters are usually nameless and I really don't care about them - the driving force of the stories is language alone, and even though it's beautiful, it's not quite enough to keep me going.

When she gets it right, it's REALLY right, though. The book has some great moments, but I really prefer her memoir.
Dec 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Another book of experimental shorts. I jumped around a lot in this book The most moving piece was "Chair" that is all about different chairs, but the last chair evokes a particular harsh childhood memory. I heard her read this one and talk about writing it, that was of far more interest, as it is often for me. To hear a writer read their own work and talk about it has it's own power.
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Especially enjoyed the potency of 'Blue Movie' and 'Chair'.
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: freaks and weirdos like me
very very good innovative short stories...
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Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the National Bestselling novels The Book of Joan and The Small Backs of Children, winner of the 2016 Oregon Book Award's Ken Kesey Award for Fiction as well as the Reader's Choice Award, and the novel Dora: A Headcase, Her widely acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water was a finalist for a PEN Center USA award for creative nonfiction and winner of a PNBA Award an ...more
More about Lidia Yuknavitch...

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“And if there is water there let it be from a river. And if there is peace let it be from silence and forgetting. From the slow settle of dust on a house worn down, on a history lost, on a woman buried quietly into geography. And if there is memory let it be disjointed and nonsensical, let it disturb understanding and logic, let it rise like birds or hands into the blood blue bone of the sky, whispering its nothing beyond telling. (…) Let someone lose the captions to all of the photographs; let them pile into new logics and forms that outlive us.
- “Siberia: Still Life of a Moving Image” (6. Representation)”
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