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North America > Laughing at All Her Enemies (USA, 1994)

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message 1: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 44 comments Laughing at All Her Enemies (USA, 1994)

message 2: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Weber | 16 comments Holy shit. This one is intense.
This hits home a bit. Not because I know someone who has ended their life (I do), but for other reasons. For one, I worked in Whitehorse, Yukon for two years at a Girl's Receiving Home; a home for young girls who have been taken from their parents, or no longer have parents (suicide or accidental death being not uncommon). 90% of these girls were First Nation (which is to say Native American), and were experiencing systemic violence and intergenerational trauma from my Country's attempt at cultural genocide through residential schools from the 1870s to 1996 (most were close before then, I believe). None of the girls I met ended their lives, although several tried and one was very close (we ended up having her on suicide watch for a lot of the time she was with us).
I have also worked on a suicide crisis line for three years. The major theme I experienced from that was that people are so so lonely... so many people who called just wanted someone to talk to, who would listen without judgement. I think one reason I really got into Vollmann was his compassion for the poor and wretched, and for his understanding of loneliness.
I don't have anything else to say about this case study: it is sad, so very very sad.

message 3: by Nathan "N.R." (new)

Nathan "N.R." Gaddis (nathannrgaddis) | 44 comments Alexander wrote: "it is sad, so very very sad. ."

Very much so.

message 4: by Alexander (new)

Alexander Weber | 16 comments I found his interaction with the woman in the bar to be... a lot of things. It is sweet, and it is sad. Sad for her, and sad for him. But also sweet for both of them, as they are connecting on some level (loneliness, lust, etc.)
I love this about Vollmann: he presents relationships (even very brief ones like this case) in their extremely complex and dirty way, not a romanticized sterilized form we see in movies and most books.

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