The Unfortunates free read ë 6

summary The Unfortunates

The Unfortunates free read ë 6 » [Reading] ➶ The Unfortunates Author B.S. Johnson – Un reportero deportivo visita la ciudad de Nottingham para cubrir un partido de fútbol y es allí donde le abordan los recuerdos y los pensamientos sobre la muerte de su mejor amigo Terry Tillinghast Un reportero deportivo visita la ciudaTerry TillinghastLa estructura de esta novela es una metáfora del funcionamiento de nuestra mente la aleatoriedad de sus capítulos compite con el desorden de nuestras ideasLa obra n. I'm a sucker for gimmicky books so when I saw this book in a box no one had to twist my arm to get me to purchase it and I'm glad I did Unlike some of the other gimmicky books I've read House of Leaves The Raw Shark Texts you don't get the impression that BS Johnson was patting himself on the back for being clever as he wrote this If the introduction is to be believed he actually probably was patting himself on the back as he wrote it but you wouldn't know it to read it The chapters of the book are unbound and meant to be shuffled and with the exception of the first and last chapters read in a random order in an attempt to translate the non linear nature of memories into a written format It sounds gimmicky and it is but it's a gimmick that works really well especially given the stream of conciousness writing style and the nature of the story which is a collection of BS Johnson's memories of a friend of his who had died of cancer Not a terribly uplifting subject obviously but it's handled with aplomb it's sad but not in a maudlin fashion This is easily one of the best books I've read this year second only to If on a winter's night a traveller

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Un reportero deportivo visita la ciudad de Nottingham para cubrir un partido de fútbol y es allí donde le abordan los recuerdos y los pensamientos sobre la muerte de su mejor amigo. Twenty minutes ago I had this review in the bag I had taken thorough notes had arranged them by topic and had even highlighted passages to uote And then B S Johnson the author of The Unfortunates dropped this bomb on me in the second to last paragraph“The difficulty is to understand without generalization to see each piece of received truth or generalization as true only if it is true for me solipsism again I come back to it again and for no other reason In general generalization is to lie to tell lies”That really puts a cramp in any attempt at review since to review is to generalize don’t you think And hey isn’t Johnson generalizing by saying that generalizations are lies So give me a second Let me take a few sips of my tea look over my notes one time and take a deep breath Allow me a minute to gather my thoughts and come back to this experimental and provocative text because my head is beginning to hurt in that way it does after reading post modernism Firstly there is not enough room on this coffee shop table for the book my computer my notes and the five highlighters it took to organize my thoughts into a rainbowed outline The act of reading this book is incredibly tactile You hold the individual chapters in your hand to read people passing stare at the thin pamphlets the man next to me looks up every time I put one section to the left and pick up the next on the right It’s an attention grabber with its box cover its 1 12 page sections and its gift like presentation I opened it for the first time and felt the need to take pictures of it like I did ten years ago when I got my first iPod This book is beautiful It consists of twenty seven chapters that are separately bound The first and last are marked and in place at the top and bottom of the pile of chapters but the remaining twenty five arrive in random order In his note to the reader Johnson encourages him to choose read the chapters in the order in which they arrive or rearrange them before beginning When I began reading I was sitting across from The Canadian in a bookstore She was struggling with formatting her novel and I was struggling with a novel that defied formatting“How do you think I should read it” I asked “What” She looked up She looked frantic and frustrated“The sections Do you think I should read them as they came to me or do you think I should mix them up”“Oh” She rested her chin in her hand and seemed for the first time in hours to be distracted from her task “I would read it in the order I received it”“Why”“Because I would like to think that I received the book in the order I was supposed to read it”This is why I love herIn the first chapter Johnson arrives in Nottingham to report on a football game He thinks he is traveling to a town that he has never been to before but setting food on solid ground is aware that he has spent a good deal of time in this town In fact he spent most of that time with his friend and colleague Tony who died some time ago from cancer And so begin the twenty five randomly arranged chapters that alternate between the present and the past between Johnson’s day in Nottingham and his memories of TonyI should mention here that the “novel” is entirely autobiographical Johnson was very vocal in his belief that fiction should be true Any novel that wasn’t absolutely true in his opinion was a lie and truth could not be conveyed with lies “How can you convey truth in a vehicle of fiction” he asked “The two terms truth and fiction are opposites and it must logically be impossible” Of course many if not most literary critics and creatives would disagree and argue that “truth” is too subtle to be achieved through the use of literal language and historical details I think Tim O’Brien said it best “A thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth” In the end Johnson’s insistence on absolute truth proved to be too restrictive “Johnson’s theory in effect a breathtaking insistence that all literature should reduce itself to the status of glorified memoir eventually proved too much of a straightjacket by the time of his last posthumously published novel See The Old Lady Decently he was reaching further and further back into his family history and the result has an air of strain and imprecision weariness even” from the introduction by Jonathan CoeIn the end I appreciated the order in which I received the book Somewhat divinely my arrangement of chapters ended with the final exchange between Tony and Johnson“the last thing I said to him all I had to give him alone with him with my coat on about to go the car waiting outside to run us to the station staring down at him facing those eyes he staring back all the time now it must have been a great effort for him yes and I said it was all I had what else could I do I said I’ll get it all down mate It’ll be very little he said after a while slowly still those eyes That’s all anyone has done very little I said”So how does one review a book that makes the argument that it is the sole truth of its author and therefore cannot be uestioned criticized or challenged Should I play into Johnson’s philosophy or push against it If you’ll allow me I think I’ll do bothThe book while literally about death loss and creativity concerns itself predominantly with the accidental and persistent nature of memory If the writing style suggests it the run on sentences the spaces on the page where the speaker’s thought process is interrupted and the lines that end mid sentence then the form enforces it You can’t help but read it randomly the memories coming without provocation occurring as arbitrarily as the order in which you receive the book I should be honest I had ulterior motives for this review after having read very little of the book I wanted this review to be a discussion about truth and memory selfishly they’re my favorite literary themes aside of course from sex I wanted this review to hotly contest Johnson’s perception of memory with a slew of uotes from van der Kolk and Freud I wanted this review to be a literary smack down After taking a class on narratives derived from traumatic memory I felt my chest puff out and my know it all ness preparing to reject Johnson’s version of how memory is experienced After having only read the introduction I found myself shouting angrily at the text “But memory isn’t random It is triggered by something in the present a smell a taste a lost memento rediscovered in the attic” Like Proust considering a tea soaked madeleine memory occurs when something in the present triggers something in the past It is not random It is not accidentalBut then I remembered something I remembered the night last summer that I spent with The Poet and the fragmented words I wrote the morning after I drove back to Bread Loaf after leaving him on the side of Route 7 and sat in my twin bed trying desperately to get everything down that I could remember Maybe I thought if I could remember everything from the night before I could make sense of what had happened I would know why he kissed me in the middle of the lake and why he fed me bites of his breakfast sandwich and why exactly he had begun to pull away on the couch as we listened to the sound of Lake Champlain moving like a tongue against the rocks Isn’t this what we feel fundamentally when we write We write to make sense of the world We use the imprecise art of words to describe what cannot otherwise be described What I wrote in my bed that day was entirely accidental The memories came to me randomly They repeated themselves They were out of order Remembering the silence that fell over us at the register while we paid for our lunch a sandwich that we split was interrupted by remembering how he had sat facing me on the bed in the morning and rubbed his big toe against mine as if to comfort me with as little contact as possible In that moment of remembering my own remembering my pretense dropped My know it all ness turned to the humble concession that what has been written and theorized about memory is not necessarily true for everyone Maybe most memory is triggered by the present but in the horrible aftermath of his friend’s death Johnson strove to memorializ

B.S. Johnson · 6 characters

The UnfortunatesOs hace meditar no sólo acerca de nuestra muerte sino también acerca de nuestra propia existenciaLos pliegos sueltos dentro de la caja son el reflejo mismo de la fragilidad de la vi. Okay this was a book I should have read a long time ago and I finally read the content is 4 stars the structure is 3 stars lets talk form first I respect the avant garde thing of splitting up the book However content wise the book has two pieces memory and present The memories are these cool intermixed first fiancéewife and his friend dying and the association of the two also memories of his first 2 novels In comparison with present day Ginnie being a reporter and his son this all works really well except that the form messes up the present day content that has an obvious order The memories are great mixed up however the present memories need to be structured My solution make a book that is in order and memories that are then inserted into the book