Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another Jewish Author: I'm Getting Older


My friend Adam got me to read The Ask by Sam Lipsyte, because it was about a guy who works in a Development office.

It's pretty well written, really well written. It lead me to Shteyngart. Both works and authors are battling with satire and winning, but the work can be pretty depressing as a result, albeit truthful.

Am I now stuck on this Jewish author trend for a while? I remember after reading Goodbye, Columbus in high school, I said I'd never do it again....at least 'til I was older.






fin.

Absurdistan


I just finished reading Gary Shteyngart's Absurdistan. The book will stay with me for a long time, its truth and American English lyricism.

The New York Times Review of Books was thrilled and emphatic about the book

Why praise it first? Just quote from it — at random. Just unbutton its shirt and let it bare its chest. Like a victorious wrestler, this novel is so immodestly vigorous, so burstingly sure of its barbaric excellence, that simply by breathing, sweating and standing upright it exalts itself.


And so:

As depressed and immobile as a twenty-first-century Oblomov, I lay on my bed scrolling through the darkest corners of the Internet, the laptop whizzing and bleating atop the mound of my stomach. I watched all kinds of unfortunate women being degraded and humiliated, tied up, spat upon, forced to swallow gigantic penises, and I wished I could wipe off their dripping faces, whisk them away to some Minneapolis or Toronto, and teach them to take pleasure in a simple linear life far from their big-dicked tormentors.


It's intense and beautiful. I'm sorry, I mean horrible. Or more as Shteyngart writes:

A look of such transcendent disbelief came over Timofey that I could only feel grief for him. And grief for me, too. There was enough grief on the plane for both of us. Good grief, as the Americans say.