“It’s so hard to know what’s right,” Mrs Steele was saying…

Some books are catalysts. They open up so many roads for your synapses to run down, blow previous roadblocks to smithereens and they tease your mind with hints of opinions your curiosity cannot stay away from examining indepth. These kinds of books are my love and my hate. For the simple reason that they make me feel a little too much. It becomes an overload that is hard to handle. Once I was close to having a panic attack, because I felt overwhelmed by the possibilities, the raw and the immature thoughts that washed over me like a muddy avalanche. All from a bundle of paper covered in a jumble of words and sentences.

Currently reading The Young In One Another’s Arms by Jane Rule, this would be the definition of a catalyst book. Not only does it pre-date queer and crip theory with fifteen to twenty years but still manages to touch on topics that would become fundamental for both academic approaches, but it is also a beautiful study in human behaviour and human everything. At once beautiful and tragic, and my mind can’t decide if I’m reading about a perfect haven or a desolated outpost. It features a mottled crew of people fighting for themselves and for their beliefs and fighting in the way that life is always a fight.

Each character becomes a strain of something infectious and unfinished, that bubbles over and fills me with thoughts, heavy and confusing. I’m glad for how they are portrayed, how their strengths and weaknesses simply are, without there being any ethical or moral judges offering unwanted verdicts. But I’m also sick under the pressure of these many voices and feel an unspoken need within myself to form myself around them, to form an opinion in response to their opinions, to their lives. It’s written with that immense kind of empathy that is rare to find, but becomes the literary equivalent of a yawn. You see and hear these people and you’re unable to stop them from mirroring inside of you. They yawn and you cannot fight your own impulse to yawn. Your mind doesn’t let them rest as fiction, but translates them into the now, into you, and makes it all so political, so philosophical that your stomach churns and your heart beats a little too fast.

I love it, because it makes me feel so much and I hate it because it all happens so fast that I can’t digest. It’s my way of getting high, but it’s also a dark and crooked trip. It fucks with my mind. The problem isn’t in the intense feelings, the problem is that you choke under their onslaught as they leave you no respite to gather yourself and deal with it.

Still I wouldn’t want to change anything. I’ll take the good with the bad and suffer my enjoyment of the written word and the glorious fucking way in which it transmits thought.

This post was brought to you courtesy of the tones of mental confusion with Irma ThomasI Wish Someone Would Care playing in the background.


~ by Ape on February 28, 2013.

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