I started following - via Blogger, though I follow via Twitter too - Changeling, a Twitter and Blogger with a well-laced sarcastic style, that swings with cadence between insulting you and other in your face and dipping the tip of the [insert whatever you are thinking] in a swirl of whipped throughts of the heaviest nature. A delight to read, I must say. I found this delightful cyber phenomenon through yet another witty, fun twitter. Social networks, I tell you. Sometimes it like swinging Tarzan-style from one contact to the next.
Last week, I finished reading Tropic of Cancer, by Henry Miller, and I must say, it was one of those books that leave you in a daze. Certainly a book hard to describe, as I have said so time and again while I read it, and often almost engaged in a long courting of the pages, worshiping from far, reducing our encounters to hushed minutes in a secluded waiting area. Russian romanticism applied to a jaded, brute, seedy bum. However everything tied up amazingly. After the long courtship, I've realize that also a quick fuck is needed. Take the book, escape to some place where the two of you can be alone and deep into it, spread it like Miller had said to spread his whores, and slam head first between the many lips of the paper cunt. The impressions such should leave must be amazing.
There's no outspoken romanticism in the book, book which in itself has managed to steer away from telling a story without either falling into a philosophical essay. Fiction and reality fuse in this non-story bowl, where all shreds of romantic tones are bashed, smeared thick with shit and dirt. Unpleasant details plague the pages often as ice over a frozen river, where maybe a faint rushing can still be heard, maybe it isn't ice all the way to the riverbed, or maybe it is.
Food, sex, food, shelter. Hatred, self-hatred, envy translated into more hatred, into the need to despise, the need to destroy. Unability to decide what he really wants, unability to be happy with anything in the present, but constantly remembering how good it was back then, when this and that. The title eventually makes sense in so many levels, the sheer genius of it smack you dumb. It's the body, the heat, the sex, nakedness, focus on the lower levels, on the stench that sticks to your hair, the sweat that smears on your skin. The poverty, the turmoil.
It reveals much of the writer, the confusion about whe his wife is, Tania or Mona, not as if he wouldn't know, but knowing but mixing them up. Who he felt as his wife? Anaïs or June? It's not an editing mistake, it's his mind, a mind that fused them both into the one wife he needs. A woman less needy, less demanding, less complicated, stronger, more of a whore, less of a bitch.
June's disappointment is evident as well. She wanted to be an uplifted heroine, a beauty, Sarah Bernhardt, but all she was in the book was the cheating-cheated wife on and off his life, far less interesting than any of the whores that so thickly peppered the pages. A character that goes from longed person to a secondary thought, material enough for a brief wondering. It's not an ode to her, but an anthem to him and the life she hates but can't really escape herself.
A book that goes nowhere, a rat in a stinky trap to which it returns whenever he gets the chance to step just a little out of it. Hate it but can't live it. And even as hope shines, feeble like a candle in the storm, and he shelters it, helps it, makes it grow, strenghten, he lets it escape his hands. Twisted, sick, breaking down and pushing away the cure.
The settling at the end of the book rounds it up into a more novelistic type of story, where threads become more evident, and there's a stream that takes you from A to B, which you don't see in the rest of the book. It gives you a strange feeling, almost as if you were coming out of a thick, dark fog into a clearing. It then opens up, it's left half done and untied, in tone with the rest of the book, where it wouldn't mean the end of a story, because it flows constantly and splashes into something else, a few thoughts on the matter, a new quest for food and shelter and money to spend on toothless whores and all types of dirty, clap ridden women, who pretend to be high mantenance ladies while they spread for anyone with enough francs in the pocket to buy them a dinner.
So, now off the heat, bewildered by it still, I chose to soothe my mind with a double attack: The Brothers Bishop and Moll Flanders. New books are on the rack.