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Jenny Boully

Forfatter af The Body

6+ Værker 210 Medlemmer 6 Anmeldelser 1 Favorited

Værker af Jenny Boully

The Body (2002) 77 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Book of Beginnings and Endings (2007) 45 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
[one love affair]* (2006) 33 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Betwixt-and-Between: Essays on the Writing Life (2018) 32 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse

Associated Works

The Best American Poetry 2002 (2002) — Bidragyder — 183 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse

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disorienting, luminous, open (ajar)
katefren | Aug 15, 2022 |
Betwixt-and-Between: Essays on the Writing Life from Jenny Boully is that wonderful collection of essays that fulfills the promise of the word 'collection.' So often collections of essays are collections only in the sense that the essays have, indeed, been collected into one volume. Many times this is quite sufficient. Yet here collection is to be taken as a single entity with various parts, not simply a collection of parts. This volume is a whole, comprised of essays, collected into a volume.

The writing itself is remarkable. I enjoy essays and many make me think, and many make me feel. These make me think and feel, then think about those feelings. By the end I had come to "know" Boully, at least to the extent she allows in this book. And it certainly seems at times to be intimate. The beauty is that the intimacy appears, to me, to be for both her benefit as well as ours. She may have reaped many of the rewards when she first wrote the essays but we are reaping our rewards now, and likely again when we reread them (which I have every intention of doing).

This is not just about the writing life in the sense of what it is like to be a writer, but also about writing life, which is a type of writing we all do. It is in this relationship that we as readers gain the most insight. Boully wrote her life into her writing, whether explicitly or implicitly. This is not uncommon among writers, even those who are less fully aware of it. Yet the process of writing also helped to make her life what it was and is. We all do the same things. We write our lives, as in what has already passed. In writing the past part of our lives we influence how we will write the remainder of our lives.

I would highly recommend this to readers of personal essays as well as writers.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via Edelweiss.
… (mere)
pomo58 | Sep 14, 2018 |
This prose retelling of the Peter Pan tale has both an upper and a lower body, just as in the Peter Pan story, there is the underground home of the Lost Boys & the little house above ground that the boys build for Wendy. Two tellings proceed in horizontally linear fashion across the pages. The upper world and the underworld. Although both partake in a scatological re-purposing of the familiar childhood story. Boully's "story" is the psycho-sexual and concerned-with-life-and-death, real-and-make-believe, childhood-vs-aging one that lives within or alongside or underneath the Mary Martin musical version ("Don't you think, Wendy, that it is a strange and demonic thing: in the theatre, grown women play at being me? That's disgusting, says Wendy"). In addition to the two-story house of the page, Boully employs a formal strategy of italicizing certain words. In "Acknowledgments," she explains that italics indicate excerpts from other texts. However, they are also performative. I found myself emphasizing such italicized words while reading, which created a punctuated rhythm in my head. If I were to read the text aloud, I would not be able to escape a sing-song emphasis, which might be an incantatory lullaby of sorts (a tale to put children to sleep or to entrance them into make-believe) or a mnemonic device. The Home Underground sections often dispute or talk back to the fantasy-world of make-believe ("Perhaps, perhaps the food could be less non-existent. I think that Slightly's teeth are falling out quickly simply due to malnutrition, mal-eating"). There are even hints of feminist rebellion ("Dearest Tink, should you and I together unionize against the Peter? Equal pay for equal work, we'll say . . . . We would all like some benefits, we'll say"). Throughout, Boully questions the nature of narrative, its purloining of characters for narrative purposes rather than for the character's well-being ("And it was his story [whose? Peter's? de Barrie's?] that made it so that the girl Wendy wished to go away. You see, it is story that takes them"). Wendy, in the home above ground, participates in the make-believe while embodying & remembering the real world of mothers, fathers, reading, meals,etc. ("I complain of Wendy, says Tootles; I complain of Wendy, who is always wanting to give us endings"). Is Wendy's role the fairytale version of prototypical woman's work, whereby a wife & mother's role is to remember, whether it be the dental appointments or the whole kit and kaboodle of culture? And why might she acquiesce in this game? Perhaps because, "For example, he can put a little something inside of you, and you will carry that for the rest of your life; thimble all empty underneath in the inside." For the sake of that thimble "the Wendy girl is called to mend, to mend. What is a pocket but a hole? A home. For the housewife who has grown, has grown, the home is nothing but a hole."
… (mere)
Paulagraph | 1 anden anmeldelse | May 25, 2014 |

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