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Patricia Lockwood

Forfatter af No One Is Talking About This

8+ Works 2,401 Members 122 Reviews 2 Favorited

Om forfatteren

Patricia Lockwood was born in Fort Wayne. Indiana, and raised in all the worst cities of the Midwest. She is the author of two poetry collections. Balloon Pop Outlaw Black and Motherland Fatherland Homelandsexuals, a New York Times Notable Book. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times. The vis mere New Yorker, The New Republic, Slate, and The London Review of Books. She lives in Savannah, Georgia. vis mindre

Includes the name: Patricia Lockwood

Værker af Patricia Lockwood

No One Is Talking About This (2021) 1,097 eksemplarer
Priestdaddy: A Memoir (2017) 968 eksemplarer
Balloon Pop Outlaw Black (2012) 66 eksemplarer
The Winged Thing 1 eksemplar

Associated Works

The Best American Poetry 2015 (2015) — Bidragyder — 93 eksemplarer
The Best American Poetry 2014 (2014) — Bidragyder — 76 eksemplarer
Joan Didion: The Last Interview and Other Conversations (2022) — Introduktion, nogle udgaver23 eksemplarer
No Love Lost: The Selected Novellas of Rachel Ingalls (2023) — Introduktion — 12 eksemplarer

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It's easier for me to respect than love a novel written in the fragmentary style, to say "Yes, I see what you did there, well done, it's not really for me, though". No One Is Talking About This at least has a formal reason for being written this way, even arguably a necessary one, being about the experience of being extremely online, but even more specifically being extremely online on Twitter, or "the portal" as Lockwood's narrator calls it, and this is how the portal writes. It is also however about the experience of having the ultimately inescapable reality of human bodies and sickness suddenly jerk you out of your previous life, even when that life is the disembodied mind inside the portal, and seeing that life continue on in its great stream while you are busy with something else, and when you lift your head and look over at it, you realize that you are now an outsider viewing it through a film of difference and alienation rather than an integrated participant.

Why be a part of the portal in the first place? Why, when what goes on in it, your contributions in it, fly by and are gone in nearly a blink. "Already it was becoming impossible to explain things she had done even the year before, why she had spent hypnotized hours of her life, say, photoshopping bags of frozen peas into pictures of historical atrocities, posting OH YES HUNNY in response to old images of Stalin, why whenever she liked anything especially, she said she was going to 'chug it with her ass.' Already it was impossible to explain these things."

Personally I have no idea why people on Twitter photoshopped bags of frozen peas into pictures of historical atrocities or posted OH YES HUNNY to pictures of Stalin, but if even core participants have trouble explaining why they did it a short time later, it can't be very important, really. And so I think it's not important if readers of this novel know the memes Lockwood is referencing or not. It might be a fun sort of parlor game, but that's all.

The important thing to know is why the character is immersing herself into the portal, and what it is doing to her, rather than the frankly irrelevant details of what flies by in the portal. She says, "it was a place where she would always choose the right side, where the failure was in history and not herself, where she did not read the wrong writers, was not seized with surges of enthusiasm for the wrong leaders, did not eat the wrong animals... she knew how it all turned out... she floated as the head at the top of it and saw everything, everything, backward, backward, and turned away in fright from her own bright day."

So we get a hint that the portal offers self-esteem and a sense of belonging to a favored tribe, psychological benefits that humans seem designed to chase. It offers certainty and a way to avoid the scary unknown. It also becomes a self-erasing addiction. "You have a totally dead look on your face," her husband tells her as she's doing something or other in the portal. She thinks, "Gradually it had become the place where we sounded like each other, through some erosion of wind or water on a self not nearly as firm as stone." And it takes on a darker cast over time. People - Russians, capitalists, our own ambitious political leaders - exploit it to manipulate us. There's a lust to find transgressors and righteously hound and shun them: "Callout culture! Were things rapidly approaching the point where even you would be seen as bad?"

"Something has gone wrong," her mother texts her. But she's not referencing the portal. The character's sister has had a terrible revelation about her pregnancy. A rare and fatal genetic abnormality in the baby has been discovered. Her sister's life is in danger. She is suddenly and without warning jerked out of her previous life, undone by the reality of these fragile bodies we inhabit outside of the portal. Lockwood writes,

She fell heavily out of the broad warm us, out of the story that had seemed, up till the very last minute, to require her perpetual co-writing. Oh, she thought hazily, falling rain-wise like Alice, finding tucked under her arm the bag of peas she once photoshopped into pictures of historical atrocities, oh, have I been wasting my time?

She finds that being surrounded by and participating in her family's pain rather than living so greatly inside the portal reintroduces her to herself: "the previous unshakable conviction that someone else was writing the inside of her head was gone." As ever, illness and death have a great way of shifting one's perception of the world, one does not have to be extremely online to experience this fact of life, it's just one more way of being that has to bow before something greater. New, but ultimately not different in this respect, anyone can identify with this passage where the character looks at her previous life, before the Great Encounter:

Through the membrane of a white hospital wall she could feel the thump of the life that went on without her, the hugeness of the arguments about whether you could say the word retard on a podcast. She laid her hand against the white wall and the heart beat, strong and striding, even healthy. But she was no longer in that body.

So the novel takes a turn towards the universal as Life asserts itself over life. It's not sentimental, Lockwood is far too strong of a writer to get trapped in clichés and sentiment only, rather we see the characters doing the best they can to live out love with each other and in the baby's short life among the difficulties and realities that lie in wait. The character wonders if this experience will change her, fill her with more love and kindness towards her fellow humans. On an airplane, she feels the world calling her back, and the rainbow that follows the plane's path just might offer an answer.

Love to you, whether you find yourself in the portal or elsewhere.
… (mere)
lelandleslie | 56 andre anmeldelser | Feb 24, 2024 |
I jibe with Patricia Lockwood really well and love her writing. Part of that is she writes the most incisive and poetic sentences and scenes; the passage from [b:No One Is Talking About This|53733106|No One Is Talking About This|Patricia Lockwood|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1601474686l/53733106._SY75_.jpg|84057345] when the doctor chokes up after her niece's death, with cream cheese from a bagel stuck in his mustache, for instance, is perfectly amazing. Priestdaddy is said to be funnier, but humor isn't what sticks out to me. It's writing like this:

"All my life I have overheard, all my life I have listened to what people will let slip when they think you are part of their we. A we is so powerful. It is the most corrupt and formidable institution on earth. Its hands are full of the crispest and most persuasive currency. Its mouth is full of received, repeating language. The we closes its ranks to protect the space inside it, where the air is different. It does not protect people. It protects its own shape."

Does that not just nail tribalist in-group dynamics...
… (mere)
lelandleslie | 54 andre anmeldelser | Feb 24, 2024 |
Patricia Lockwood is a master wordsmith. The prose in this comic memoir is often exquisite. Ms. Lockwood grew up under unusual circumstances: her father is a Catholic priest. Her mother was a good Catholic girl who married a man who later became a Lutheran minister, but then converted to Catholicism, and through some quirky rule, was able to be ordained and keep his wife and family. He seems quite the character, although he is certainly someone whose politics put me off. As much as I enjoyed Ms. Lockwood's descriptions and colorful language, I found the book somewhat disjointed, almost like a collection of essays rather than a book-length memoir. At times the story did not hold my attention, but overall I enjoyed it.… (mere)
bschweiger | 54 andre anmeldelser | Feb 4, 2024 |
Lockwood’s writing style overwhelmed me in not a good way ... I almost put the book down early on but I’m glad I stuck with it to the end. She’s certainly a good storyteller and she has a hell of a story to tell re. her life. Maybe I just don’t care for her aesthetic (manic pixie plus constant pointless sexual references) so all the more kudos that I enjoyed the whole book. She demystifies both the midwest and Catholicism, quite a feat.
monicaberger | 54 andre anmeldelser | Jan 22, 2024 |



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