A very special voice of modern American literature, that of just over a half-century, is the sensitive brooder. A young man who refuses to be “adult”, grappling with life and on his own inventing, if not the universe, so his highly personal way of looking at it. He or she is an intelligent outsider with strong integrity but also very lonely. While European literary outsider – Camus stranger, the protagonists of Modianos novels – is melancholy and retrospection, the US outsider forward-looking vulnerable at the mercy of the present’s mishaps. How to think about this inhospitable life, asks the American outsider, and above all: how to live it?
Holden Caulfield in JD Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” and Ignatius Reilly John Kennedy Tooles “A Confederacy of Dunces” is such vulnerable people outside; they cultivate a fresh look at the world right by not adapt to the conventions and expectations. Behind them are the individualists and the living philosophers in the US 1800 talstvitalismen, Thoreau in “Walden” with its critical gaze of civilization, Emily Dickinson, with its mini-poems where everything conceivable breathtaking turned upside down.
All they try enter the world again, life has no ready-made models. The unnamed female self in Jenny Offills second novel “Dep. the brooding “is related to them. At the beginning of the book she is in her 20s, in the end maybe 15 years older.
You can think that we are a far cry away from solitary engines Holden and Ignatius; of Offill bokjaget seems to live a normal New York Life; She has a sister, she quarrel with an ex-boyfriend she occasionally dreams, moves in with a kind musician she loves, gives birth to a daughter screaming incessantly, except in the local pharmacy with his musak, get outrotbara bedbugs in the apartment, struggling for time to their writing, and forced to take bread job as ghost writer of a failed astronaut.
Offill allows his bokjag portray itself without self-pity, even when life is bisarrast and omöjligast, but behind the scalpel sharp formulations and storytelling takes constant kangaroo jumps between topics and thoughts are Holdens pain for life and Ignatius absurd vision of odd fellows. “She” sees life with ferocious wonder, like from another planet. A planet of his own creation: a planet of words. For the “she” is nothing less than a verbal world creator low key, an unsentimental and drastic Emily Dickinson, in an overcrowded contemporary Manhattan and Brooklyn.
“Dep. the brooding “ begins with a motto of Socrates:” Those who ponder over the universe are nothing but fools. “Though it is not the speculations that allows the narrator fails to be the selfish artist monsters she dreams of, it is in instead, her great love and care for their loved ones. And she is able to not take on an Knaus Farm or Noréns necessary grave seriousness. But she does not abandon his vision that everything can be said differently than the literature so far said it. Perhaps the book we are reading it, she actually writing when she was at the end of the book moves out of the country. A novel? A collection of aphorisms? A diary without dates? It is not easy to enter the genre of “Dep. the brooding “but one thing is certain: it is also a guide to living, a book to be strengthened by, learn from. For until I shows us how to always find a free spot, beyond the worst internal and external kalamiteterna: a new beginning.
Right in the middle of the book takes something. Ego asks suddenly “How are you?” The answer fills a compact side where “såräddsåräddså” is repeated 90 times. Then shift tells perspective, the self becomes the “wife” who discovered that the man is having an affair with a waitress. Offill handle disaster by narration increased distance – third person – but it will only make it stronger. The wife and the man reluctantly begins in partner therapy in The Wounded Emotion Manege; as well as the wife’s uncontrolled emotion depicted reserved ironic a precipice underneath, the combination of text and subtitles is part of Offills quantity. Saved marriage? Yes, the reader is free to see how it goes, here are anyway plenty of advice interspersed for couples that had run aground in their lives.
When Offill published “Dept. of speculation “in the US for nearly two years had been long in coming 14 years after her debut with” Last Things “from 1999: a road movie in the form of a novel in which a crazy mother – an American outsider aground in itself? – A distracted father and little girl fails to live middle class life.
The expectations of the new book was immense, it was paved for the setback. But immediately hailed it as a literary bomb. With its total unpredictability and its unique tone, superbly recreated by Alva Dahl, it can be also with us. In our prose culture where the inflation of words is like breathing fresh and new, ozone-rich air.