First book of the new year - this was quite an intense read, deep observation about identity and pregnancy. I've not read anything like it before.
Parts of this were captivating, and other parts just didn‘t connect for me. That‘s the nature of memoir—reading something about a life other than your own. The parts I didn‘t love were the critical theory aspects, but perhaps I just don‘t have the background to appreciate them. Or maybe I just found them pretentious. I‘d give it not quite a full Pick but more than just So-so.
Full review http://www.TheBibliophage.com
This is a bit late, but I'm finally home after various Christmas visits so have only just put together my book haul presents! I'm really happy with these - they're all very thoughtful and I can't wait to get through them. Maggie Nelson is currently blowing me away with The Argonauts. Has anyone read any of the others? 😊
I‘m nearly at the end of a busy holiday entertaining schedule. I feel like I‘ve barely been here, Littens. But ... soon life will slow down and return to “normal.” These are “baked eggs with feta and spinach.” I spend about an hour creating them, and my family polishes them off in about ten minutes! I picked a short book to accompany my day. #audiocooking #theargonauts #thoughtprovoking #essays #memoir
I had a feeling I was going to devour this. Maggie Nelson journeys into the depths of self-awareness, and more importantly, self-examination to explore the limits of language and desire, the unconscious, deep-spread binaries we abide by, and the joys and fears about motherhood, family-making and queer identities. From Sedgwick and Winnicott to Preciado and Lacan, she uses the work of philosophers and artists to complete her personal reflections.
Next up in the world of master's theses: The Argonauts/ Die Argonauten.
[Currently listening to: Heart-Shaped Box by Nirvana]
Identity. Even though we change and morph we are still us. We have to go through the changes to become us.
This is an interesting book. It comes across as a letter to her son about how he came to be through the changes and challenges his parents went through to become who they are and have him. It is read by the author.
It was at times hard to follow, but still not all bad.
I didn‘t wanna like this book bc of the hype but I cried in Jewel during the hospital scene anyway. Beautiful, honest, intimate. I‘m a sucker for that nerdy Gen-X queer academic type. For whatever reason this book felt refreshing, almost old-fashioned, in its style and courage. Maybe I wouldn‘t like it as much on second read, but it packed an emotional first punch.
1. Maggie Nelson (for intellectual writing that‘s also personal and beautiful)
2. Jane Austen (for her power as a observer and her way of making everyday life fascinating)
3. Tressie McMillan Cottom (esp. THICK, which is intellectual, brilliant and personal, like Maggie Nelson)
4. Nicholson Baker (esp. THE MEZZANINE, which taught me what strange things novels can do).
5. Sayaka Murata (esp. THE CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN: novels in translation!)
⭐️ This has been touted as “genre-bending” NF, but honestly, it just felt like a lengthy college essay that had no idea what it wanted to be. I found it incredibly inaccessible. The first paragraph was so pretentious that I almost bailed 10 second in. I didn‘t like the writing nor style, which tremendously hindered my ability to reap any connection with Nelson. Though, I doubt she cares as she peers down from her esoteric high horse.
@kgriffith I borrowed this after seeing your recent posts. I know you weren‘t keen on it being nonfiction, so I‘m curious how you ended up liking it?
It took me a bit to get into this as it veers into some inaccesible philosophical writing that can sometimes seem to put up an emotional barrier to the meat of it. But in the end I felt deeply connected and actually appreciative of the intellectual context the references provide. It weaves together several strands of Nelson‘s relationship, pregnancy, early motherhood, death of her partner‘s mother, identity and thought processes.
The passage from When the Moon Was Ours reminded me of this part of The Argonauts I read earlier today and while I‘m not saying I like the book yet I can‘t deny that it‘s had moments that resonate so very deeply.
Further remnants of my games gathering. tagged book is the one I‘m really struggling to tell anyone, anything about how it feels to read it, because feeling stupid isn‘t my jam.
I think I‘ll be an n of one, at my book group, or elsewhere, in saying that I actually enjoyed this book. It may be that my intersectionality and life experience, that I am the niche she writes to. I enjoyed the experience, even in my disagreements with critique or generalized commentary, or shifting context.
The headlamp, I use one to read in bed. Yes, I‘ll get a lamp, I said three years ago.
I also have a complicated relationship with my stepfather, and came to terms with my parents‘ ages relative to my own not having much meaning some time ago. It helped me find compassion where before there had been primarily resentment, anger, shame.
This book is making me :angry:
She has these really lovely and stark and profound sentences here and there but they‘re surrounded by inaccessible doublespeak and shit like this, where I can‘t tell if she‘s being facetious or not, but in context, I think probably not.
More than one very intelligent person I know has rage-quit reading this, which I find myself feeling the need to say because I don‘t want to look stupid, and THAT makes me angry.
Yeah I‘d say I never really been a baby/ animal/ houseplant/ garden... self care person either 🤷♂️ my kid and cats and garden and plants seem to do fairly well besides, though I‘m still working on the self care department. I expect I should keep finding time for more books 📚!
Just starting with this book. My queer book club read this month. I‘m interested, though with some... trepidation? Perhaps.
I think this book has the potential to _matter_ for me
Got this one for #queerbookclub today. I didn‘t know before I bought it that it‘s non-fiction. Not looking forward to it as much as I was before this realization. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
This is a very smart book. And it‘s nice reading about a very smart woman‘s thoughts on pregnancy and motherhood—among other topics. In reality, though, I think I expected something different—and yes, much of that is on me. There are passages I loved, particularly when Nelson was more focused on the personal parts of her life. But so much of it is abstract and theoretical, making it difficult for me to fully connect with it the way I had hoped.
I didn't know much about this book going in. I only knew that people seemed to love it and what the blurb said. WOW, was I blown away!!! Maggie writes about her relationship with transgender Harry Dodge, and their family. She uses a lot of anecdotes and quotes philosophers, and I loved it. She really brings home the fact that one couple's experience, doesn't apply to everyone else in the same situation. I will definitely read other works by her.
On Friday, I started the weekend with a bookstore 😀 I came out with the top two books. I've seen a lot of Litsy love for Vernon Subutex. The other novel, Sommerlys trans. Summer Lights, is by an Icelandic author, and I get some Reservoir 13 vibes from it without the missing girl. I really loved Reservoir 13 and hope this is just as good.
Today, another bookstore and I came out with the bottom book. I've heard nothing but good things about it.
I missed this when it came out. I heard it was great but I have, or had, a bias against writers who go by a diminutive. I hesitated on Ben Lerner, balked at Ali Smith, and neglected Maggie Nelson. Now I‘m big into all three. The Argonauts is wonderful. It‘s a deeply considered meditation on what a family is.
What a book. By turns vexing, hilarious, troubling, heartbreaking; always deeply intelligent. It‘s a strange but necessary thing, to consider that the world & its systems are ruled by the aggregate, but that our experience of that world is always & necessarily deeply individual; Nelson insists on complicating every narrative, every way of being. Perhaps this could be a lonely thing—it is for me, at times—but reading this, it‘s affirming as well.