Book info

Lof Van Het Rommelige Leven (2013)

Lof van het rommelige leven (2013)
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3.29 of 5 Votes: 3
languge
English
publisher
De Bezige Bij
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Lof Van Het Rommelige Leven (2013)
Lof Van Het Rommelige Leven (2013)

About book: This book has three parts: 1, life and time, mostly on the author's life events: divorce, raising children as a single mother, reflecting one's gender during a trip to Asia, a sexual experiment; 2: books and authors, mostly contemporary American writers, 3: the way we live now, cultural observations. In general, I found this book verged too close to solipsism and characteristic of the strident New York brand of intellectualism. Evidently erudite in literature and journalism, the author nevertheless did not hold an even keel in her cultural observations. In her own words, when commenting on Joan Didion "That was once of the revelation of her style: the writer's own psyche become a delicate radio station channeling the outside world. The news was all about how the news makes you feel." Or anything makes you (or the capitalized, italicized subject) feel and react at the visceral level of a New York life stemmed from "the same impulse to judge … the herd mentality ", and the cattiness of the chattering class locked in an echo chamber. On Bellow's superb "Samler's Planet", there are smarter and frenzied denizens making their lives and other people's lives messier. Such messiness is certainly good fodder for solipsistic exposure, raw materials for journalism or diversion, but hardly possible to create fine art in the absence of its innate nobler nature. This book is a collection of essays by US author and critic Katie Roiphe. The essays include autobiographical pieces, literary criticism, thoughts on women's lives in the present time, and others on technology and how it affects us.I enjoyed the literary essays much more than the others. The rest of the book made me, at times, feel quite cross as the writer seemed to be pointing the finger at other women and decrying them for what they do, but then doing virtually the same thing herself and seeing it as the only possible approach. Her essay "The Feminine Mystique on Facebook" condemns women who have photos of their children instead of themselves as their main picture on Facebook. She says that this gives out the terrible subliminal message that these women see their children as their greatest achievement. However, a number of the other essays in the book are about the problems of modern motherhood and her own children are paraded before the reader multiple times in these pieces, as well as in other pieces that don't deal with this subject. At times it felt like the author was taking a particular position on something just to be contrary, which I found annoying (though I am aware that it's a common journalistic trope). And I also didn't know how much of what's contained in the essays can be applied to other women's lives i.e. those who aren't financially secure, well-educated, bohemian, white journalists. The target audience for this book is likely to be quite narrow and though I tick some of the boxes for her ideal reader I still felt alienated from the world she portrays. This is possibly as I've made the choice not to have children and kids take up a lot of the book.The author photo inside the back cover of the UK edition of the book is also interesting and would need an essay in itself to interpret. It's a portrait of a balance between bohemianism and discomfort, demonstrating closed body-language and an angry-looking author.
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Reviews
Anna
Her criticism is more stylish than substantive. I crave farther, deeper.
mlondy
a collection of amusing, astute, and articulate essays
brent
This got annoying after a while. But good overall.
katniss
Subversively inspiring
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