Tuesday, March 31, 2020


I just finished reading A Little Life and put it down for good, finally. I've read reviews and many of them felt the same. That it was dark, depressing and heavy. Some had to rush through it so they wouldn't have to prolong the pain whilst others had to take breaks in between sessions of reading, to cope with the burden. I was one of the latter. The protagonist, Jude, was abused horrifically in his childhood all through his adolescence, by multiple perpetrators, and by multiple people whose roles meant they are usually people you can trust. This leads Jude to having extremely self-destructive behaviors despite being successful in his career later in life. He cuts, he believes this is a way to release the filth from his body and to purify himself again, but sometimes he does things like slam himself against walls or throw himself down flights of stairs, because he thinks he deserves it, because when he feels the physical pain, he perhaps stops feeling the depression, because of a myriad of reasons you can never truly understand. I got quite frustrated because he wouldn't go to therapy, but then one of his previous abusers had assumed the role of a doctor, so that was something to let slide. I get a headache when I wonder why people who recognize that they've been through abuse, then further abuse themselves through harmful behavior. Then I think, I used to scratch at the back of my knees really badly, I had a sort of rash and although I would be advised to apply calamine lotion or something soothing, there was something so perversely addictive and pleasurable when you've scratched an itch so much and so often and so intensely, that it begins to sting. Maybe it's the same feeling but on a much larger, much more negative scale. Who knows. In my opinion and in the reviews that I read of the book, the writing is so well-done, it's seamless and natural and so realistically done that you believe and invest yourself in the lives and livelihoods of these characters. I kept reading because she wove and crafted an actual fantastic life together, the pain and pleasures and friendships and mundaneness and trust and permanence and temporality of everything. I wish she hadn't written such a dreadful story because it kept me feeling heavy for so long, but I appreciate the beauty of how she wrote.

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