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Summary ç E-book, or Kindle E-pub ´ Jessie Greengrass

Read ☆ Sight AUTHOR Jessie Greengrass ↠ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Jessie Greengrass ´ 9 review Summary ç E-book, or Kindle E-pub ´ Jessie Greengrass The extraordinary first novel from the author of the prizewinning An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw ItIt seemed at times an act of profound selfishness to have a child so that I might become a parent; bu. Update Nine months on from my original review my not particularly hard to make prediction of a Wellcome prize longlisting for this brilliant book has come true I had no understanding of the drive to exhume that now turns my uiet moments into imperfect acts of reminiscence how it is to feel that one must note each detail of one s thoughts in case that thing should pass unseen which might otherwise provide the key laying out the shadows of the bones which rib and arch and hold the whole togetherIt strikes me as extraordinary now that we should be so hidden from ourselves our bodies and our minds so inaccessible in such large part uncharted but there is a thrill to it too that same mixture of terror and uickening which confronts us where underneath the sea the light gives out and unnamed creatures float I read this book as part of its longlisting for the 2018 Women s Prize although I had been aware of the book from some early reviews and had expected it to make the longlist I am not surprised to see it shortlisted Sight is the author s debut novel after a critically acclaimed book of short stories I can see and can understand that this book may not be to the taste of many readers but I feel that what others do not like about the book is what I most enjoyedA FT review by Sam Leith described it rather condescendingly in my view as a certain sort of literary novel in which not much happens and with musings expressed in a mannered register with very little resemblance to the way the average 21st century person talks In contrast I do not expect literary fiction to be plot heavy my fellow Goodreads reviewer Paul has often remarked of the spoiler tag on Goodreads that by definition a book which has a plot which can be spoiled is already flawed Further I do not read literature to reproduce say like how the average girl kind of talks From unfavourable or neutral Goodreads reviewers the book has drawn comparison both to Rachel Cusk and to WG Sebald whereas I regarded these comparisons as something that attracted me to the book and in both cases can see the links perhaps a double aspect to the link in both cases of Cusk her book on motherhood and her annihilated perspective style of Sebald his weaving of historical fact into fiction and in a reference to East Anglian beaches albeit the novel has style of its own The book s premise is simple our unnamed narrator married to Johannes and with a young daughter is pregnant with their second child She reflects on her relationships with her mother grandmother and daughters born and unborn and on her past and future roles herself as daughter granddaughter and mother and on the transition between these relationships as well as that from child to adolescence to adulthoodThe narrator is a voracious reader and after the death of her mother before marrying she spends time in the Wellcome library as did the author herself writing the book searching through the medicine books there in the hope she might find the fact which would make sense of my grown unhappiness allowing me to peel back the obscurant layers of myself and lay bare at last the solid structure underneath her uest described as I sought among so many books a way to understand myself by analogy a pattern recognised in other lives which might be drawn across my own to give it shape and given shape to give it impetus directionAs an aside the Wellcome Trust sponsors one of the most intriguing book prizes in the UK and this book must surely be a contender for the 2019 PrizeThis search seems to give her book a shape and pattern the book being effectively rearranged in three parts each concentrating on a particular relationship respectively her mother her psychoanalyst grandmother and her unborn daughter and on a scientific figure Wilhelm R ntgen who discovered x rays Sigmund Freud and his children John Hunter a pioneering surgeon and collector who helped introduce science back to the practice of medicine his brother William and the anatomical sketches they commissioned from Jan van Rymsdyk including of the dissection of a heavily pregnant woman with a full term fetus Initially these sections can seem disjointed both within themselves between the narrators reflections on her life and the scientific parts and between the different sections but gradually the reader uncovers the overlaps between these parts the recurring themes of stripping apart examination of transitions of boundaries of the difference and interaction between the superficial and deepAt this point and to give a flavour for the book and simply because I noted down so much of the book the book being littered with post it notes when I finished a number of examples are usefulOn something which the narrator obsesses about that R ntgen handed in his first paper on X rays on the same day the Lumi re brothers first publically showed their collection of cinematography Rontgen had seen all that had been solid go towards transparency Opaue materials wood stone his own flesh had been reduced for him to shadowed outline leaving the image of a substrate world spread out across a photographic plate a catalogue of metal and bone and all that would not rot to set against cinema s preservation of surface The initial excitement of the public at x rays and a link forward to Freud s work hope that knowing the constitution of their bodies they might be granted understanding of their mindsFreud and the Vienna Psychoanalytic society this earnest group of men saw themselves as architects of a future in which clarity was assured and all the convoluted crenellations of the mind would be unfoldedHer grandmother taking about analysis told her Without reflection without the capacity to trace our lives backwards and pick the patterns out we become liable to act as animals do minus foresight and according to a set of governing laws which we have never taken the trouble to explore Without reflection we do little than drift upon the surface of things and self determination is an illusion And later When a person has gained the skills necessary to explore the territory for themselves to unpack their own minds and begin to understand the contents they might start the work necessary to make their experience their behaviour meaningful and then at last they might start to become transparent to themselvesComparing her pregnant self to Susini s Anatomical Venus a clear link to the sketches of van Rymsdyk I imagine how I would look laid out like this formed into layers each one a shell demountable and at the centre of it the indivisible nut my child makes and how then all of it might be removed stacked carefully up beside my open undecaying carcassOn her daughter growing up Now she stands apart and I must reach for her on each occasion a little further until it seems her progress towards adulthood is a kind of disappearance and that I know her less and less the she becomes herselfHer mother s illness shortly after twenty one her need for me forcing into reverse that inevitable process of separation which was the work of adolescenceSorting through her mother s possessions To pick through dusty boxes to sift through memories which fray and tear like ageing paper in an effort to find out who we are is to avoid the responsibility of choice since when it comes to it we only have ourselves now and the ever narrowing cone of what we might enactWhen tending to her child I see the outline of my mother s hands beneath the skin of mine and I hear her voice in mine performing the liturgy of endearments those sibilant invitations to returning sleep and I wonder if these things are soothing in themselves or if it is rather that through generational repetition they have become that way a memory taught and retaught the epigenetics of comfort I feel memory as enactment and my mother my grandmother in nay hands and my arms a half presence no longer lostWhat I found particularly clever about this book was the way that its own subject matter becomes a meta commentary on how the book itself is constructed for example the importance of the boundaries between the scientific historical sections and those sections with the narrators own musings the way that layers are peeled back examined and later reassembled with the superficial in literary and anatomical terms contrasted with the deep the importance of the bare bones of the novel s structure overlaid with the interwoven complexity of the themes that run like blood vessels and nerves through it Even the author s idiosyncrasies of punctuation with paragraphs and sentences ending with see the R ntgen example above emphasises the idea of boundary and transition I found the descriptions of the process of bereavement moving For example on realising she cannot bleed her mother s radiators reset her boiler or replace the salt in her dishwater This is where grief is found in these suddenly unfilled cracks these responsibilities minute habitual which have lain elsewhere for years and which having failed amongst grief s greater broil to be reapportioned are overlooked in favour of the dramatic until even the ordinary starts to crumbleI also loved and particularly identified albeit very imperfectly as the father some of the descriptions of pregnancy in the third partOn welcoming a second child while making the first still feel full loved A reminder to our daughter that completion is elastic and she was enough even as we planned her augmentationDifferences in her and Johannes view of pregnancy What I felt as a set of prohibitions and a physical incapacity a slow fast remaking of my own biology was for him hardly than anticipation like waiting for Christmas to comeThen how she describes her feelings and experiences watching a foetal heart trace her meetings with consultants her pregnancy from the day the baby was found breech a series of waits on uncomfortable chairs clutching plastic cups from the water fountain in the corner of the waiting room undergoing an ECV the early stages of induction two days spent walking round and round the hospital car park in the hope labour might begin and their contrast with its violent ending and birth as a ten hour lesson in topographyI also found the inadvertent links with other Women s Prize books fascinating Freud considering his youngest daughter and eventual collaborator and continuer of his work his Anna Antigone linking to Home Fire On Johannes before the birth He would not feel the child s weight until he held it in his arms linking to the most harrowing aspects of The Trick to TimeOverall I found this an outstanding book

Free download Sight AUTHOR Jessie Greengrass

Sight AUTHOR Jessie Greengrass

Read ☆ Sight AUTHOR Jessie Greengrass ↠ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Jessie Greengrass ´ 9 review Summary ç E-book, or Kindle E-pub ´ Jessie Greengrass S and the origins of modern surgery It is about being a parent and being a child Fiercely intelligent brilliantly written and suffused with something close to forgiveness it is a novel about how we see others and how we imagine ourselves. This novel shortlisted for the Women s Prize for Fiction is a braided novel about motherhood and scientific discovery x rays psychoanalysis and surgery The writing style reminds me of Motherhood by Sheila Heti where the narrator feels like the author and I had to keep reminding myself that it is fiction I had to push through it at times but ultimately was glad I did as it had some resonance with my own recent experiences especially those of having a parent die in hospice and what you think about during and after what the truth of that experience isI wanted a child fiercely but couldn t imagine myself pregnant or a mother seeing only how I was now or how I thought I was singular centreless afraid I was terrified of the irrevocability of birth and what came after it how the raising of a child that unduckable responsibility might turn each of my actions into weighted accidents moulding another life without intention into unpropitious shapes and caught between these two poles my desire my fearThis is where grief is found in these suddenly unfilled cracks these responsibilities minute habitual which have lain elsewhere for years and which having failed amongst grief s greater broil to be reapportioned are overlooked in favour of the dramatic until even the ordinary starts to crumbleLove for my mother was not distinct from actionThrough those last long months though the physical intimacy which her illness demanded of us left no space for any metaphorical form of contact the present was too onerous to allow any intrusion by the past and the work of being kind against the urge to hurt which comes as vulnerability s unwelcome companion left no energy for confession this is so spot on I was speechless when I read itI find myself wondering if my mother felt as I do the overwhelming fear of fucking up that having children brings the awareness of the impossibility of not causing hurt like falling into endless water and with it the attendant agonising understanding that what success looks like is being left behind but what is the alternative Only the unthinkable perfection of a preserved present Our lives are possibility reduced to rough particularity by contact touch and out of it the specificity of each of us comes so that to ask if we might have been better otherwise is to wish ourselves undoneI felt the power of it and do still how simple things would be if only I could know myself or to others I received an eARC from Random House through Edelweiss This book came out 21 August 2018

Summary ç E-book, or Kindle E-pub ´ Jessie Greengrass

Read ☆ Sight AUTHOR Jessie Greengrass ↠ E-book, or Kindle E-pub Jessie Greengrass ´ 9 review Summary ç E-book, or Kindle E-pub ´ Jessie Greengrass T selfish too to have a child and stay the same or not to have one unless the only honest choice would have been to try to become this kinder version of myself without the need to bring another into it Sight is about X rays psychoanalysi. Like my GR friends Neil and Sarah I thought I would give this book 2 stars while reading it but then ended up rating it higher and I guess the reason for this is that the core idea of the text is good but the execution is severely lacking Greengrass plays with the concepts of sight and insight and how the desire to see the world and to understand it are intertwined Her protagonist is a woman who is expecting her second child and a lot of the story is her contemplating and trying to understand her roles as a mother a partner a daughter and a granddaughter Which brings us to the the first issue I had with the book Her thoughts and observations are pretty unoriginal and also overblown in a sense that many cases of stating the obvious are presented as cutting edge ideas which makes for an annoying reading experience What is new and original about the text though is how Greengrass creates a montage in which she juxtaposes her protagonist s musings with other people s uest to gain new perspectives and insights while balancing family relations namely The Brothers Lumi re Auguste and Louis revolutionized the concept of seeing by inventing the cinematograph which means that they were the first filmmakers in history Wilhelm Conrad R ntgen and his wife Bertha R ntgen of course invented the X ray he literally looked inside people Sigmund Freud and his daughter Anna The inventor of psychoanalysis wanted to look inside his patient s minds John Hunter and his brother William They were pioneers as surgeons and anatomists soyou get the ideaUnfortunately the montage techniue is very clumsy with Greengrass simply interspersing the text with huge paragraphs about the inventors and scientists named above it s not exactly meeting the Clemens Meyer elegance standard for postmodern extravanganza if you know what I mean Plus the author is guilty of another literary crime She is explaining her concept to us in the text We re not stupid Greengrass we get it especially as you are really really hammering it home Good basic idea but for me this was not an enjoyable book

  • Hardcover
  • 198
  • Sight AUTHOR Jessie Greengrass
  • Jessie Greengrass
  • English
  • 24 June 2018
  • 9781473652378