Saturday, November 26, 2011

These Books Will Change Your Life, Part One - a shiny, unused heart by J.A. Tyler and In Great Company by Michael Seidlinger.

Travel. Not work. Read. Read more. And so we did. Read. More. A rush of words. Endless words. A deluge. Which seems especially appropriate when discussing a shiny, unused heart by old friend and This Zine Will Change Your Life contributor J.A. Tyler and In Great Company by much newer friend Michael Seidlinger. Both are about the feeling, and taste and impact of being overwhelmed and in part accomplish just how off-balance we can feel when overwhelmed by slamming the reader with a language beat-down, a torrent of words, piling on top of one another and challenging you to even just try and breathe. But that's where the similarities stop, sort of, maybe, because Tyler is hitting old themes, paranoia and confusion and relationships and parenting, and hitting them in the language warping ways few do as well as Tyler, and yes, we know, its supposed to look like the protagonist of the story is losing his mind, but as we read it we thought, is this losing one's mind, or is what we're reading an effort to capture and describe all the craziness that can accompany the fear of responsibility and feeling of being trapped by marriage and parenting, and all the fantasies and craziness that can accompany the desire to just escape all that when we know we don't totally mean it and true escape is not a possibility because we will never allow it to be so? 

Seidlinger on the other hand, is creating a voice, a dominant voice, or internet presence, that is here to remind us that we are just pawns before its awesome powers - and yes, for the record, and ironically at that, this is a relationship that started on Facebook - and that we are prisoners of its all-consuming domination of our lives, directing our decisions, knowing us better than we know ourselves, and ultimately not caring all so much how we feel about it, if we in fact feel anything at all about any of this. Yet, as we read it we thought not unlike Tyler, and so yes, they may not be so different after all, that's what happening on paper, that's what we are expected to react to, but is there something else going on here, because though maybe like with Tyler, we are merely filtering all of these words through our own world view, is it also possible that Seidlinger is ultimately talking to the artist in all of us and condemning, even mocking, our ability to tune out the clutter and just create? We think so. We do. Really. So there you go, clutter, deluge and craziness. And words, so many words.

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