Wednesday, January 21, 2015

These Books Will Change Your Life - Winterswim and The Waiting Tide by the Ryan W. Bradley.

We could tell you all about how much we love the Ryan W. Bradley in all of his sexually obsessed awesomeness. Well, at least the obsessiveness of his characters anyway. Maybe we could just tell you how much we love him regardless of all that. But it's possible the two are intertwined. The personal is the political is the words and the art. Or something like that. We suppose we are ruminating on this because we just read Winterswim and it is one nasty piece of work. Something we say mind you in the most loving way possible. It's a folk tale, and it is obsession and sickness, and as you might expect a book where the reading experience engenders an equal amount of obsession and sickness, if only to see what will happen next, the good and the ill. 

However, to say we felt sullied as we read it would not be accurate. To say that we were reminded of Bradley's poetry collection The Waiting Tide, which we hadn't revisited since the MS landed in our inbox some time ago, would be. We re-read it with the film of Winterswim still coating our brain, and to do so, is to see some of the same obsessions, water and sex certainly, spill out across the pages as something else, a love song, and an homage. Which is not to say Winterswim isn't an homage and love song to Bradley's Alaska. It's just that they're different experiences, both possibly warped, but in their own ways. One because love overwhelms everything in its path, and the other because illness and decay does the same. That both find sex and water as a means to the end, as well as, the end itself, only reminds us that authors have their themes, and that when they are good, and even when they are not, they are trying to figure something out, and trying to change lives, if even only their own.

No comments: