|I guess it’s fair to ask the question is this book mysoginistic, about mysogny, about a mysognistic character or some combination of all three. I think it’s got to be all three in varying degrees. I can imagine for a lot of people, reading this novel felt fairly ilberating when it came out and then when it finally came out. And while, sure there’s plenty of graphic sexual content, what stands out to me more than anything in reading it now, especially at 40 is how hateful that all feels or how violent/close to violent it feels. A lot of books that cover similar ground find ways to make their lead characters more human and human feeling. I am thinking about someone like William Vollmann. And I am certainly not thinking that books have a responsibility or requirement to present good people or to present bad people in unquestionable terms, but it is deeply unpleasant to read how self-assured this narrator is of his own sensibilities. As soon as I got started, I was immediately thinking “Oh no…..”
Luckily we already have the purest critique and response to this book anyway in the Seinfeld episode.
“I need to be alone. I need to ponder my shame and my despair in seclusion; I need the sunshine and the paving stones of the streets without companions, without conversation, face to face with myself, with only the music of my heart for company.”