Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Edward St. Aubyn: At Last

"At Last" is the final book in St. Aubyn's quintet "Melrose" series.

I'd never heard of either the writer or the series until I read a review in the 2/27/12 New Yorker. Wry, witty, at-least-semi-autobiographical fiction from an upper-crust Brit who'd survived being raped by his father and ignored by his shallow, enabler mother.

The review ends with a quote from near the end of the book:

"Most of his time had been spent in reaction to his conditioning, leaving little room to respond to the rest of life. What would it be like to react to nothing and respond to everything? He might at least inch in that direction."

I wonder, indeed, what that would be like.

New Yorker review of At Last.
Amazon.com page.


Speaking of the above, was pleasantly surprised to read my horoscope from Rob Breszny's "Free Will Astrology" for last week:

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Veterans of war who've been wounded by shrapnel often find that years later, some of the metal fragments eventually migrate to the surface and pop out of their skin. The moral of the story: The body may take a long time to purify itself of toxins. The same is true about your psyche. It might not be able to easily and quickly get rid of the poisons it has absorbed, but you should never give up hoping it will find a way. Judging by the astrological omens, I think you are very close to such a climactic cleansing and catharsis, Leo.

I say "pleasantly surprised" because the "poisons-coming-to-the-surface" is EXACTLY what has been going on with me for at least 2 years now, and it corresponds with how strongly I reacted to only the review of "At Last" (without yet reading any of the books in the series, which I now plan to do). I've never had anyone to talk to about such things. I've never had anyone I could lean on or trust emotionally. When I read, second-hand, of the possibility of recovery from such past emotional horrors, I'm very grateful. And hopeful.

Like when I was a kid: books and movies were the only sources of hope I had in the face of all of that hatred.

Here's to catharsis.

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