Thursday, October 26, 2006

hard in the best kind of way

I just saw Inga Muscio read at Women and Children First (a wonderful feminist bookstore down the street) from "Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil." Here's what I had to say about it from last March:
"I also have been reading Inga Muscio's new book, "Autobiography of a Blue-Eyed Devil," an examination of racism and how people constantly partake in and perpetuate it. It was a good read, but one that was somewhat emotionally devastating at the same time. I spent all day on Thursday basically sitting on my couch immersed in the horror of police brutality and public complacence after an intense reading session. Combined with the fact that I just finished Malcolm X before this, I'm at least feeling better informed if not as proactive in antiracism as I should be."
I had been consdidering re-reading this book, partially because I knew she was coming to read here and partially because some things I have to read many times before they compute and I can remember them. As I'm sitting here thinking about this, I realize that fiction is very easy for me to remember but horrifying truth is very difficult. Why would that be? Why can I remember the names and emotions of fictional characters many years after I read them, but this book that I read in March that dealt with atrocity and blindness and self-confrontation is almost a complete blank? All I remember is the experience of the utter annihilation I felt under the weight of so much new and almost unbearable information. Maybe I'm blocking it out as a painful experience?
None of this is to say you shouldn't read the book. Even if you don't agree with what she says or already know more about what she's talking about than I did (do), give it a shot. I will, when i feel ready again.

1 comment:

PocaCosa said...

My best guess would support your theory of blocking out those memories; I imagine that there's a strong predisposition for your brain to try to protect itself from traumatic thoughts, and that predisposition may be hard for you to override. As a person who never remembers anything at all about any book (even whether or not I've read it, sometimes), I am simply envious that you remember so much about fiction! Sounds like an interesting read, though. Accounts of racism both draw and repel me.