Accompany a young man on his repeated misguided attempts to rescue a young woman, through four literary periods. This is the story of search for ideal love; the struggle to maintain integrity; the process of writing itself, of creating and loving and letting go. Fall with me. More
In each of four parts, each a grafted onto a Hoffmann short story, in four historical periods and reflecting the literary style of its period, the reader is invited to accompany a young man on his frustrated journey to rescue a young woman, variously assisted and obstructed by fathers, mothers, brothers and his personal demons. The structure is cyclical. Each story is hung on the skeleton of the others. Themes of transcendence, desire for and disgust for the flesh, the need for acceptance and the fear of assimilation are developed throughout, while characters and locations are recycled, and metaphors echoed.
By the fourth part the structure has broken down and the narrator breaks cover to address the reader directly, inviting and rejecting understanding in equal measure, confessing his sins and encouraging the reader to do the same, while his own characters criticise him and offer their opinions of the work.
I am reluctant to make a definitive statement as to what the novel is about, as there is a danger that my opinion may be considered the one 'correct' answer, but for the benefit of the reader I might suggest the possibilities that it is about the search for an imagined ideal love; the struggle to maintain oneself intact amidst the flux of time and in opposition to other people; the progress, or lack of progress, of the protagonist through a psychotherapeutic project; or the process of writing itself: of creating and loving and letting go of what has been created.
This is me, creating and loving and letting go.
This is me, still falling.
NSFM. Contains poetic obscenity and some scenes of an S&M nature. This is not pornography, however.
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