Reading these after loving Levy s memoirs I love the writing but didn t super enjoy the book.
quite a departure from Beautiful Mutants but equally as sprawlingly spectacular and gifted reading this made me remember all the times i was a traveller and a foreigner and a tourist and a wanderer and a misfit and a vagabond full of so may phrases and thoughts and imagery painful to read, at times, achingly raw in others always stunning and fabulously written Is it possible that classic rules of forms and structure do not fit this experience of existing and not existing at the same time Swallowing Geography was Deborah Levy s 2nd novel la , just 85 pages, published in 1993, following her debut Beautiful Mutants my review Whereas her first novel took its inspiration from the materialism of 1980s Britain, Swallowing Geography is set against a background of the first Gulf War and the reunification of Germany The theme of displacement and migration from the first novel comes through even stronger here.
And the prose and imagery is even fragmentary This review from the Independent at the time h t to Neil s review expresses it well Swallowing Geography is the sort of novel which doesn t behave like a novel the sort that can usually be put in i I read this on breaks, in waiting rooms, curled up in bed before sunrise None of the narrative made any sense and yet everything was interconnected Only one character had a name, Gregory Because he had claimed his own geography Everyone else was a letter, maybe two There was love, the sea, and a man s head aflame If you ve read her autobiography, you can see snippets of Levy in this book A missing father, oranges, things coming out of the blue Where is the blue anyway when people suddenly out of the blue changed their name, I always think they ve been visited by strange men in spaceships Out of the blue Where is the blue The blue is somewhere Where are you 46 would it be worth it to be dazzled, wined, dined, and fucked silly, if it was only for one night your lover soon to take off in the jet, never to be seen again or play it safe, never go near that person, stay in town, go shopping for the cats, read about lovers on tumblr levy s always pick the first one.
This is a very surreal book Levy throws away all the things that you might consider conventional in a novel plot, characterisation, coherence, for examples and throws something at you that it is simply not possible to grasp mentally At least, I couldn t But, and I think this is maybe the point, it is possible to respond emotionally to the deluge of images, the seemingly disconnected fragments If there s a plot of any kind to be found, it centres on J.
K and her wanderings around Europe and her dealings with various lovers Plus, Trotsky and Lenin somehow contrive to make appearances.
It s very short just 72 pages, I believe, although the real page numbers on my Kindle went mad and started at page 107 of iv and counted from there and leaves you feeling rather disoriented at the end But, along the way, it asks questions about identity coincidentally, a similar theme t ↠´ Swallowing Geography ↠´ we return to homelands and find they are a hallucination.
The narrative was all over the place and for some reason I couldn t connect with the story nor the characters, my least favourite work by Levy for sure.
Can be avoided.
Geography Is A Stunning Early Novel By The Man Booker Shortlisted Deborah Levy Embedded In This Beautifully Written Novel Is Deborah Levy S Gift For Blending Fairytale With Biting Satire Through The Voice Of The Irreverent And Ironic Narrator JK Swallowing Geography Interrogates The Yearning Of Discontented Children, Imagined Homes And Strangers And Histories At The Turbulent Close Of The Th Century A Stunningly original Writer Kirsty Gunn One Of The Few British Writers Comfortable On A [ Pdf Swallowing Geography Ð research PDF ] by Deborah Levy ☆ World StageNew Statesman Levy S Strength Is Her originality Of Thought And Expression Jeanette WintersonDeborah Levy Writes Fiction, Plays And Poetry Her Work Has Been Staged By The Royal Shakespeare Company, And She Is The Author Of Highly Praised books Including The Unloved, Things I Don T Want To Know, Beautiful Mutants And Billy And Girl Her Novel Swimming Home Was Shortlisted For The Man Booker Prize, Specsavers National Book Awards UK Author Of The Year And Jewish Quarterly Wingate Prize, While The Title Story Of Her Most Recent Work Of Fiction, Black Vodka, Was Shortlisted For The BBC International Short Story Award