Sunday, April 1, 2012
The Books: The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman
I longed for Wilhelm Reich. This happened about a third of the way through this book and continued till the end. It made me think about Orgone energy and all the mad and wonderful references to it. It made me want to wear a Devo flowerpot on my head. I am positive that Carter was referencing Reich when she referred to Hoffman. A contemporary of Freud, crazy and wonderful all at the same time.
The first few chapters of this book were totally disorienting. That was the point I suppose, but I struggled to stick with it. I am sometimes a lazy reader. I find myself distracted. Books like this one throw you into a whole new world and a whole new way of thinking. I came away from it transformed. I could almost hear the machinery turning over in my head. I felt this way after reading Jimmy Corrigan by Chris Ware, a change in my thought process that lead me to experience the real world differently. So it is with Angela Carter.
This is a book about sex in so many ways and yet perhaps it doesn't fit with the other sex books I have been reading. There are sex scenes, a few of them, odd transgressive moments with centaurs and children and the mothers of child brides, but it isn't the sex scenes that make it a book about sex. The whole world she has created describes a persons sexual psyche. She cracks the world apart and reinvents it.
Hoffman has changed my relationship to the book too. I am done with part one and its traditional narrative arc. Part two is a place to crack my own world apart. I invite Reich into the world of my novel. I seek him. My charachter, Holly will be seeking him. All this because Angela Carter opened my skull and forcibly inserted Wilhelm Reich inside it. I am gathering my Orgone Energy even now to begin the challenge that is now Book 2.