Read Not Merely Because of the Unknown That Was Stalking Toward Them by Jenny Boully Free Online
Book Title: Not Merely Because of the Unknown That Was Stalking Toward Them|
The author of the book: Jenny Boully
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 6.66 MB
Edition: Tarpaulin Sky Press
Date of issue: June 15th 2011
ISBN 13: 9780982541678
Read full description of the books Not Merely Because of the Unknown That Was Stalking Toward Them:I wanted to underline this entire book. The language is that beautiful.
For those of you not already familiar with Jenny Boully's take on the legend and corpus of Peter Pan: Shame. On. You. But don't worry. I'm shaming myself even as I point fingers, because this is another one of those books that I would never, ever, have given a second glance in the bookstore. If anyone had told me that I'd be reading wickedly twisted little books like this in graduate school, I'd have laughed in your face. (And not just because I spent my childhood trying to get out of more schooling.)
I have always been creeped out by Peter Pan. I'm pretty sure I must have watched the animated Disney adaptation at some point during my otherwise trauma-free childhood, but I really don't remember finishing it. I couldn't stand any of the other film adaptations people kept pushing me to watch. Hook seemed particularly disturbing, for some reason, and despite having listened to James Newton Howard's soundtrack for the 2003 live-action film at a friend's insistence (a friend who would later walk down the aisle to the tune of track #12), I never got around to sitting through that version, either. I hadn't read the book, or the screenplay, or any of the materials connected to the text. When Finding Neverland came out, I chalked up the film's success to Johnny Depp romancing Kate Winslet, a fuzzy mash-up of The Pirates of the Caribbean and "My Heart Will Go On" playing over the end credits. I'm glad to confirm that I was entirely mistaken, and now that I have read Barrie's original screenplay--and watched Finding Neverland, twice--I'm entirely won over.
It's not that I'm not creeped out by Peter Pan as a character and literary influence on small children. As an adult encountering Barrie's work pretty much for the first time, I have no idea how any parent would be okay with all of the (beautifully executed) sexual innuendos that fly off the page in its every incarnation. Thimbles seem particularly suggestive. As an adult, however, I'm better equipped both to see what's happening and to appreciate the context. I know now that Peter Pan is not a literary construct but a real person, or a real type of person, and perhaps even I am that type of person on occasion myself. (Only, well, sans innuendo.)
All this to say: Boully's Not Merely Because of the Unknown that was Stalking Toward Them is a part of this picture. She capitalizes on the creepiness of Barrie's original screenplay, makes it clear through several formal devices that she's operating both within his world and commenting upon it, criticizing it and reinforcing its complexities with her own intoxicating language. I say intoxicating, and I mean it. Boully knows how to turn a phrase. She knows how to pack a sentence full of sounds that ring true, that taste sweet and sour, that change the way you read the text of this world. Every world.
This book might properly called poetry, or fiction, or cross-genre, or genre-less. But truthfully, it's just a book, and it's the kind of book that likes to stick it to the man and operate completely outside of the rules we try and teach our composition students to always always obey unless you can you know get away with it and even then only once in a while--. If you haven't read Barrie's Peter Pan before, you won't know who Boully's talking about or through or why or what the heck is going on, and you'll be in exactly the same boat as I was when I cracked this book's cover. But I enjoyed the heck out of it anyway and I think I enjoyed it more because I expected to be confused and was therefore able to relax into the confusion she carefully cultivates here. Later, post-Barrie, post-Finding Neverland, I was able to revisit Not Merely and trace out a number of clever images and motifs that she used, but my appreciation was already entirely fixed on my first read-through.
This is a book of consequences. You don't have to be an expert on Peter Pan to know that the titular character plays fast and loose with his women, and that he's got a real mean or at the very least a careless streak that regularly endangers the lives of those helplessly in love with him--Wendy, Tink, Tiger Lily. In a child's world, the harm is temporary. In a grown-up world, well. Well. Thimbles have a price. And Boully unwinds their stories in some of the most clever, beautiful language I've ever read.
Read information about the authorJenny Boully is the author of four books, most recently not merely because of the unknown that was stalking toward them (Tarpaulin Sky Press). Her other books include The Books of Beginnings and Endings (Sarabande Books), [one love affair]* (Tarpaulin Sky Press), and The Body: An Essay (Essay Press, first published by Slope Editions). Her chapbook of prose,Moveable Types, was released by Noemi Press. Her work has been anthologized in The Best American Poetry, The Next American Essay, Great American Prose Poems: From Poe to the Present, and other places. Born in Thailand, she was reared in Texas by parents who farm and fish. She attended Hollins University, where she double majored in English and philosophy and then went on to earn her MA in English Criticism and Writing. At the University of Notre Dame, she earned an MFA with a poetry concentration. She earned a Ph.D. in English from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She lives in Chicago, Illinois with her husband and daughter and teaches at Columbia College Chicago.
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