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Drömfakulteten The Faculty of Dreams is not a biography, it is a literary fantasy derived from the life and work of Valerie Solanas, American, now deceased Few facts are known about Valerie Solanas and even to those this novel is not faithful All characters in the novel should therefore be regarded as fictional, including Valerie Solanas herself.This also applies to the map of America, there being no deserts in Georgia.As I went into this book, I knew the name Valerie Solanas and I knew she was famous for The Faculty of Dreams is not a biography, it is a literary fantasy derived from the life and work of Valerie Solanas, American, now deceased Few facts are known about Valerie Solanas and even to those this novel is not faithful All characters in the novel should therefore be regarded as fictional, including Valerie Solanas herself.This also applies to the map of America, there being no deserts in Georgia.As I went into this book, I knew the name Valerie Solanas and I knew she was famous for her attempt on the life of Andy Warhol But that was just about all I thought I knew The book talks a fair amount about her SCUM Manifesto which didn t immediately spring to mind when I saw her name but did ring some bells when I saw it mentioned in the text.There are three elements to the text The overall structure is driven by Solanas life up to the point where she shoots Warhol There are five sections which take us through 1945 48, 1951 55, 1956 63, 1967 68 and May June 1968 the shooting was on 3 June 1968 In these sections, we read about Solanas childhood, her youth, her student days, her initial time in New York including involvement with Warhol and, finally, her deterioration mentally that ends with the shooting Interleaved with this life story are two other threads one narrative thread follows Solanas in the aftermath of the shooting and this includes her time in a psychiatric hospital and in prison and a final thread puts us with Solanus in a seedy hotel room room in the days leading up to her death in 1988.The actual narration of the story uses several different techniques Sometimes, the narrator talks to Solanas in the second person At other times, events are related to us in the form of a screenplay or drama script including a character called Narrator There are several repeating themes and phrases that pull the reader back to earlier parts of the narrative.It takes a few chapters to get into the swing of the intertwined narratives, but I found I settled relatively quickly into the rhythm of it and, once that has happened, it is not confusing to read.It is, however, an incredibly sad book to read As I don t know much about Solanas, I am not in a position to judge what is fact and what is fiction in this although a quick search on Google shows some immediate things that have been altered , but the life presented to us in this book is an unhappy one And the writing style is quite confrontational and explicit in terms of some of the sexual references and bodily functions involved.This is not a comfortable book to read, but it is compellingly told Once you have the overarching structure clear in your head, the different strands hold together and support one another making something that, I think, is stronger for its unusual structure than a novellinear would be.This is my seventh book from the 2019 Man Booker International long list and it moves immediately to the top of my rankings.And my favourite quote from the book You said Well, if they could put one man on the moon, why not all of them I m sorry I missed It was immoral to miss I should have donetarget practice.Valerie I think you are the saddest girl I have ever met There are no paths in the dark There is nothing to tell I cannot tell you how sad I am I cannot talk about it It is not possible to think outside your thoughts.The narratorBook 11 13 from the Man Booker International and my favourite so far The Faculty of Dreams Amendment to the Theory of Sexuality OR Valerie has been translated by Deborah Bragan Tur I m sorry I missed It was immoral to miss I should have donetarget practice.Valerie I think you are the saddest girl I have ever met There are no paths in the dark There is nothing to tell I cannot tell you how sad I am I cannot talk about it It is not possible to think outside your thoughts.The narratorBook 11 13 from the Man Booker International and my favourite so far The Faculty of Dreams Amendment to the Theory of Sexuality OR Valerie has been translated by Deborah Bragan Turner from Sara Stridsberg s Swedish language original Dr mfakulteten till gg till sexualteorin It is a fictional retelling of the story of Valerie Solanas 1936 1988 , author of the SCUM Manifesto, self published in 1967, and who, 0n June 3rd, 1968 shot and almost killed Andy Warhol The SCUM manifesto memorably opens Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic minded, responsible, thrill seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex.It is now technically feasible to reproduce without the aid of males or, for that matter, females and to produce only females We must begin immediately to do so Retaining the male has not even the dubious purpose of reproduction The male is a biological accident the Y male gene is an incomplete X female gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.Stridsberg s novel was originally published in 2006 winning the highly prestigious 2007 Nordic Counsel s Literature Prize other winners in the 2000s include novels from Per Petterson, Lars Saabye Christensen, Sj n, Sofi Oksanen, Naja Marie Aidt and Jan Kj rstad This essay sets the novel in the context of Stridsberg s work publication now, in 2019, in English is particularly apposite given, as a fellow Goodreader J pointed out, the revival of interest in radical and queer female writers such as Berg, author of Berg, and Kathy Acker, subject of Olivia Laing s Crudo as well as the metoo scandal On the latter, Sara Stridsberg was elected to the Nobel Prize Committee in 2016, serving on the jury that awarded the prize to Kazuo Ishiguro, but resigned at the end of 2017 over the Jean Claude Arnault scandal, in solidarity with Sara Danius.The Faculty of Dreams itself is a innovative reinterpretation of Solanas s life and manifesto and indeed the art of fictional biography itself It begins The Faculty of Dreams is not a biography, it is a literary fantasy derived from the life and work of Valerie Solanas, American, now deceased Few facts are known about Valerie Solanas and even to those this novel is not faithful All characters in the novel should therefore be regarded as fictional, including Valerie Solanas herself This also applies to the map of America, there being no deserts in Georgia.and indeed in this treatment the fictional Valerie is born not in Ventnor, New Jersey but Ventor , in the non existent desert of Georgia the real life Solanas had a sister, Judith, and had a child when she was c.16, fathered by a married man, which was taken away for adoption, but neither feature in the novel.The narrator of the novel imagines herself with Valerie in her dying days in a seedy hotel in San Fransisco A hotel room in the Tenderloin, San Francisco s red light district It is April 1988 and Valerie Solanas is lying on a filthy mattress and urine soaked sheets, dying of pneumonia Outside the window, pink neon lights flash and porn music plays day and night On April 30 her body is found by hotel staff The police report states that she is found kneeling by the side of the bed Has she tried to get up Has she been crying It states that the room is in perfect order, papers neatly piled on the desk, clothes folded on a wooden chair by the window The police report also states that her body is covered with maggots and her death probably occurred around April 25 Some weeks earlier, the report goes on to say, someone on the hotel staff had seen her sitting by the window, writing I imagine piles of paper on the desk, her silver coat on a hanger by the window, and the smell of salt from the Pacific I imagine Valerie in bed with a fever, attempting to smoke and make notes I picture drafts and manuscripts all over the roomsun, perhapswhite cloudsthe desert s solitudeI imagine myself there with Valerie.Stridsberg narrator circles back through Solanas s at times imagined life, but always returning to the hotel room where she at times she addresses Solanas in the second person and others has a dialogue with her, presented in the form of an interview or playscript and indeed Stridsberg went on to write a play, Valerie Jean Solanas ska bli president i Amerika Valerie Solanas for President of the United States based on the story VALERIE I don t want to have a religious funeral I want to be buried as I am I don t want them to burn my body when I m dead I don t want any man to touch me when I m dead I want to be buried in my silver coat I want someone to go through my notes after my death NARRATOR My faculty of dreams VALERIE and no sentimental young women or sham authors playing at writing a novel about me dying You don t have my permission to go through my material Silence The narrator picks at the flowers A second, interspersed, narrative strand, takes us through the aftermath of the shooting of Warhol, starting with Valerie s arraignment at the Manhattan Criminal Court that day, to her eventual commitment to Elmhurst Psychiatric hospital in 1969, and her three years in prison from 1969 1971, again largely told through playscript style transcripts of court proceedings, discussions with her lawyer and psychological evaluations These sections also draw heavily on the SCUM Manifesto, as well as, as a secondary source, Freud s Three Essays on the Theory of SexualityA third strand has scenes returning to Valerie s life up the shooting, with lyrical narration told in the second person, and split into five chronological sections BAMBILAND 1945 8 her childhood with her mother Dorothy in the desert THE OCEANS 1951 5 her youth, and her love for Silk Boy in Alligator Beach, Florida LABORATORY PARK 1956 63 her student days at the University of Maryland, where she has a strong relationship with a fellow research student Cosmogirl THE FACTORY 1967 8 her time in New York in the late 1960s and first involvement with Warhol, including the publication of the manifesto and her role in his movie I, A Man see the accent here definitely not from Georgia LOVE VALERIE May June 1968 the deterioration of both her mental condition and her relationship with Warhol and his acolytes, leading up to the shootingThe narration features a number of recurrent motifs and symbols for example the Florida section features male seahorses perhaps a code for the Men s Auxiliary of males who serve at least some purpose and so will be exempt from the SCUM s initial killing of all men and sharks other men Two colours predominate silver, including Warhol s famous wig, and rose pink, which first features on the garden seat on which her father, Louis, repeatedly rapes the child Valerie He was a jumbled agony of tears and lust and the seat cover fabric was a mesh of wild pink roses that Dorothy had embroidered at nights and I counted the rosesA sample passage from THE OCEANS The ocean thunders around you, words drown in the waves and the blinding white light shifts into something softer The sky and the sand turn to muted pink and the beach will soon be empty of bathers again.You keep on reading your seawater warped books and Dorothy keeps on vanishing behind her sunglasses, keeps on forgetting Her cigarettes always burn out on the sand as she falls asleep, her dreams invaded by black underwater trees and black luminescence, constantly descending When she falls asleep on the beaches of Alligator Reef she dreams about someone no longer wanting to be a mother, and she wakes every time with suffocating heart and salty wet globs in her mouth Her hand moves on the sand and in her dream and the underwater world there is no shriveled foal, knowing it is going to die, but persisting, still a sticky mucilage around its mother, constantly letting itself be kicked away, for the warm taste of her milk like a watermark on its fur, its mouth filled with black ants She picks up her book and tries to read, but she is robbed of concentration by the ocean, and stillby her pocket mirror, nail file and cigarette, and most of all by her way of looking furtively over your shoulder at your book.As an example of how Stridsberg fictonalises, Valerie s female lover and soulmate at university, Cosmogirl is called Ann Duncan, her mother Elizabeth on death row, facing execution just before as the narrator knows the Supreme Court will temporarily halt executions in the US in 1972 Elizabeth Duncan loved getting married She and Cosmo crisscrossed America in search of handsome, dark haired men to whom she pledged large sums of money in return for marrying her And later, when they wanted the marriage annulled, she carried on to a new state and wed again And when the money ran out, as it always did, she sent pregnant girls to the doctor and claimed it was her, and then sued her ex husbands for child support VALERIE What s she sentenced for COSMO GIRL Murdering two of her new husbands with arsenic VALERIE Is she guilty COSMO GIRL Very guilty, I suspect.Elizabeth s story in based on the real life Elizabeth Ann Duncan, the last woman to be executed in California before the 1972 halt But the real life character had a son, not a daughter, and was executed for murdering her pregnant daughter in law, not her husbands And the narrator keeps returning to the central questions she has NARRATOR I keep thinking of your wild animal language, of your time at the university Then I think about New York and the Factory Questions central to this novel Why did you stop writing Why did you leave Maryland Why did you shoot Andy Warhol but this is never answered definitely, since this is, as Javier Cercas refers to in his The Blind Spot An Essay on the Novel, a novel not a biography The novel is not the genre of answers, but that of questions writing a novel consists of posing a complex question in order to formulate it in the most complex way possible, not to answer it, or not to answer it in a clear and unequivocal way it consists of immersing oneself in an enigma to render it insoluble, not to decipher it unless rendering it insoluble is, precisely, the only way to decipher it That enigma is the blind spot, and the best things these novels have to say they say by way of it by way of that silence bursting with meaning, that visionary blindness, that radiant darkness, that ambiguity without solution.Thanks to Machelose Press for the ARC.4.5 stars rounded to 5 as the outstanding book from this year s MBI and one that would repay both re reading and further investigation into the real life Solanas Longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2019edited 9 April I can t believe this one missed out on the shortlist This is a vibrant, visceral reimagining of the life and legacy of Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist whose 15 minutes of notoriety came in 1968 when she shot and almost killed Andy Warhol.Stridsberg gets her disclaimer in from the startThe Faculty of Dreams is not a biography, it is a literary fantasy derived from the life and work of Valerie Solanas, American, nowLonglisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2019edited 9 April I can t believe this one missed out on the shortlist This is a vibrant, visceral reimagining of the life and legacy of Valerie Solanas, the radical feminist whose 15 minutes of notoriety came in 1968 when she shot and almost killed Andy Warhol.Stridsberg gets her disclaimer in from the startThe Faculty of Dreams is not a biography, it is a literary fantasy derived from the life and work of Valerie Solanas, American, now deceased Few facts are known about Valerie Solanas and even to those this novel is not faithful The first part Bambiland is grimly compulsive, mixing the sad stories of her lonely death with her lonely and abusive early childhood The story really picks up in the third part when she goes to university in Maryland and meets her partner and inspiration Cosmogirl Anne Duncan , a fearless feminist whose mother is on death row in California, and the inspiration for the S.C.U.M manifesto the acronym stands for Society for Cutting up Men , which advocated the total removal of men, which they believed possible from observations on laboratory mice.The final parts deal with how she was drawn into and discarded by Andy Warhol s Factory.The text is a collage of fragments, and is rarely a comfortable read, but as a feat of imagination it works brilliantly and I believe it will remain in the memory A strong contender for the prize I didn t expect to like this as much as I did I would have steered clear of it if I hadn t pledged to read all of this year s International Booker longlist At best, I thought I would have a grudging respect for the book in all its grimness Valerie Solanas had an exceptionally tough life, as her attorney explains in the novel FLORYNCE KENNEDY On June 10, 1968 I was appointed public defense counsel in the case New York State versus Valerie Solanas I described Valerie as one of the most impor I didn t expect to like this as much as I did I would have steered clear of it if I hadn t pledged to read all of this year s International Booker longlist At best, I thought I would have a grudging respect for the book in all its grimness Valerie Solanas had an exceptionally tough life, as her attorney explains in the novel FLORYNCE KENNEDY On June 10, 1968 I was appointed public defense counsel in the case New York State versus Valerie Solanas I described Valerie as one of the most important campaigners for the modern women s movement Dr Ruth Cooper at Elmhurst Psychiatric Hospital in New York described Valerie as brilliantly intelligent andand Andy Warhol didn t actually die, he was only injured, he survived and he kept on being wealthy and making bad art, even though he didn t make a full recoveryThere was her unhappy childhoodraped by her daddy when she was sevenraped six times before she turned eighteen, her mother abused and raped by an undisclosed number of men in the desert, homeless at the age of fifteen, working as a prostitute, drug addiction, mental disorders, repeated rapes in connection with prostitutionKennedy was a remarkable figure in her own right, a black radical feminist and pioneer of intersectionality who graduated from law school in the early 1950s Never having read Solanas SCUM Manifesto, my main impression of Valerie was via Mary Harron s 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol, which I saw back when it was on cinema release Lili Taylor s portrayal of Solanas captures anger and vulnerability, but this book contains farof both squalor and poetry Faculty of Dreams starts at the end, as Solanas dies in visceral detail, slowly and messily, in a San Francisco hotel for the homeless in 1988 Scenes then shift back and forth between several key periods in her life childhood in the fictional desert town of Ventor, Georgia holidays and adolescence in Florida university in Maryland writing and hanging out at the Factory in New York talking with a female psychiatrist while remanded in a secure hospital and death rattles in the Bristol Hotel, SF Much of the story is related in a semi delirious prose poetry which I found hypnotic and fluid but it would be understandable if some readers find it repetitive, as the same lines and concepts recur again and again through the book It often uses the second person, but I never found this invasive as I have in some novels, e.g Italo Calvino s If on a winter s night a traveller Though, of course, in Faculty of Dreams, the combination of second person with the already harrowing subject matter could be triggery for some readers at the wrong time To me it always felt like the voice of the omniscient narrator was talking to Valerie as you She also speaks with her directly in several of the book s scenes that are set out as playscript Some of these conversations comment on the writing process and the book VALERIE Giving up isn t the answer, fucking up is NARRATOR I only wish I knew how to fuck all this up VALERIE Artificial historiography The story of the whore and mental illness Of the American underwater population NARRATOR And the question of identity VALERIE Non identity is the answer There are no given identities, there are no women, there are no men, no boys, no girls There s only a little puppet show An endless shitty play with a shitty script NARRATOR So it mustn t end like this VALERIE You ll have to write something new, baby writer, you ll have to find new endings.On the question of fucking with identity this is a fictionalised Solanas Her parents are still called Dorothy and Louis, as they were in real life she still studies psychology at the University of Maryland she still shoots Andy Warhol and is incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals and she really did die in the Bristol Hotel in 1988 But between these landmarks Stridsberg creates what she describes in introduction as a literary fantasy derived from the life and work of Valerie Solanas Few facts are known about Valerie Solanas and even to those this novel is not faithful This also applies to the map of America, there being no deserts in Georgia Real Valerie was from New Jersey, not Georgia I needed to understand what was and wasn t fictional here I didn t want to one day read a factual discussion about Solanas and unwittingly relate it to invented material from a novel And a few weeks ago, I embarrassed myself by posting a review of a Mathias nard historical novel without carefully checking how much of the book was made up So, thanks to Wikipedia and Breanne Fahs biography of Valerie, I saw that she often lived with her grandparents during her teen years, and ended up having two babies before she turned 16 not in a trailer park with a friend who was a rent boy, greedy for drugs and pretending to be brother and sister, as she does in the novel His main sugar daddy has a surname only one letter different from Dorothy s maiden name Some of the quoted interviews are real, some are not As the name of an important university classmate, Ann Duncan, appeared, I searched Was she going to be based on a minor 1950s actress, or possibly murderer Elizabeth Ann Duncan, or was she nothing to do with either It was fun watching the character s identity emerge from the haze, forming into a fictional daughter of Elizabeth Ann In the two fictional companions, brother in arms Silk Boy, and her university girlfriend and fellow proto radical feminist Cosmogirl Ann Duncan their nicknames perhaps oblique references to characters in Solanas play Up Your Ass, which she alleged Warhol stole Stridberg has granted Valerie close comradeship which she seems to have lacked in real life This is a kindness Although if considering the aetiology of her later life and this is after all a novel about someone who was once a star student in her psychology class, who liked to analyse people herself it fucks with the story in another way too If real Valerie had had these important attachments for a few years each, as her fictional incarnation had, perhaps she wouldn t have shot Andy Warhol To what extent were Valerie s opinions the result of the life she grew up in An impossible question to resolve fully But one that means a reader not aligned with radical feminism could see this novel as showing how life experience combines with temperament to create opinions Whereas a radical feminist may take Solanas life story as a series of events that shows an urgent need for their philosophy Fahs biography statesAs Jane Caputi, a radical feminist who met Valerie in the mid 1970s and currently chairs the women and gender studies program at Florida Atlantic University, claimed, It s not as simple as the abuse leads to the manifesto, that you re filled with rage and that leads to things directly But those experiences do take away the illusions Those abuses don t prescribe seeing through things, but they do affect things That is one response to abuse, where you continue contact or are filled with rage At the same time, you take it out on yourself At any rate, Valerie s rants and black humoured quips sound like lines uttered by young feminists on social media now, half ironic, half serious Stridsberg s novel was first published 12 years ago in Sweden, but this is a timely translation to English over the last few years intersectional feminism has become a stronger part of popular culture, and once radical ideasmainstream Sara Strisdsberg s was one of those who resigned in protest from the blighted Swedish Nobel Literature Academy in 2018, part of the international metoo movement As was pointed out recently in a discussion thread, metoo, as well as a movement to stop sexual harassment and assualt, is a reaction to established male creatives controlling and squashing upcoming female artists works as Solanas felt Warhol was doing to her Aspects of 1970s style radical feminism in relation to gender and prostitution are among the most contentious political battlegrounds of the present day, and Solanas life as a radical feminist and sex worker is especially complex in the light of this She talks of pussy souls but says My pussy is not my soul a partial contradiction of the biological essentialism associated with conservative radical feminism now This novel finds itself in a longlist on which eight out of thirteen books are by female authors the literary women in translation movement, aiming to redress a major gender imbalance in which novels get translated, may be starting to pay off There was a time a few years ago when I regularly typed I am not a radical feminist in online debates, as a shorthand for where I stood Looking at the history of 1960s 70s radical feminism while reading this book in 2019, I was struck by how many of its general principles, via their adoption by contemporary intersectional feminism, I had recently made my peace with and accepted as applicable to wider society Whilst they still seem to say little about my own experiences or those of my emphatically matriarchal family, I had been induced to see how they are relevant structurally This is a remarkable translation by Deborah Bragan Turner it felt as if the English was the original work though the book s American subject contributes to this impression US experimental novels get up to all sorts, so why not transpose a coastal town in New Jersey to an imaginary desert in Georgia Otherwise, just about the only hint that this novel was originally from any place other than the country where it was set was the use of British postgraduate where Americans say grad student Allusions to lyrics by Nirvana I hate myself but I do not want to die , early Manic Street Preachers Of Walking Abortion and Hole Doll Parts lurked within, reflecting Solanas state of mind and her cultural influence, but also cementing a sense of the book s belonging in in English Faculty of Dreams reminded me of works in English, works which may not be the most apposite references when reviewing a Swedish book Firstly, Canadian Elizabeth Smart s intense novel in prose poetry By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept 1945 , which sweeps the reader along with its protagonist s emotional tumult during a straight love affair I found both books similarly hypnagogic and dense it felt like I had read and experienced a lot through the characters, yet I was reading farslowly than I thought it was repetitive yet I never wanted to question its repetitiveness As if time was gathering in still puddles, and I didn t mind Except when I noticed how many days I d been reading Faculty of Dreams six, eventually , when I d aimed to finish the book in two There is, presumably, also a Scandinavian tradition of prose poetry I ve read recent examples by Dane Josefine Klougart, but don t know about her predecessors The Faculty of Dreams shares with 1980s Northern English feminist play My Mother Said I Never Should, by Charlotte Keatley, a habit of bold, declarative, sometimes non sequitur sentences about common female experiences as well as scenes in playscript format, shifts back and forth in time, and a minimalist order and tight structure imposed by the author on a potentially chaotic story And I kept hearing the wonky, unglamorous, downright silly sound of Bowie s Andy Warhol it s closer to the DIY feel of this book, and of Solanas calmer ramblings, than it is to Warhol s smooth plastic pop art and iconographic image Warhol also hated the song Perhaps my favourite set of chapters in the book and also something of a break from Valerie s suffering were the lists several themed sections in which free associated aspects of a subject were set out in 26 paragraphs numbered with letters of the alphabet, such as these from The Presidents , a partial history of feminism I There were only superwomen It was the second wave They were all courageous, they all loved sucking cock Passion Obviously, I knew they were laughing at me Billed as Daddy s Favourite Girl Gloria , Steinem appears elsewhere in the text the conventionally attractive liberal feminist, tries unsuccessfully of course to persuade Valerie towards mainstream feminism Valerie derides liberal feminists who include men feminist controversies go in cycles, and I was reminded me of the anger towards Emma Watson s HeForShe project J Suffragettes One by one they joined the underworld Lung cancer, heart attacks, shark attacks The inquests never ended Formalities were set aside It was overrun with weeds around the house M Fuck you Miss Pankhurst The white blouse That was 1913 I had seen her on Fifth Avenue The next summer she died from her injuries at the racecourse Just as the second wavers are the older generation nowadays, and many music stars of the 60s are dying off so we see the Suffragettes stand at the same distance from the feminists of Valerie s age Imagery of Emily Wilding Davidson recurs the Suffragette who famously threw herself in front of the king s racehorse an implicit analogy to Valerie in sacrificing herself to her cause, but with a clear coherent decision that is now widely respected Back in the mid 90s before the I Shot Andy Warhol film was released, the impression of Valerie Solanas I d got from pop culture was that she was kind of embarrassing There was punk and there was punk This could be seen as the view of a male dominated entertainment press, but I for one didn t have a problem with them And it s not just that there are radical feminists who disavow her too Mary Harron s film humanised her, but I d rarely thought about her since, except when I watched Warhol s Chelsea Girls and read a little about the Chelsea Hotel and the Factory I m not sure I d ever known how brilliant she had been when she was young, enough to be awarded scholarships despite the sort of teenage years that would derail most people But the legacy of her early life, and perhaps the lack of the right support whether socially, or therapies and understandings of trauma that barely existed yet meant she did derail eventually, and with spectacular destructive effects on herself and the New York art world I never thought I would be so moved by Valerie Solanas, and that her life was such a string of might have beens and nearlys if only things had been a little less bad in her circumstances or epigenetics or something, and she d been an outrageous radical feminist psychology professor, or a writer and activist shouting things up even today, online Stridberg is a bit late in the story with the if onlys Perhaps, by the time Solanas was on her way with the gun to find Warhol, she was too far gone mentally to have the potential to becomethan a bit less of a mess than she ended up by shooting him But it was wonderful that the book articulated this This is the beginning of the end, Valerie The moment you shoot Andy Warhol, you throw away all possibility of being someone other people listen to, the only thing you dream about, writer, artist, revolutionary, psychoanalyst, rebel There are so many options, there is a world that can be yours out there, if only you drop the weapon and leave Remember, Valerie, this is New York, it is 1968 and you have your university degree, your wild heart, your rich talent of raw poetry and a fantastic sense of humor You can do whatever you want In a few years time the women s movement will move into the universities and everywhere women s caf s will appear, reading circles, feminist groups, and in San Francisco half a million women will demonstrate, dressed in white, in protest against sexual politics based on fear and systematic rape A radical women s movement will grow up and radical sexual politics There will be a place for you there, Valerie The new age will be your age.If this sounds like a 5 star review, it is in a way But I have to love a book to give 5 stars these days, and this had a bit too much horror It is all brilliantly done for what it is if you like this sort of writing which not everyone does In the context of the 2019 MBI longlist, it s interesting to look at Faculty of Dreams alongside The Years and Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead In these three of the five most substantial books on the list there s an apparent resurgence of literature about people women who were young in the 1960s, the late Silent Generation or early Boomers From 2013 onwards, when Eleanor Catton won the English language Booker, prize lists hadandyoung authors, and the stories of those who were young adults in the 1960s and 70s people now in their 70s , stories which readers had been hearing for decades, often took a back seat This crop of three excellent books, all published in their original languages in the second half of the 00s, has appeared coincidentally together a decade later in English a sort of time capsule or throwback, but a very worthy one In their activism, anger and imagined utopias, the protagonists seem similar to those who are young now More so than to us cynical late Gen Xers who were that age during the West s quiescent Third Way years of the 90s and 00s There are closer parallels again between Plow and The Faculty of Dreams each presents a character who d be commonly regarded as a dangerous crank, in a sympathetic, yet unvarnished portrait Each book shows that her causes and views have a good point, even if she takes things too far Tokarczuk s novel shows the tension and contradiction in this project and struggles to make it cohere although it manages to have both readability and intellectual depth But, regardless of Stridberg s poetic style, the Swedish book pulls it off, and in doing so makes something difficult look easy, when set alongside Plow Faculty of Dreams may not be the most comfortable reading, but I could see why it won the Nordic Council Literature Prize which includes work from all Nordic countries, and how credible it seems from the small ish sample of Swedish literature I ve read that it was voted as the best Swedish novel from the 2000s decade in a poll held by the newspaper Dagens Nyheter, which involved one hundred Swedish critics, authors, journalists and publishers Wiki I requested and received a free advance review copy from the publishers, Maclehose Press an imprint of Hachette UK Thank you. Valerie Solanas, known for the chuckle packed S.C.U.M Manifesto pre feminist prescience or pseudo intellectual terrorism, choose one and for putting a bullet into talentless human mop Andy Warhol, is taken on with a rollicking scabrousness and strange compassion in this Swedish novel first published in 2006 In a series of short chapters, alternating between fictional dialogues with Valerie and the narrator, her mother, her head quacks and her lovers, and ruminative and inventive imaginings of Valerie Solanas, known for the chuckle packed S.C.U.M Manifesto pre feminist prescience or pseudo intellectual terrorism, choose one and for putting a bullet into talentless human mop Andy Warhol, is taken on with a rollicking scabrousness and strange compassion in this Swedish novel first published in 2006 In a series of short chapters, alternating between fictional dialogues with Valerie and the narrator, her mother, her head quacks and her lovers, and ruminative and inventive imaginings of her fractious, skittering past and that past in relation to her mental decline, Stridsberg creates a Solanas who is at once unbound to her abusive, wayward childhood, although unable to hold back the horrors of a paranoid schizophrenia that would consign her to a footnote of feminism and Factory lore A spirit of frenzied improvisation and waspish humour infuses this novel and the fragmented form fits the formless shambles of Solanas s unhappy, misunderstood existence The result is an intoxicating and pungent alt history, a sincere attempt to anglepoise some light onto a divisive figure THIS REVIEW IS FOR PAUL BRYANT WHO COMPLAINED THAT MY SENRYU REVIEWS ARE NOT SINEWY ENOUGH FOR HIS LIKING AND WHO THINKS CONCISION IS THE DEVIL S BUSINESS We have had the movie already Mary Harron s neat indie from 1996 is everything I thought I needed to know about Valerie Solanas and if I neededdetail I could read the biography But Swedish author Sara Stridsberg thinks there s a lot been left unsaid and gives us what I guess is a re imagining of the life and crime of Valerie Solanas, in which narrative energy is tossed aside in favour of repetitious incantatory dissociative scortatory rantings, world loathing blatherings and rancid vo We have had the movie already Mary Harron s neat indie from 1996 is everything I thought I needed to know about Valerie Solanas and if I neededdetail I could read the biography But Swedish author Sara Stridsberg thinks there s a lot been left unsaid and gives us what I guess is a re imagining of the life and crime of Valerie Solanas, in which narrative energy is tossed aside in favour of repetitious incantatory dissociative scortatory rantings, world loathing blatherings and rancid vomitaceous outputherings of bile by the righteously furious Valerie valkyrie of whom it could be said that never walked the earth another being who held half of the human race in such low esteem.Valerie formed the imaginary Society for Cutting Up Men SCUM and wrote a big manifesto, as you probably know It points out that all men are highly injurious to all women and if they all died tomorrow it wouldn t be the worst thing, in fact we might look into the possibility If men were a race then Valerie preached genocide She came out with some zingers If they could put one man on the moon, why not all of them and, after the assassination attempt I couldn t take living like a lobotomized brood cow, and the world around me couldn t take that.Well, there were never any other members of SCUM apart from Valerie but if there was one other member it would have been Aileen Wuernos, a woman whose aim was way better than Valerie s Reporter to Valerie It looks like Andy Warhol will recover completely.Valerie I should have done target practice.And if there was ever a third member, it would have been Andrea Dworkin They were different, these three, but similar Andrea was heavy rock, Aileen was sweet country all the way and Valerie was pure punk Girlschool, Patsy Cline and The Slits Along with the incantatory dissociative uniquely Valerian spew liberally doused over ever page here s an example There is a smell of war about you, a state of emergency, a siege and something else, something wetter,dangerous prostitution, dead ocean birds and spiralling loneliness It does not matter how many times you wash yourself, it does not matter how many times you scrub your crotchit looks like the author wishes to further discombobulate the reader by jumbling up the chronology of the story, darting between 1945 and 1991, but there is a discernable logic the great majority of the short chapters are set in 1968, when Valerie shot Andy and was incarcerated in the first of many a psychiatric hospital, and 1988, when she died alone in a filthy hotel room and her maggoty body was not discovered for days But otherwise, the book progresses straightforwardly through the 40s, 50s and 60s After 1969 there s a big gap of 18 years Then comes the big sleep, and the maggots Back to the Main Event Valerie was prosecuted for attempted murder but was found to be insane She demurred from this Not at all Valerie to psychiatrist This is no illness I repeat My condition is not a medical condition It sa condition of extreme clarity, of stark white operating lights illuminating all words, things, bodies and identities Within a stroke or a shout of you, Dr Cooper, everything looks different Your so called diagnosis is an exact description of woman s place in the system of mass psychosis Schizophrenia, paranoia, depression and the potential for destructive acts Every girl in patriarchy knows that schizophrenia, paranoia and depression are in no way a description of an individual medical condition It is a definitive diagnosis of a social structure and a form of government based on constant insults to the brain capacity of half the population, founded on rape Orsuccinctly Valerie to psychiatrist I ll help you Diagnosis fucking angry Pissed off Man hating tigress All married women are whores Are you married Meat is murder Sex is prostitution Prostitution is murderQuestion Why did you shoot Andy Warhol Valerie These are all the wrong questions The right question is why did so many of her kind have no access to weapons The story there is no story circles round and round three characters like a seagull circling a rubbish dump there is Dorothy, the alky mother with a terrible taste in men, there is Cosmogirl, Valerie s one true love girlfriend, and there is Dr Ruth Cooper, the bedazzled psychiatrist Andy does not really feature He has a shuffle on part The novel is not interested in Valerie s lifestory, just a couple of floodlit scenes in it So there is no mention of the children she gave birth to at age 14 and 15 I dare say Sara Stridsberg had solid artistic reasons for this but I dunno, I wanted the full horrible Valerie life in this novel, not an edited version I wanted another bit which is kind of skated over On 9 January 1969 Valerie was arrested again for making threats against Warhol and Maurice Girodias of Evergreen Press She was remanded to the Woman s House of Detention and then transferred to Elmhurst in MayOn 5 November 1971 Valerie showed up at Barney Rossett s office with an ice pick, threatening to use it She was arrested, charged with aggravated harassment and held for psychiatric observation but released as there were insufficient grounds to keep her She was arrested again in December 1971 for harassment and sent back to Elmhurst Hospital for psychological testing.She continued her harassment of Barney Rossett and Fred Jordan Vice President of Grove Pressfrom www.warholstars.org The story of what Valerie did between 1968 and 1988 kind of confirms, alas, that she had overwhelming mental health problems, was not such a pleasant human being, lived on the street a while, had a meth addiction, never did write anything else after the 1960s A sad sorry story I wouldn t want to accuse Sara Stridsberg of serving up a defanged, prettified Valerie, she really really doesn t, but it s a partial cropped portrait, a little too stuffed with abstract poetical body in the gutter but mind in the stars rambling and raving for me When you read a quote unquote highbrow book, the impulse at least for me is usually to try to write a quote unquote highbrow review Because there isn t much dignity in reading an intelligent book like Valerie published as The Faculty of Dreams in the UK and dismissing it with pedestrian critique, but whatever, I m going to do it anyway I found this both boring and deeply annoying.I can never really figure out what I want from novels which fictionalize the lives of real people Because m When you read a quote unquote highbrow book, the impulse at least for me is usually to try to write a quote unquote highbrow review Because there isn t much dignity in reading an intelligent book like Valerie published as The Faculty of Dreams in the UK and dismissing it with pedestrian critique, but whatever, I m going to do it anyway I found this both boring and deeply annoying.I can never really figure out what I want from novels which fictionalize the lives of real people Because my impulse is to leantowardfactual, biography style novels see Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault , but then it s almost like why don t I just read a biography of that person Why am I even reading a novel if I m so opposed to creative liberties But I have also been known to enjoyabstract fictionalizations see An Imaginary Life by David Malouf which take a real life person and imagine, fictionalize, or dramatize details of their life, so it s not something I m inherently opposed to Valerie falls into the latter category to an extreme Sara Stridsberg in her forward admits that this is not an attempt to recreate the details of Valerie Solanas s life it sof a literary fantasy where she loosely spins together fragments of Valerie s life and ideologies, while deliberately skewing facts changing Valerie s birthplace from Ventnor to Ventor moving it from New Jersey to a desert in Georgia It just didn t work for me.This is a book of ideas with nothing to ground them the narrative threads are too few and far between for me to have anything to really grasp onto I didn t understand for the longest time why Stridsberg was bothering to disguise this fragmented, meandering, awkward novel as the story of Valerie Solanas, and while I did feel like that question was eventually answered, it was too little too late for me I read this entire book thinking I don t care, I should probably care, why don t I care, does the author care at all about how disengaged I am But I do feel the need to remind everyone that I use the star rating system subjectively and I use my reviews to explain why I react to books in a certain way I don t think this is a bad book and I would dissuade no one who s interested in it from giving it a shot It just did nothing for me Though the US cover is one of the prettiest I ve seen in a while, so there s that Thank you to Netgalley and FSG for the advanced copy provided in exchange for an honest review. Unlike most of my GR chums, who read this when it was nominated for the Booker International last year many felt it should have won , I came to it late, directly after consuming the new hefty biography of Warhol, and also subsequently re watching Mary Harron s film, I Shot Andy Warhol So I was a mite puzzled and disappointed that Stridberg s imagined fantasia strayed from the facts about Solanas life as often as it adhered to them The author never quite explains WHY she did that, and it Unlike most of my GR chums, who read this when it was nominated for the Booker International last year many felt it should have won , I came to it late, directly after consuming the new hefty biography of Warhol, and also subsequently re watching Mary Harron s film, I Shot Andy Warhol So I was a mite puzzled and disappointed that Stridberg s imagined fantasia strayed from the facts about Solanas life as often as it adhered to them The author never quite explains WHY she did that, and it is weird that some of theobscure facts such as that Warhol was admitted into the hospital as Bob Roberts for his fatal gallbladder operation are adhered to, but she seemingly arbitrarily changed such things as the location of Valerie s childhood from New Jersey which accounted for her thick honk of an accent see to the non existent deserts of Georgia and that she mistakenly has Paul Morrissey also shot in Valerie s assassination attempt the other victim was Mario Amaya, who is never mentioned , or had Viva present there also she was on the phone with Andy when he was shot and she also inexplicably calls her Viva Ronaldo , when to my knowledge she never went by that name her real name was Susan Hoffman Anyway, as soon as I grudgingly let go of the fact this WASN T going to be factual, I got into the groove of what it WAS, and enjoyed many of the riffs The surreal and at times impressionistic prose seemed a good match to the tale Stridberg DID want to tell, although there were many sections that purposely remained opaque and repetitious, especially those chapters that had alphabetical subheadings And though much of it was fascinating in a perverse way, I was left not really understanding the purpose of revisiting Solanas life in this fashion other than to draw attention to the inequalities still besetting the female gender, which drove her protagonist crazy, and perhaps lead one to seek outfactual information on her My sincere thanks to both Netgalley and FS G for providing me with an ARC in exchange for this honest review and apologies for not submitting it sooner This was so difficult to read.It s nightmarish there s a tonne of disturbing content in it But on the other hand the way it s written is mesmerising you cannot drop the book You swirl into the story although it makes you uncomfortable.I want to avoid saying I liked it because I kind of hated it, but I loved it Does this make sense Ett hotellrum i Tenderloin District, torskdistriktet i San Francisco Det r apriloch Valerie Solanas ligger och d r i lunginflammation p en smutsig madrass och nedkissade lakan Utanf r f nstret blinkar rosa neonskyltar, det r flickor och fittor f r ingenting, porrmusiken arbetar dag och nattDenapril hittas hennes kropp av hotellpersonalen I polisrapporten st r det att den d da kn ar vid s ngkanten har hon f rs kt ta sig upp i s ngen har hon gr tit , att hennes kropp r t ckt av maskar och att d den troligen har intr ffat n gon g ng kring denaprilN gra veckor tidigare har n gon i hotellpersonalen sett henne sitta och skriva vid f nstret Jag t nker mig h gar av papper p skrivbordet, silverkappan p en galge vid f nstret och lukten av saltvatten fr n Stilla Havet, jag t nker mig Valerie febrig i s ngen d r hon f rs ker r ka cigaretter och g raanteckningar Jag t nker mig utkast och manuskript verallt i rummet sol kanske vita moln en kens ensamhet Jag t nker mig att jag r d r hos Valerie Dr mfakulteten r en svindlande roman om Amerika, kendjur, horor och d den I utkanten av knarna, str nderna, universitetsparkerna och sextiotalets konstv rld springer Valerie Solanas genom den amerikanska historien i sin silverkappa och i freaksens alla f rkl dnader galenpannans, horans, bagladyns Sara Stridsbergs Valerie Solanas r ett underbarn p gr nsen till underg ng som b de speglar och f rvr nger arkitekturen, ber ttelserna och vetenskapen somkonstituerar hennes v rld [Reading] ➺ Muerte en Hamburgo (Jan Fabel, By Craig Russell – Kleankitchen.co.uk torskdistriktet i San Francisco Det r apriloch Valerie Solanas ligger och d r i lunginflammation p en smutsig madrass och nedkissade lakan Utanf r f nstret blinkar rosa neonskyltar [Read] ➹ Jazz Age Stories ➵ F. Scott Fitzgerald – Kleankitchen.co.uk det r flickor och fittor f r ingenting ❮Ebook❯ ➣ Much Obliged, Jeeves Author P.G. Wodehouse – Kleankitchen.co.uk porrmusiken arbetar dag och nattDenapril hittas hennes kropp av hotellpersonalen I polisrapporten st r det att den d da kn ar vid s ngkanten har hon f rs kt ta sig upp i s ngen har hon gr tit ❮Reading❯ ➺ The Wrong Blood Author Manuel de Lope – Kleankitchen.co.uk att hennes kropp r t ckt av maskar och att d den troligen har intr ffat n gon g ng kring denaprilN gra veckor tidigare har n gon i hotellpersonalen sett henne sitta och skriva vid f nstret Jag t nker mig h gar av papper p skrivbordet ➾ [Download] ➻ The Customer-Funded Business By John W. Mullins ➷ – Kleankitchen.co.uk silverkappan p en galge vid f nstret och lukten av saltvatten fr n Stilla Havet [PDF / Epub] ☃ The Affair By Emma Kavanagh – Kleankitchen.co.uk jag t nker mig Valerie febrig i s ngen d r hon f rs ker r ka cigaretter och g raanteckningar Jag t nker mig utkast och manuskript verallt i rummet sol kanske vita moln en kens ensamhet Jag t nker mig att jag r d r hos Valerie Dr mfakulteten r en svindlande roman om Amerika ❮Read❯ ➵ Summer People & The Little House Author Shirley Jackson – Kleankitchen.co.uk kendjur [PDF] ✅ Beautiful Creatures By Lulu Taylor – Kleankitchen.co.uk horor och d den I utkanten av knarna ❰Reading❯ ➾ Dr. Simon Forman Author Judith Cook – Kleankitchen.co.uk str nderna [Download] ✤ Susannah (Sunfire, By Candice Ransom – Kleankitchen.co.uk universitetsparkerna och sextiotalets konstv rld springer Valerie Solanas genom den amerikanska historien i sin silverkappa och i freaksens alla f rkl dnader galenpannans ✻ [EPUB] ✰ An Obsession with Cigar Box Guitars By David Sutton ❅ – Kleankitchen.co.uk horans ❴PDF / Epub❵ ★ The Folded Earth: A Novel Auteur Anuradha Roy – Kleankitchen.co.uk bagladyns Sara Stridsbergs Valerie Solanas r ett underbarn p gr nsen till underg ng som b de speglar och f rvr nger arkitekturen [PDF / Epub] ✅ Charity Girl By Georgette Heyer – Kleankitchen.co.uk ber ttelserna och vetenskapen somkonstituerar hennes v rld

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