The Body: An Essay by Jenny Boully

The Body is an essay in footnotes. Footnotes to a body text which is absent. Just the footnotes.

Pages are often more blank than not, with a line demarcating the footnote section of the page, and then (in rather small font) the text below. Some footnotes are nothing more than Ibid., with a page number. Does this sound infuriating? Yes.

Some of the footnotes are long enough and weird enough to get lost in, themselves; when I consider them poetry and dwell in the moment, there is something to be enjoyed. But overall, not a concept that works for me. Other, better-known writers and readers than I have found much to value here. A meditation on the concept of absence, loss or disappearance, etc. But it was too weird for this reader. I was here for the body, if you will, and not its leavings.

For me a fail, but I’m certainly interested to know if you are differently minded. If any of my readers have enjoyed this book? Please explain.


Rating: 4 quotations.

2 Responses

  1. I can’t imagine ‘reading’ a book like that!

    Try this for a fine “meditation on the concept of absence”: our ignorance of our own ignorance.
    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/unknown-unknowns-the-problem-of-hypocognition/

    Understanding this can help lead one onto the path towards humility, another important concept. It is a short useful essay.

    Do you know George Lakoff? – author of ‘Don’t Think of an Elephant!’ (2004) He is the master of interpreting this concept in politics (I have his ‘Political Mind’)

    • I really enjoyed the article on hypocognition; that put very nicely a concept I think I’d thought through without naming (an imperfect example of hypocognition itself). Thank you for sharing!

      An author I’ve corresponded with this week & last said something about putting together a sort of book-length-braided-essay, to complicate his own story, which is essentially (I paraphrase him) ‘boring white guy with privilege does [fairly normal things]…’ I really appreciated the humility and awareness in that statement. It’s a good place to start from in all ventures, I think.

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