Patricia Lockwood c/d

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I believe that she's been quite extensively discussed on this thread.

Taking Sides: the TLS v. the LRB

the pinefox, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 10:52 (seven months ago) link

thanks for this, not read her before. Just noticed the Napoleon Dynamite reference in the Updike essay so that's sealed the deal for me

kinder, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 12:41 (seven months ago) link

It is right and just that this thread focus mostly on her LRB and literary work but I do feel the need to say that the Miette jail for mother tweet is all time and frequently namechecked in my household when one of our cats is accidentally lightly touched.

Daniel_Rf, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 15:37 (seven months ago) link

jail for mother for 1000 years classic forever

her first book of poetry is one of the most brilliant things i've ever read

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 16:04 (seven months ago) link

i am less spellbound by the lrb essays but the updike one is extremely fun

mellon collie and the infinite bradness (BradNelson), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 16:04 (seven months ago) link

Daniel otm this is pure literature

me, lightly touching miette with the side of my foot: miette move out of the way please so I don’t trip on you

miette, her eyes enormous: you KICK miette? you kick her body like the football? oh! oh! jail for mother! jail for mother for One Thousand Years!!!!

— Patricia Lockwood (@TriciaLockwood) March 19, 2019

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 16:24 (seven months ago) link

That's remarkably poor given the praise it had just been given.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 21:11 (seven months ago) link

you're remarkably poor, go away please

lord of the ting tings (map), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 21:12 (seven months ago) link

maybe we needed another patricia lockwood thread, off ilb, so the pinefox wouldn't sink it up with unreadably pedantic opinions

lord of the ting tings (map), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 21:14 (seven months ago) link

I dig the tweet, but I am a cat person so...

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 23 February 2021 22:09 (seven months ago) link

Hillary Clinton is co-writing a political thriller novel

— Forbes (@Forbes) February 23, 2021

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 23 February 2021 23:32 (seven months ago) link

Classic. My favourite chronicler of the Extremely Online Condition. I don’t normally laugh out loud while reading, but Priestdaddy made me do it several times. Her novel isn’t out until May here, but it’ll be a day 1 buy and read for sure.

triggercut, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 02:50 (seven months ago) link

I finished it last night, I thought the first half was very funny and entertaining, incredibly written, relatable (it me), but strangely ephemeral, as soon as I put it down I could barely remember anything about it - maybe because there's no narrative, it's just a series of fragments. It's not exactly shallow, it has the same glib profundity as a good Onion headline. It's worthwhile, not life changing. The second half though, wow. Yes there's a family tragedy, she logs off, she tries to transcend what's gone before, and succeeds with honours. I cried twice (the tears of a parent so ymmv), the second time at the end of the acknowledgements would you believe it.

ledge, Wednesday, 24 February 2021 09:13 (seven months ago) link

Just finished this five minutes ago, and agree with every word of ledge's.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 11:43 (seven months ago) link

How does it compare to Priestdaddy?

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 22:46 (seven months ago) link

Meaning should I get around to finishing that one or just jump right to this one?/pvmic

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 23:09 (seven months ago) link

She also has a few books of poetry

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 23:13 (seven months ago) link


The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 24 February 2021 23:29 (seven months ago) link

Okay, found the relevant passage in Priestdaddy that explains the, um, premise.

Here is how it works: when a married minister of another faith converts to Catholicism, he can apply to Rome for a dispensation to become a married Catholic priest. He is allowed, yes, to keep his wife. He is even allowed to keep his children, no matter how bad they might be. The Vatican must review his case and declare the man fit for duty. (My father’s paperwork was approved by Joseph Ratzinger, later to take the name Pope Benedict XVI, later to resign the papacy and become an enigma in fine elfin shoes wandering through private gardens, his eyes among the bushes like unblinking black roses.) Once he has received this approval, the man can enter training for the priesthood and be ordained, but only after every member of his immediate family passes the Psychopath Test.

Lockwood, Patricia. Priestdaddy (p. 12). Penguin Publishing Group.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 25 February 2021 00:07 (seven months ago) link

new one is fantastic imo.

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 25 February 2021 02:12 (seven months ago) link

It is basically a sequel to Priestdaddy, very lightly fictionalised, and in the third person

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Thursday, 25 February 2021 10:35 (seven months ago) link

That's technically true but seems somewhat misleading? It's very much its own thing in terms of style and content and definitely can be read on its own. I'd prob recommend it over Priestdaddy unless you're a huge fan of memoirs.

ledge, Thursday, 25 February 2021 12:04 (seven months ago) link

It is, but all the characters of her family are in it, with just a few tiny changes.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Thursday, 25 February 2021 12:35 (seven months ago) link

new novel is nanette

dogs, Tuesday, 2 March 2021 20:07 (seven months ago) link

damn that was good stuff.

map ca. 1890 (map), Friday, 5 March 2021 00:59 (seven months ago) link

made me hate babies slightly less and twitter slightly more

map ca. 1890 (map), Friday, 5 March 2021 01:00 (seven months ago) link

it's the way she renders The Portal as this terrible place where we all feel driven to go to get our Maslovian pyramid needs met that's the genius of the first half -- anybody terminally online (raises hand) can't help but see themselves there, and then see a better possibility of themselves in the second half

J Edgar Noothgrush (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Friday, 5 March 2021 02:05 (seven months ago) link

yes it's complex and ambitious, taking a shot at answering the hardest questions, while at the same time being very funny and fizzy. i couldn't put it down tbh. a lot of standout moments but i was surprisingly moved by the thom yorke description. like i expected to cringe since there is so, so much bad writing about radiohead but it was really excellent and summed up the appeal of the band in two paragraphs better than anything i've seen.

i have some disconnected thoughts at this point. she is very good at inhabiting men, i think she really gets them, pins them down and somehow still loves them. of course the book is overflowing with love. it's also taking a stab at what it means to be american in now-ish times. surprisingly old-fashioned while still being very current.

map ca. 1890 (map), Friday, 5 March 2021 15:50 (seven months ago) link

honestly it might be a little too .. mainstream? .. to really feed my unicorn soul but her writing is just so delicious it's hard to deny.

map ca. 1890 (map), Friday, 5 March 2021 15:58 (seven months ago) link

The Ferrante piece is getting into "overpleased with itself" zones for me, but the Updike one is fantastic

Chuck_Tatum, Saturday, 6 March 2021 14:31 (seven months ago) link

Also agree with ledge.

It's cool how the "it me" quality very quickly goes from being funny/relatable/flattering (I think like Patricia Lockwood? Patricia Lockwood thinks like me?) to being scary, as you realize that the reason it's all so relatable is that we are all responding in much the same predictable ways to precisely the same stimuli, and that there's something intensely creepy, and directly traceable to the addictive quality of the internet, about our minds having this much overlap.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 7 March 2021 02:49 (seven months ago) link

Okay, took out both the ebook and the audiobook from the library.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 10 March 2021 14:48 (seven months ago) link

I've been thinking more about this book, because I actually liked the first half better than the second half, and I've been trying to figure out why. I like the idea of it - the first half disconnected, fragmented, internet-influenced, suffused with a kind of vague, fuzzed-out pain that never quite breaks through the narcotic effect of the Portal, and then the second half looking straight at a very specific, very human, very painful real-world experience. I found the acknowledgements very moving, and there are moments when the second half really works for me, when it taps into a kind of transcendent humanism that I associate with some of my favorite writers from a century or so ago. The nail tech painting her nails "with infinite gentleness" before the funeral makes me think of Kipling; her realization that every suburban house could be hiding its own private glory reminds me intensely of Capek. These moments are gorgeous. But for a lot of it I felt - I don't know - distanced, maybe? It felt weird, I guess, to still not really know any of the characters, to have this shift in subject matter without a corresponding shift in style. It felt like she was describing an experience that was deeply meaningful to her, and I could appreciate that it was meaningful, but I also felt like I was being held at a remove from this private family grief. This isn't necessarily a knock on the book - I'm not saying she should have written it differently - but it was how I experienced it.

Lily Dale, Sunday, 14 March 2021 17:23 (seven months ago) link

My reading of it was...somewhat similar to yours.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 14 March 2021 20:48 (seven months ago) link

Really? tell me more!

Lily Dale, Sunday, 14 March 2021 21:04 (seven months ago) link

Let me see. I really liked the second part - it was the emotional payoff, there wouldn't be a book with out it - but the first part, which initially seemed kind of inconsequential was something that only she could right or so it seems. Listening to the audiobook helped me let it sink in a little better, I think.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 14 March 2021 21:47 (seven months ago) link

She's a fan of Lucia Berlin, which makes sense.

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 17 March 2021 00:06 (seven months ago) link

just started Priestdaddy and got the new one reserved.

kinder, Sunday, 21 March 2021 13:22 (six months ago) link

she could right

The Ballad of Mel Cooley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 21 March 2021 13:55 (six months ago) link

I actually put off reading this or learning anything about it because i felt so keenly the possibility of being disappointed by it; I didn't think the memoir was very good, and that was after liking both of the poetry collections and er her general persona / Online Presence, also the criticism, though maybe that came after the book?

Anyway, god, this is a fucking remarkable book

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Monday, 22 March 2021 06:57 (six months ago) link

all through the first half i was amazed that someone had gotten the thing right; the second half i was amazed that it didn't collapse, that it maintained a clinical distance. I'd been worried it would turn mawkish or invoncincing or rote, but no, it does not; it brings home a lot of what's been set up in the first part in ways i would not have thought possible, surviving the big shift into I-hate-this-word 'autofiction' (pace claims upthread, the 'she' of part one is fairly clearly Not Patricia Lockwood Exactly while the 'she' of part two is Pretty Much Patricia Lockwood).

it nibbles at the feet of age-old bromides about the role of art in ways that feel real and specific and but also i was really worried that someone would ask why i was crying in the coffee shop and i would have to explain I was reading a novel about memes

the ghost of tom, choad (thomp), Monday, 22 March 2021 07:16 (six months ago) link

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