Arab Today, arab today opposed positions by gwendoline riley
Last Updated : GMT 10:58:59
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Opposed Positions by Gwendoline Riley

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Opposed Positions by Gwendoline Riley

London - Arabstoday

Aislinn Kelly should be really annoying, but isn\'t; and this is such a great trick, it makes you wonder how she walks the high wire of our sympathy. She is the narrator of the latest book by Gwendoline Riley, a writer who likes to keep things close. Riley gives us first-person narratives from people who are a lot like her, being writers and drifters; young women who don\'t quite know what is wrong with them, or whether they want to put it right. Nonchalance and authenticity are almost the same thing here, though both words are a little strong, in the circumstances. Riley keeps her sentences smart, affectless and most wonderfully flat. Nothing much happens to Aislinn over the course of this novel. She talks about her stupid, creepy father, fights with her American boyfriend, has conversations with friends, and goes to her mother\'s retirement party. She also spends some time in Indianapolis, writing. The dialogue is the opposite of sparkling. Aislinn\'s father uses \"er\" as a weapon and the off-the-beat use of italics reads like a threat. He sends a series of unanswerable emails to Aislinn when she is at college, one in response to her first book: \"Oh dear! Oof! Posing! Er, what?\" Her stepdad is no great shakes either, with his bad clothes and insistence on speaking in funny voices. Her mother thinks of emotion as something that happens to other people: \"Oh no I didn\'t feel anything,\" she says about viewing the dead bodies of her own parents. \"No, nothing. Not with either of them.\" Though she loves the way they talk, friends do not provide Aislinn with much respite. There is the miserable, \"more or less – inanimate\" Bronagh, who \"used somehow to seep into my vicinity, when I was feeling low\". A college roommate, Cathy, seems a decent sort, but she also starts to grate – perhaps it is the clothes, or the religious inclinations. A couple of male friends are unproblematic, if not always fragrant, and there is the American boyfriend Jim, a singer-songwriter. Jim and Aislinn have a fight walking down the street, and his final insult, \"like he\'d found the right spot at last, the magic button\", is that she is \"\'too literary\' … And he couldn\'t even pronounce it: \'too litter-y\' he kept saying, \'too litter-y\'.\" This anecdote elicits one of the most apt responses to the figure of the critic ever penned, as her friend Karl says, \"My God. Why didn\'t he just shit in your head?\" A first-person narrative is by nature self-enclosed. Any small narcissism puts us back on the outside; we become alert to signs of \"vanity\" and \"self-pity\"; we reject the narrator who enjoys introspection in the \"wrong\" way. This seems to apply, rather unfairly, more to women narrators than to men. There can be no mirrors in a book like this, and Riley manages the bargain very well. Even the slips she makes are salutary. \"I don\'t really do food,\" Aislinn says, provoking an irritation from this reviewer – whether as eater or mother, I was not sure, but realising, in my uncertainty, that reading is close to nurture, in its intimacy. The guys in Jim\'s band always had \"such a crush\" on Aislinn, \"this English author\", and we suspect she is good-looking, though this is never said. Opposed Positions is not a book about rejection so much as dissatisfaction. Aislinn is not like the heroines of Jean Rhys, who dress their desire in a ghastly hat, put the wrong man in front of it, and wait to be turned down. She is not unwanted, just complicated, in some way that is hard to describe: \"when it came to sex, I mean – the truth was I had no impulses in that direction back then. No impulses at all.\" And though she hasn\'t slept with Jim for some years, she does have sex with a guy – \"pretty fit, as it goes\" – towards the end of the book. \"I have very little memory of sleeping with him, though.\" Trying to explain, she reaches for a quote from Philip Roth: \"I can not afford the luxury of a self.\" Writing is an attempt to locate that self, through \"some process of triangulation\". This is an urgent task and there is a real sense of personal risk in these pages, a huge investment in getting the words right. I am not sure Riley needs Philip Roth when she has Gwendoline Riley, a woman who shows herself more than up to the job of writing the wasted hinterlands of the human heart. Opposed Positions is also an enjoyable book. A narrator who should be irritating for being self-involved manages to be intriguing and sad. Aislinn Kelly is cool. She is smart, and accurate, she can write a dynamite sentence that manages to sound entirely bland. She has an eye for the flip and the sarcastic, she observes, maintains distance, doesn\'t put out. She brings nothing to the party, except herself, but she\'s the girl you remember, over in the corner, not drinking much.

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today opposed positions by gwendoline riley Arab Today, arab today opposed positions by gwendoline riley

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Fadi Kataya explains secrets of  Nancy Ajram's newlook
Arab Today, arab today Messi visit will contribute in tourism

GMT 14:04 2017 Friday ,24 February

Messi visit will contribute in tourism
Arab Today, arab today Expresses Algerian history by woody figures

GMT 13:26 2017 Friday ,24 February

Expresses Algerian history by woody figures
Arab Today, arab today Iran complying with nuclear deal

GMT 07:14 2017 Saturday ,25 February

Iran complying with nuclear deal
Arab Today, arab today Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models

GMT 18:12 2017 Friday ,24 February

Zainab al-Maliki reveals herTV presenter models

GMT 15:04 2017 Wednesday ,04 January

Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ becomes German bestseller

GMT 23:50 2016 Thursday ,08 December

UAE is helping the Arab world read more books

GMT 11:07 2016 Monday ,07 November

Sheikh Zayed Book Award announces first longlist

GMT 10:03 2016 Thursday ,13 October

A new illustrated book compares Beirut and New York

GMT 08:55 2016 Sunday ,25 September

Chinese Book Fair kicks off in Kathmandu
View News in Arabic - Culture: مراجعة كتب
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Reading therapy relieves mental disorders

GMT 15:39 2017 Friday ,24 February

Reading therapy relieves mental disorders
Arab Today, arab today UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years

GMT 05:14 2017 Thursday ,23 February

UK appoints 1st Scotland Yard chief in 188 years
Arab Today, arab today Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage

GMT 12:16 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Ex-yoga missionary unleashes rage
Arab Today, arab today Pluto's unruly moons

GMT 06:31 2015 Thursday ,04 June

Pluto's unruly moons
Arab Today, arab today 'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union

GMT 08:54 2017 Saturday ,25 February

'Constructive' Vauxhall talk with union
Arab Today, arab today Tesla back into red but revenue grows

GMT 07:27 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Tesla back into red but revenue grows
Arab Today, arab today Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career

GMT 06:08 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Actress Lobna Abdel Aziz proud of her career
Arab Today, arab today Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 10:28 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Milan laughs while Rome cries

GMT 07:36 2017 Wednesday ,22 February

Wafaa Amer is happy for Sherihan’s return

GMT 12:35 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

63-Year-Old Woman Delivers Baby

GMT 22:42 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Nasima Gamei revives heritage in jewelries

GMT 15:53 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Small ponds have outsized impact

GMT 20:33 2017 Friday ,17 February

To release new antiques collection

GMT 10:20 2017 Thursday ,23 February

Brazil's top diplomat resigns

GMT 09:59 2017 Monday ,20 February

Tourism shows signs of recovery

GMT 13:12 2015 Saturday ,09 May

Sheikh Sultan opens Sharjah Centre

GMT 20:02 2017 Tuesday ,21 February

Nohan Seyam designs beautiful accessories
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday