The Body Artist

by Don DeLillo

"The things she saw seemed very doubtful - not doubtful but ever changing, plunged into metamorphosis, something that is also something else, but what, and what."

Lauren Hartke is an artist of the body.  She works daily on breathing, bending, and sanding away at her body.  Her story takes place in a rented seaside house, where she is staying with her husband and later without her husband, after his death.  

While alone in the house, she comes across a bizarre man, who is seemingly without age.  He appears in her house, and mimics her speech.  As well, he eerily mimics the speech, cadence, and gestures of her deceased husband.  Lauren decides to keep this man hidden, and to tape record him.  In her loneliness and despair after her husband's death, Lauren is consoled by the puzzle of this strange man.  He speaks words without syntax.  He repeats entire conversations that Lauren had had with her husband.  He seems to take over Lauren's life.

When she presents a theatrical art piece at the end of the novel, Lauren is the man.  Her voice is his voice and her actions are his actions. 

This book is very hard to understand at times.  It gives you a better appreciation for the rules of language and the reason why they exist.  It makes you think about time, and how the passing of time is felt by different individuals.  It makes you wonder about what the loss of love can do to a person, and if that person can remain him or herself at all. 

An interesting and thought-provoking read. 
♥ Meg xoxo

No comments:

Post a Comment