måndag, maj 09, 2005

Paradise av A.L. Kennedy

Hannah försöker förstå var hon är och var hon börjar och slutar. Paradise börjar som om Hannah dåsat till och fått en knuff. Desorienterad, törstig, mitt emellan fortfarande full och bakis från helvetet.

But I don't know which one - night or morning. Either way, from what I can already see, I would rather not be involved in all this far beyond 8.43.

Vartefter Hannah får liv mannen med tunt lockigt hår, mitt betalkort, min nyckel blir hon mer och mer nöjd, över duschen, närheten till toan, över att hon har återställare, en flaska med hörn som inte rullar iväg och 700 ml - så mycket rymligare än en pint. I do love liquids.

One of the many pleasures of forgetting is, as we all of us know, remembering. You trot from room to room and can't imagine where you left your keys the night before: without them, you're locked in your house. Under the bed, in the knife drawer, behind the Scotch, behind your shoes, in the pockets of every garment that has pockets, the pedal bin, the compost bin, the bread bin: you have panicked into every likely nook. You sit on your bed, despairing, unsure of who has your spares and if they still like you and then - your hand gently brushes that lovely clump of metal, that heavy, little spider of keys to everything. They've been lounging on the duvet the whole morning, just winking whenever you've passed. But you have them at last and you are happy, much happier than you would have been if you'd picked them up without confusion from their customary place.
This morning it's very clear that I've misplaced at least a day, so you can imagine that I'm pretty much delighted.

A.L. Kennedy
Paradise. 2005. Jonathan Cape, London. ISBN 9780224062589

A remarkably eloquent tale of alcoholism makes chronic drinking understandable to those who don't. Recension i Salon
Only a real alcoholic could testify to how accurately "Paradise" depicts the affliction, but it does make chronic drinking more understandable to those of us who aren't. Having dried out, Hannah finds "my fresh and sober life unrolls about me, revealing a nice, clean, lunar emptiness." For her, alcohol makes so many things -- sex, memory, the company of other people -- not just bearable but possible.

The road to oblivion. Ali Smith is spellbound by Paradise, AL Kennedy's story of heavy drinking - told from a woman's perspective. Recension i Guardian

Message in a Bottle av NEIL GORDON Recension i New York Times
Hannah's devious alcoholic ways co-exist with a level of saccharine innocence that makes it difficult entirely to believe in her. She consistently justifies her horridness with a kind of philosophizing that leaves the reader trapped in her own crippling self-justification