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Liberty's Excess: Fictions

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In interconnected and mutually enfolding texts protagonists face off with some deformation of being: psychological, sexual, political, philosophical. Plots play out across the body, as if formed, deformed, reformed by culture. Drugs, violence, and sex inscribe the literal flesh of "figures" standing in for what formerly passed for character. In these fictions a woman is mo In interconnected and mutually enfolding texts protagonists face off with some deformation of being: psychological, sexual, political, philosophical. Plots play out across the body, as if formed, deformed, reformed by culture. Drugs, violence, and sex inscribe the literal flesh of "figures" standing in for what formerly passed for character. In these fictions a woman is more likely to appear with a needle in her arm than a baby. Sometimes a woman cannot be distinguished from a man at all. Cutting from subject to object, severing the eye/I from skin, these fictions bring America back to its body. In Liberty's Excess, capitalism and individualism lose their cover stories, releasing desire all over culture's deadening hum. Yuknavitch is both master and mistress of this dis-formed beauty, creating a landscape neither Waste Land nor Kansas nor Pomo Glitter.


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In interconnected and mutually enfolding texts protagonists face off with some deformation of being: psychological, sexual, political, philosophical. Plots play out across the body, as if formed, deformed, reformed by culture. Drugs, violence, and sex inscribe the literal flesh of "figures" standing in for what formerly passed for character. In these fictions a woman is mo In interconnected and mutually enfolding texts protagonists face off with some deformation of being: psychological, sexual, political, philosophical. Plots play out across the body, as if formed, deformed, reformed by culture. Drugs, violence, and sex inscribe the literal flesh of "figures" standing in for what formerly passed for character. In these fictions a woman is more likely to appear with a needle in her arm than a baby. Sometimes a woman cannot be distinguished from a man at all. Cutting from subject to object, severing the eye/I from skin, these fictions bring America back to its body. In Liberty's Excess, capitalism and individualism lose their cover stories, releasing desire all over culture's deadening hum. Yuknavitch is both master and mistress of this dis-formed beauty, creating a landscape neither Waste Land nor Kansas nor Pomo Glitter.

30 review for Liberty's Excess: Fictions

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shelby

    I read this because I loved the author's other book, Book of Joan. This was, however, horrible. It was overly sexualized to the point where I often felt uncomfortable. The sex was often incestuous, and hyper graphic. The word choice was 'too literary' if that makes any sense. There was one essay that was particularly interesting because it was so clearly the beginning of where Book of Joan came from, so that was kind of cool. But no, I would not recommend this book to anyone, finishing it was a I read this because I loved the author's other book, Book of Joan. This was, however, horrible. It was overly sexualized to the point where I often felt uncomfortable. The sex was often incestuous, and hyper graphic. The word choice was 'too literary' if that makes any sense. There was one essay that was particularly interesting because it was so clearly the beginning of where Book of Joan came from, so that was kind of cool. But no, I would not recommend this book to anyone, finishing it was a drag, it was the short story version of an abstract painting; kind of cool to look at but only for a second.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Saxon

    Another suggestion, this time from my friend Madeline who has mentored under Lidia, Liberty's Excess is a collection of short stories that simply put are about the lives of ex-junkies turned artist and other observations from those formerly of societal fringes. However, that is hardly what these stories are all about. Yuknavitch writing is feverish pot of ranting, irony, sarcasm and intense, sometimes insighful, reflection. Immediately, one questions the term "fiction" and "stories" to categorize Another suggestion, this time from my friend Madeline who has mentored under Lidia, Liberty's Excess is a collection of short stories that simply put are about the lives of ex-junkies turned artist and other observations from those formerly of societal fringes. However, that is hardly what these stories are all about. Yuknavitch writing is feverish pot of ranting, irony, sarcasm and intense, sometimes insighful, reflection. Immediately, one questions the term "fiction" and "stories" to categorize her writing. They seem to fluxate between her own life, conversational dialogue and journal-like entries. It all makes for a quick and relatively enjoyable read. Mind you, Lidia is not doing anything that there isnt already an excess of out there right now. And i question her ability to produce an entire novel. Nevertheless,she is extremely talented and her writing is methamphetimine downed with a bottle of Jim Beam in the backseat with your panties gone. Most stories consist of characters who are fucked up or somehow got their shit together enough to earn an income and now must have to deal with propriety and the bs that is the american middle class. Lidia's most facisnating selection revolves around taking quotes from Joan of Arc's trial, and descriptions of her burning interspersed with passionate, sometimes excessive thoughts and observations on the situation, and Joan of Arc. At the end, one is strangely affected. "That the Tribunal let her take and oath on her own terms can only be explained by the extreme effect and affect she had on them; they must have, after a certain point, become so mesmerized by her drama that some of her transgressions slipped by. There is a kind of lust unimaginable to physical beings, a lust for death and hell, for the fiery origins which words torment us with now and through which we pass the accused My guts are on fire. The power of the poison twists my arms and legs, cripple me, drives me to the ground. I die of thirst, I suffocate, I cannot cry. This is enternal torment! See how the flames rise! I burn as I ought to(20) again and again. The endless replaying of the idea and the material of the self." suggested indeed.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Page

    I'm so in love with Ms. Yuknavitch's ability to tell a story that I get too antsy when I read the more experimental stories and tend to skip them and then go back because I feel like a greedy reader. This is NOT a critique on the abilities or talents of Ms. Yuknavitch, just my selfish wants as a reader of her work. I'm so in love with Ms. Yuknavitch's ability to tell a story that I get too antsy when I read the more experimental stories and tend to skip them and then go back because I feel like a greedy reader. This is NOT a critique on the abilities or talents of Ms. Yuknavitch, just my selfish wants as a reader of her work.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I now have a new orifice ripped courtesy of Yuknavitch. This is as RAW as I've ever read her, and it was amazing. I now have a new orifice ripped courtesy of Yuknavitch. This is as RAW as I've ever read her, and it was amazing.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lu Louche

    Liberty's Excess: Fictions by L.Y. was published in 2000, eleven years prior to The Chronology of Water. LEF is out of print and seems a little like the first draft to TCoW. It is more fragmented than her memoir, the stories feel more separated. There are stories from LEF that are also included in TCoW albeit sometimes from different point of views, using different pronouns or otherwise slightly deviated. With this aspect in mind it was a really interesting read since I read TCoW first and could Liberty's Excess: Fictions by L.Y. was published in 2000, eleven years prior to The Chronology of Water. LEF is out of print and seems a little like the first draft to TCoW. It is more fragmented than her memoir, the stories feel more separated. There are stories from LEF that are also included in TCoW albeit sometimes from different point of views, using different pronouns or otherwise slightly deviated. With this aspect in mind it was a really interesting read since I read TCoW first and could compare the two book against each other. If you were to choose between which one to read - TCoW is far superior to LEF and you would be fine just leaving it at that. However, if you want to have the full Lidia experience - you probably want to pick this one up as well. I would still read TCoW first though.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lorra

    The author is brilliant with words - some of her metaphors are just mind-blowing. However I did not love every story in this book. There were a couple that were dull/confusing, and a few times I noticed repeating of things like "My hair argued with itself" (or wrestled with itself) and the constant of women driving things into themselves, and the wording used...a bit too often. THAT BEING SAID, this woman writes about sex like no one else I've read - she manages to make it REALLY erotic without The author is brilliant with words - some of her metaphors are just mind-blowing. However I did not love every story in this book. There were a couple that were dull/confusing, and a few times I noticed repeating of things like "My hair argued with itself" (or wrestled with itself) and the constant of women driving things into themselves, and the wording used...a bit too often. THAT BEING SAID, this woman writes about sex like no one else I've read - she manages to make it REALLY erotic without being cheesy, at all. It's actually a turn-on. That is HARD to do. She also is great at uncomfortable - the prison story made me scrunch up my nose in disgust - it was excellent. It was the only really memorable one for me but if you love good writing, I definitely recommend Lidia's work, especially her memoir "The Chronology of Water."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Taube

    The utter delight of finding an out-of-print text by Lidia Yuknavitch in a used bookstore in Jacksonville, FL! To read it voraciously on a plane and to finish it, just as said plane lands at JFK. What a book. What a ride.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Read this a while ago. And yes--it screams!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    "In any society, what is barbaric, what is most reprehensible, is that people begin to be apathetic. Name your politics...democracy, communism, marxism, socialism or any religious fanaticism. Apathy is the new world order." "In any society, what is barbaric, what is most reprehensible, is that people begin to be apathetic. Name your politics...democracy, communism, marxism, socialism or any religious fanaticism. Apathy is the new world order."

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julene

    I enjoyed many of the stories in this book of shorts. Lidia writes experimentally and has started her own press to get experimental work published. She also started an annual writer's conference in Portland back in 2005 that I attended. I enjoyed many of the stories in this book of shorts. Lidia writes experimentally and has started her own press to get experimental work published. She also started an annual writer's conference in Portland back in 2005 that I attended.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carolanne

    I read 6 pages and think its a good book, but just not for me. so I shall retire this one early.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Newman

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Van

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelsie

  15. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jaime

  17. 5 out of 5

    MaryAnn

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jesica

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn N Wilkes

  20. 4 out of 5

    Mobiuscycle

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tori

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nisse

  23. 4 out of 5

    Celeste Gurevich

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

  25. 5 out of 5

    Erika

  26. 5 out of 5

    Danica

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Brandi

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Milazzo

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jess Courtney

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