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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"His memoir reads like virginal masturbation"

Such an intense and flattering review of Yom Kippur a Go-Go on Goodreads. I asked, and received, permission to repost it.

I just came across the review today, and also came across this news, that the Lusty Lady -- the worker-owned co-op strip club which figures prominently in the book (but which I still haven't {and, well, never will} set foot inside), is closing. It's weird; one more element of the San Francisco I used to live in that won't be there anymore. I wonder what Armistead Maupin does about this stuff? Anyway. My skin still kind of crawls when I talk about this book, primarily because it's all about all the stupid stuff I did when I was younger (when a book is fiction, you can pretend that, well, it's fiction). But I've also never felt closer to it. Here you go, guys.

Nophoto-f-25x33Amanda said to you:

I spent all day devoted to Matthue Roth's memoir, in such a matter that I became him and when the book ended I was left in a deep sucking void. My own life is slow to raise up and greet me now, so I clicked on the computer and yes, sent him an email. A short email. I was inspired to ramble onwards, giving him my own memoir in return, but wrote three sentences and one Kudos.
Growing up, I've always read. I've adored books, libraries, the smell of musty pages, the quiet refuge, the chance of seeing more of the world than this small isolated town could ever offer. I've only wanted to really meet one other author out of all the books I've devoured soundlessly. My hopes are realistically dashed--Kurt Vonnegut will be dead before the planets align, and really, what would I talk about with a man so many years my senior?
But Matthue? I see myself hanging out with him, just another misfit in his cast of characters so profoundly opposite of everything he is trying to cultivate within himself. I'd delight in all the things he could teach me about religion, specifically about being a Jew and with the same amount of zealousness follow along into the genderfuck San Francisco scene.
His memoir reads like virginal masturbation, with such a sexual tension brewing with only self-release to be had. I can't believe he remained a virgin throughout his time in San Francisco, my age and innocent. It only added to the depth of his experience, to be a witness to such depravity and sexual embrace without fully understanding the complete release that sex brings.

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