Tsum | Review: Nikki Decker – Deep Blue

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She is in love with Vicki, but she already has a girlfriend. However, they do spend many weekends at Vicky’s parents’ vacation home painting, drinking and swimming. narrator in deep blueNikki Decker’s first novel (1989), weaving a fairy tale the little Mermaid And the life story of Hans Christian Andersen, who fell in love with women and men who shouldn’t have known about him, through her meditations on her unfulfilled desire. Four times – not an imaginary number – she declares her love for Vicky, and four times she is rejected.

The unnamed protagonist often thinks of her childhood, when everyone wanted to know if she was a lesbian and did not want to be so bad that she would betray Lisan, the first girl she kissed. Laysan is a real lesbian, she tells her classmates. She certainly isn’t. Looking back, Lisan’s rendition of her classmates’ excitement is a shameful memory.

What is your place in life if you are not upright is one of the questions in deep blue, a novel coming in parts, circled. Bisexual Narrator. The straight side of this dual gender identity is understood, as there are questions about lesbianism: “Can you see yourself walking down the street side by side? licking. Will you do that now? genuinely?’

Being a lesbian is not a good thing, is the message the protagonist receives from an early age. It’s something parents worry about, it’s ‘unadaptable’, it comes in weird clothes and musical tastes, and it’s at best a ‘stage’.

It’s summer, I’ll be staying with my parents for a few days. Their friends are visiting from Guatemala. “I recently dated a girl,” Mom says. Els laughs: “Oh yeah, I’ve been through a phase like this too.” She gently pushed me with her elbow and winked. “It’s a small part of it, isn’t it.”

How do you form your own identity when everyone already knows what you are when you are a lesbian? So she knows her friends to her parents but not to her friends. Robin, the friend who has the correct answer to her mother’s usual question “So, can you handle it?” Give, may stay. It saves her from the marginalization of a lesbian life, according to the narrator.

I am afraid. Of course I’m afraid. As long as I’m dating guys, I’m part of the world, and I have the right to talk and see. If I go with a girl, I will not belong to the popular group, the ordinary people, the dominant people. I won’t be back anymore. A woman with another woman? What are they doing anyway, a little cuddling? There is an air of tea drinking around it, vague and totally irrelevant.

“Swimming Lesson” is a title of six chapters in which the main character learns to swim in open water and obey the laws of nature so as not to drown. In the chapters between swimming lessons, titled ‘Flatfish’, ‘Jellyfish’ and ‘Guppy’, reflections on life and love and the many questions strangers ask the protagonist are interspersed with passages about life underwater, fictional (about Andersens and Disney’s Little Mermaid and Pixars nemo) and the facts (about pufferfish, manatees, and Portuguese jellyfish, among others).

Ugly animals are ignored. That’s why biologist Simon Watt founded The Ugly Animal Preservation Society in 2012, a foundation that fights for the very existence of ugly animals: the naked mole rat, the aye-aye, and the slug. Animals that may not be as cuddly as a polar bear or a tiger, but they deserve to live on this planet too. The motto of the enterprise is “we can’t be all pandas”. Bubble fish is one of its biggest stars.

Narrative passages and the most common parts about sea and underwater life are always associated with an ampersand. Even without this sign, the connection is clear, but the link is chosen well, since two letters meaning “and” are combined together. In the water, the modularity that surrounds and sometimes suffocates the main character fades on dry land. Many fish can change their sex. In the context of the family, mothers become fathers and vice versa. Questions about gender fluidity are not frequently asked. It is unfortunate for Nikki Decker, who quotes so much from scholarly research, that Frans de Waals’ new book Unlike thatin which he debunked the idea of ​​male superiority in the animal kingdom, was released after it first appeared.

deep blue Also related to collection. In her youth, the main character collects shells and fossils. Subsequent sexual experiences.

One night she is a slutty. It is unwise, unhealthy and dangerous behaviour, too. But standing up one night each week, this is the discipline, this is an absolute thirst for adventure and investigation of human sexuality.

Sometimes love and marine life coincide.

Any long-term relationship is a coincidence: you fall in love with projection, fad, and fantasy, and as you get to know each other better, you find that the people behind your personality are very compatible with each other. Perhaps it was someone else, too–but now you have called the Indian population, the manatee a mermaid; Now this is the situation.

The situation in which this successful debut ends up is a long relationship with Robin in which there is room for relationships with women, women who can stand it usually wake up by his side. The situation is not easy. She quickly gets bored of Rosen and Amber gets jealous of Robin, while the narrator becomes insecure because she fears she is not gay enough for Amber, who expresses her disapproval of Robin through her friends: ‘Man, they just think that’s a very dirty idea.

Marie Jose Claver

Nikki Decker – deep blue† Busy Bee, Amsterdam. 296 pages 22.99 euros.

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