tsum | Review: Jesse Paul – Self Portrait

Willpower is not limited

Examine and break habits. This is my greatest habit Jesse Paul wrote in his memoirs The Storm Selfie. And then: “Re-establish them, break them, etc.” If you follow this line of thinking, of course this “great habit” doesn’t have to last for long, but it sure made for a great self-examination. Full of paradoxes, like life itself.

I’m not with New York times Agree that willpower is limited and that there is no choice but to surrender to the capitalist zeitgeist,” Paul writes. We can learn from it that there is still much that can be done as a weapon against the neoliberal blackmail and over-tyranny of ICT, which tries to reduce people to code. Jesse Paul is a free spirit, a very original writer, who also doesn’t care about conformity in his personal life.

Take his way. He’s spent a while in Mississippi, on the huge estate of John Grisham (“A Man I Don’t Know”), an author who writes millions through his thrillers and who is a far cry from Paul’s strict philosophy on life. It was at that exact location that Ball wrote this memoir in a single day in December 2017. Not a lavish autobiographical extravaganza congratulating itself with cloudless photos, but a raw analysis of his outspoken, sometimes questionable behavior, thoughts, and interactions with others.

Selfie It jumps back and forth, as the thoughts of a quick-witted human can get entangled between them. Sometimes they are as short as tweets, then they are more extensive, but always without gradual transitions. Events here and there seem a little overdone, but it always remains an intriguing and sometimes confrontational account of a man who never chose the easy path of the status quo or the superficial zeitgeist. Which also proves how many contradictions every human being is composed of.

In addition, on his way to life with as little baggage as possible, he prefers wild adventures, throwing things, car racing, and looking for other dangerous situations. Physical discomfort, even serious medical risks, do not interest him. The ball can see where the ship’s threads are.

It is bound, as you write and think, to be sometimes a little vague, but that never lasts more than a few sentences, because then he has already taken up another aspect of life. meaningful and having a great effect on his existence or uselessness, which seems to have to be mentioned, and which immediately brings humor to the book:

When I kissed a girl for the first time I was 18 and I didn’t know how to do it, but it went really well. She had bigger breasts than any girl I’d dated since, and I had no idea what to do with them. Her handwriting was very cute. For years I disliked mushrooms, olives and spicy cheeses. When I turned 20, all of that changed. My grandfather was very fond of pistachios and I took them as proof of his malice.

Lots of course changes on every page mean that this not-so-condensed book forces you to read it quietly, if you don’t want to miss out on the best ideas, and sometimes even find them frank.

Paul, who previously wrote the distinctive and metaphor-rich novels census And the diver game He wrote, clearly not a man of preconceived schemes. He walks in everyday life and on paper wherever he wants and wants. He advocates for ‘wonderful people’, who are in danger of being marginalized in a world without imagination, and it is evident that the names of his heroes, including Robert Walser, who, like Paul, also likes to quit, is honest about his shortcomings, and denounces literature. The lectures (“in my opinion have nothing to do with the books”) and take up space for pithy enumerations and short testimonies:

I hate flags. I hate governments. I hate elected officials. I love intersections, old elevators, vending machines, vending machines, and waffle irons. I don’t want to pass on my genes. I don’t think humanity is very important or special. As a boy I thought there would be more secret passages. I’ve never found a secret passage before. I was told that China would be a sister country, but it was.

Paul likes a little provocation, and thinks he’s anti-tyrannical in all things, while at the same time crying out for more sympathy and not afraid to undermine himself. What a fortune in these years. A unique voice that deserves more attention.

Andre Kix

Jesse Paul- Selfie. Translated by Jan Willem Ritsma. Queredo, Amsterdam/Antwerp. 120 pages 20 euros.

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