review: The Melancholy of Anatomy

© Shelley Jackson
from Jackson’s site

So, I recently reviewed Shelley Jackson’s The Melancholy of Anatomy for Tania Hershman’s The Short Review and today it’s up and ready for reading, floating about over here.

If you don’t want to read the review, that’s cool and everything.  But I do recommend you read Jackson’s collection.  It really is beautiful and beautifully bizarre.  Ali Smith described it as “[w]itty, multilayered, and beautifully written : a startling and memorable collection” in a review that is obviously a little more focussed on reviewing than raving, as I did, about Jackson’s inside-out universe of gigantic bodily organs.  If you’re curious, these stories feature a seductive and sweaty egg, a root system of cancer that taste a little like liquorice, playful, puppy-like (and ever so slightly predatory) sperm and an enormous foetus that hangs like a zeppelin over the city.  Oh!  Oh boy!

Trigger warning: my review does mention everyone’s go-to-guy for criticism of unassailable blob monsters in art; good old Žižek.  I know he gets some people’s goat.  But, in this context, think of him like a ghostbuster.  Just with a tirelessly Lacanian take on every ooze and sluice of sexy ectoplasm he catches sight of.  “Stay Puft Marshmallow Man?” / “Yeah, well, your mom!” etc., etc.


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