The Morning News

Reading You

Book Digest How does one wake up every day with a strong imperative to look for some strand of meaning from the frayed reality that relentlessly presents itself to our punch-drunk (collective and perhaps individual) consciousnesses? Wait, don’t answer that.

My guess: by partially fashioning one’s own narrative with usable and reliable axiological tools. Anyway, I am much impressed with what freelance book missionary Lauren Cerand has done in her commitment to advancing the readership for Jonathan Baumbach’s (author of 15 previous books) overlooked 2007 novel You: Or The Invention of Memory (Rager Media). In a lucid, eloquent, informative, and admirable memoir/memo she explains something about the book publishing business, how she came to know Baumbach, and what she intends in helping publicize You:
I will be writing about the campaign, and its progress (and whatever else happens, good, bad and especially unexpected) here, and I’d like to be as interactive as possible… Whatever it is, whatever you want this space to be, I’m into it and I’m into you, and I believe you’ll be into YOU, too.
Baumbach’s tome, by the way, is a postmodernist narrative in which the Narrator—who may or may not be the author—weaves a story of an inconclusive relationship with a woman referred to only as “you.” It begins:
You are warily approaching the first sentence of my new novel, not wanting to be taken unaware, or not wanting to be plunged into something from which there is no perceptible exit or perhaps both at once, separate and inseparable concerns.

The opening sentence with your unspoken consent, has edged its way into the barely remembered past…
And ends:
“This is all conjecture” is the last line of my novel. Now you have finished the last sentence of the book, the last word of the last sentence in fact, and you are free to put the book down on the end table near you or carry it over to the book case and slide it into the appropriate alphabetical spot. Even so, I’d be pleased, grateful even, if you hold onto You a moment longer, so even as we separate, the book, which is my other self, remains close to you, its final page unturned.
Uh, huh. —
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