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The Unfortunates Download Ô 100 ↠ ➾ [Download] ➾ The Unfortunates By B.S. Johnson ➳ – A sports journalist sent to a Midlands town on a weekly assignment finds himself confronted by ghosts from the past when he disembarks at the railway station Memories of one of his best most trusted f A sports journalist sOf a novelist now undergoing an enormous revival of interest The Unfortunates is a book of passionate honesty and dark courageous humour a meditation on death and a celebration of friendship which also offers a remarkably frank self portrait of its auth. 211212 first impression this in an interesting structure devised to express the time of mourning a friend a woman a past and in its deliberate renditions of vignettes of memories in its conversational narration certainly captures evocative recall but unfortunately this is a work that leads me to think than leads me to feelon reflection to think is not a bad thing in fact i like to think perhaps i will reflect and thus increase my rating however this is a big perhaps i may read another of his works or lit crit on this one but much as i like experimental writing i am not as immediately engaged as when i first read In the Labyrinth by Alain Robbe Grillet however i am not as immediately repelled as with Molloy Malone Dies The Unnamable A Trilogy by Samuel Becketti think of other experimental works such as The Mezzanine by Nicholson Baker which makes much of brief meditation or the short work by Alice Munro such as any of her Selected Stories which makes novelistic complexity and dense multiplicity in so very few words this seems almost in reverse making a novel into a short story for there is deliberately no topography maze pattern of any sort unless it in the designed randomness of the twenty five chapters after first and before lasti think is this story truly independent of some narrative direction is this randomness than gimmick and showing something we readers could not discover in any other form i think of work like The Celebration by Ivan Angelo where the story must be created by the reader out of a mass of documents or anything by José Saramago such as The Elephant's Journey where you the reader are called upon to punctuate and in this simple responsibility find yourself collaborating on the worki think does this form simply alienate the reader bore her frustrate her or through this banal plot argue for the reality that we readers as we persons in ordinary life only discover or manifest or invent meaning of any banal plot after the fact that things happen and who knows where they lead only sensed as important or revelatory through memory that indeed life makes sense backwards but we must live it forwardsi think if i read it again after the shuffling will i find a new story or meaning or have i got the idea and is once enough is this proof that we can never create truly abstract or conceptual literature because there is only the medium of words so the writing is always already the concepti think do i have a naive or instrumental idea of fiction in my case perhaps unfortunately only prose believing that before anything else it should be a pleasure and not a chore to read andor i just have not read the right books argue with this idea i will listen but my own pleasure always already comes firsti think yes this book in a box certainly raises many uestions but in this case uestions that are a pleasure to contemplate to fully appreciate this novel is to recalibrate what usual readers value in lit this is prestige literature this is not plot not setting not theme or characters independent of how it is told the ceaseless conversation within the narrator's head the monologue that is not edited or organized that has perhaps found its correct form in randomnessperhapsi think if this is only any such novel in first person thought i much prefer How Late It Was How Late by James Kelman

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A sports journalist sent to a Midlands town on a weekly assignment finds himself confronted by ghosts from the past when he disembarks at the railway station Memories of one of his best most trusted friends a tragically young victim of cancer begin to f. ‘ How can I place his order his disintegration’Through fragments of a randomized collection of memories called up while wandering through a city the reader explores the life loves and losses of the narrator As such a premise would remind many of Ulysses and Joyce’s incredible use of the stream of consciousness BS Johnson 1933 1973 manages to create something uniue and inventive with The Unfortunates His story is separated into 27 packets which are intended to be read at random aside from the First and Last chapter and allows for a creative artificial impression for the act of memory and thought The random approach which may initially be dismissed as cutesy and gimmicky manages to go deeper and beyond the gimmick and explore the implied meanings we place upon order In the Hungarian translation of the book which was published as a regularly bound novel Johnson included a special introduction urging the reader to still experience the chapters at random stressing that ‘ perhaps the pointof the novel in it’s original format; the tangible metaphor for the way the mind works’ By randomly selecting the order each reader is given an opportunity for a personal experience of the novel The form itself is a larger explanation of form In the context of the story we experience his memories out of chronological order much like how we experience our own sets of memories In the context of the form it examines how order affects our understanding and meaning In my own personal reading Johnson the narrator is a potentially fictional version of the actual author spent much of the present eating and referring to vague moments of him and his desceased friend Tony eating in the city It wasn’t until the penultimate packet that I actually experienced the fleshed out memory This gives an impression that this memory was somehow of extreme importance to Johnson and was possibly suppressed in his mind until he could properly deal with it at the end It is a statement on the way I have been conditioned to approach novels; I noticed that the final few packets had a subtle sense of greater intensity as I typically expect the final sections of a novel to be where themes tie together and where the climax of plot should be Had the luck of the draw given an entire different plot point near the end the food scene would likely have seemed less crucial and the different point would have been garnished with this implied intensity While this is a short book much of the information is rather repetitive which allows it to not only to seem to fit together well regardless of order but positions the reader to different vantage points on memories Depending on which view of an event the reader experiences first – Johnson when in one memory will refer to events in later or earlier memories and then have another packet pertaining directly to the memory provides a subtly different meaning to the narrative Sometimes you have forshadowing sometimes just a simple revisit of an earlier idea‘ Anything means something if you impose meaning on it which in itself is a meaningless thing the imposition’ writes Johnson He draws are attentions through the form to our impressions and imposed meanings but also dismisses them all as meaningless Perhaps our explanations on the form don’t matter at all and the random order serves as an elaborate distraction when all he really wants to get across is the workings of the mind ‘ How the mind arranges itself tries to sort things into order is perturbed if things are not worted’ he muses as he sorts threw the mental shoebox of strewn about memories There is plenty of evidence to support that this is the real impression he wants to get across as the style of writing is rambling with extensive use of commas breaks to represent a drifting mind and a constant second guessing and correcting that reminded me of the narrator in Wittgenstein’s Mistress ‘ I fail to remember the mind has fuses’Rest assured there is content to the book beyond the form and style although the story is admittedly secondary While that is the initial draw be it gimmick or no there is substance to be had from the story This is a rather tragic book exploring the themes of death frailty and futility The death of Tony is the major set of memories Johnson wrestles with yet in digging up the past for Tony a whole slew of other painful and sometimes pleasant memories are pulled to the surface The death of Tony and the death of Johnson’s relationship with his college flame Wendy are eternally forged together in the imprints of his memory While they occurred at the same time it is the betrayal of life for Tony and the betrayal of Wendy while he constantly references ‘the betrayal’ he never clarifies if she actually slept around on him or if it was something else that keep them inseparable It seems these deaths helped to solidify his use of food as an escape as well Tony’s life being eaten out of him by the world and cancer is countered by Johnson taking in life from the world though food The frustrations felt the sheer futility to stop the cancer left Johnson second guess his life from then on out The sportswriter scene depicts Johnson constantly uestioning his choices of words and his own worth as a sportswriter displaying his feeling of futility to actually be a good authentic writer He has watched his closest friend disintegrate his relationships disintegrate and now he notices all around him peeling paint chipped banisters and other aspects of crumbling architectureWhile this is a novel about the death of a friend since Johnson puts the reader into his mind it is really a novel about Johnson We learn about him than we ever do Tony and we are only able to know his own impressions on the events In the introduction Johnathan Coe observes that the majority of interaction with Tony shows them discussing Johnson his book his problems with Wendy etc Perhaps this is the strongest argument that the book is really about our implied impressions uniue to each reader as the book is the uniue impressions of events as seen by one person ‘ The difficulty is to understand without generalization to see each piece of received truth or generalization as true only if it is true for me solipsism again I come back to it again and for no other reason In general generalization is to lie to tell lies’ The standard novel is perceived as a generalization of themes symbols and ideas that all readers can light upon but this novel insists on doing away with generalizations and entering into a solipsistic viewpoint on life around us to fully appreciate what one individual feels to be alone in a sea of perspectives His anger towards Christianity in the book seeing turning to God only in the final hours as a cop out is an expression of ‘generalization’; it is submitting to a general idea of existence and general set of goals ideals and morals He feels you should face death in your own narrow viewpoints goals ideals and morals The terrifying thing is that no matter how we view life though we still are all barreling towards death and there is nothing anyone can do to stop it ours and theirs ‘ It is difficult to think of these things without terror the pity is easy to feel easy to contain but so useless’As this is often considered a work of post modernism my opinions and imposed meanings are essentially meaningless Besides don’t take my word for it take Mike’s word in his review though the idea is to form your own perspectives and meanings since that is how we experience life Well a decent metaphor for it at least If all this is meaningless and this book is nothing but gimmick it is still worth investigating Picking packets and random was a fun experience and the box makes a nice addition to any bookshelf as well as a great place to store your pa

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The UnfortunatesLood through his mind as he attempts to go about the routine business of reporting a football matchB S Johnson’s famous ‘book in a box’ in which the chapters are presented unbound to be read in any order the reader chooses is one of the key works. Yesterday I had a privilege few have I had this book read to me all around Nottingham as close to the venues described in the book as possible 27 people in character as Bryan were reading different chapters in different places The feeling of having to track them down following a map and go inside pubs cafes the City Council Broadway cinema a private house a parked car a hotel etc they all added to the story making this an incredible experience Thank you to Excavate and their community theatre group for their amazing effort and for proving that storytelling is for adults as well