The Powerbook

The PowerbookOh, Jeanette, I love you so Your lyricism bathes over me until I lose all sense of time, perception, reality I fall into your writing like I imagine I would into the eye of a storm which tears apart any illusion of order and structure, and find myself lulled away on the wings of a dream in which sense is meaningless.Still, I couldn t give myself fully to The PowerBook I admit, it s me, not you But The PowerBook lost any sense of being a story, and while I appreciate non linear, surreal explorations, I m not as much of an artist perhaps as I d like to think I need some ground, some structure within which meaning might unfold And this work, this beautiful meandering poem, severs all attachments to any semblance of reality yes, I know, there is no such thing To the reader I would recommend The Passion as a first Winterson exposure, unless you are a poet and or dreamer able to disengage easily from expectations and conventions Otherwise, I fear this one may convince you to never try Winterson again a grave loss indeed. My last outstanding Winterson, The PowerBook was as superbly written as I have come to expect Winterson says some absolutely wonderful things about the craft of writing throughout, and weaves together so many narrative strands to give the novel an almost bottomless depth Her prose is exquisite I was the place where you anchored I was the deep water where you could be weightless I was the surface where you saw your own reflection You scooped me up in your hands As with several of Winterson s other works of fiction, we do not always know a great deal about our narrator, or even who is speaking in parts This makes the whole even captivating, however the details which are not concretely defined become even beguiling than they perhaps would be otherwise Here, there is mystery, myth, fairytale, and realism The PowerBook is rather an intense read, which has been masterfully structured It is wild, vivid, and enchanting, and I shall be recommending it to everyone. The PowerBook Is Twenty First Century Fiction That Uses Past, Present And Future As Shifting Dimensions Of A Multiple Reality The Story Is Simple An E Writer Called Ali Or Alix Will Write To Order Anything You Like, Provided That You Are Prepared To Enter The Story As Yourself And Take The Risk Of Leaving It As Someone Else You Can Be The Hero Of Your Own Life You Can Have Freedom Just For One Night But There Is A Price To Pay I had quite a moment reading this the other evening This is so profoundly a Jeanette Winterson book that it took me back to reading the likes of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry as a naive, eager to love teenager half a lifetime ago Back then Winterson s ideas about love and the power of her writing rattled my heart in my chest Now her words leave me mostly empty I ll revisit her early work at some point, hoping that they still hold me in a thrall A good part of me thinks they will although I, of course, have changed The problem with the PowerBook terrible title not withstanding is that it demonstrates the writer has not there is so little progress in her work If anything the uncool terminology Winterson utilises when talking about the worldwide web makes her sound like a dotty aunt visiting for Sunday tea with her sprinklings of talk about bytes and that horrid sound you get when you are trying to hook up to the net Winterson s insistence that she is a pioneer of the modern novel, where Victorian concepts of invoking a sense of place are banished to the attic like ZX Spectrums and Commodore 64s, is wrong, a product of years spent in academia And what does this half life of academic discussion lead her to Triteness You are the story Thanks very much, Jeanette Also We are the World, I Am What I Am and She s So Vain.Popular Winterson themes the tides of history, the paths not taken surface As usual, it s a crib taken from Virginia Woolf, copied messily in an exam situation Woolf s Orlando even has a cameo But there are moments here of enthralling writing The Turkish girl of the seventeenth century charged with the job of smuggling tulip bulbs into Holland, for instance, is a thread that could have served as the main colour of the piece rather than a stitched in motif There is no doubt Winterson is still capable of arresting ideas to do with gender and identity But instead we have the repetition of the writer s emotional life Regurgitated throughout the book another all consuming love affair, adulterous and doomed to fail, passages that feel they were lifted straight out of the author s diary The dialogue, pages and pages of it floating in the ether, is terrible Written as sparse script without even a line of direction Exit, pursued by a bear wishful thinking the problem for me is that it is the dialogue between two mirror images Two middle class, middle aged white women who can be ever so arch and pithy and clever while also being deadly serious about that twin of Death, Love And the eureka moment is in there it is really about doppeling your ganger because self love is clearly the order of the day The author comes across as egotistical as the most identikit clone coupling There is no doubt that self empowerment is an important concept in a century where too many people have forgotten it But the most empowered part of Winterson is her ego May she realize in time and reassert her id. I read Winterson s Written on the Body a few years ago and have never read a novel since that better depicted love I should have known that it would be a novel written by Winterson herself that would rival my first foray into her work.The Powerbook explores love, sexuality and gender This is the theme of many of Winterson s novels and one that greatly intrigues me Is sexuality masculine or feminine Does the ambiguity of a partner s sex change the love or physical boundaries between them What makes The Powerbook unique is its technological spin The story is about a writer who offers people a chance to be someone else through just one story just one e mail The writer is Alix and the reader is anonymous, mostly Until the stories cross over into real life and neither can escape them The book is unveiled through e mails from the author to the man she is writing to and the stories that she writes As the reader, it is hard not to read the e mails and the stories as letters to you.I think what I enjoy most about Winterson is her ability to make you feel like you re part of the narrative Her characters tug at your heartstrings in just the right way At the end of each story, you wish you could see what else happens and hear about the characters At the end of the greater story, it is hard not to turn to the first page and begin again.Though each story is equally beautiful and gloriously told, I always have a favorite The story is of a girl who travels with tulips in her undergarments to get them across to the Americas, where they cannot grow them Of course, the story is much complicated and of course the girl meets another girl and it is beautiful.Jeanette Winterson is one of my favorite authors, but I haven t read all of her works I ve re read Written on the Body several times but have yet to read most everything else I space them out to enjoy them and get the most of them And in an effort to not run out The Powerbook will be re read several times before I allow myself another one of her novels If she writes a book a year, it would not be enough.In 2002, The Powerbook opened as a stage adaptation at the Royal National Theatre in London. Sva je od forme, a forma joj nije neka.Nasilno aforisti na, upinje se da bude edgydeep , a ostaje tek nategnuta il se rasprsne u patetiku.Veliki jedan mnjah na 200 strana, sa ponekom finom scenom koja ne pokazuje toliko ume e pisanja koliko ume e ma tanja o dobrom seksu.2.5, ajd , neka joj bude.Ostavila sam je u otvorenoj biblioteci hostela Franz Ferdinand u Sarajevu, mo da na e itateljku koja e joj se obradovati. Full of fairly meaningless wannabe aphorisms see gobbits of Wilde, minus the wit Example everything done with effort is beautiful Nothing effortless is beautiful better put in her version, but nonetheless void of meaning You can see what she was trying to do, both from the book and from what she s said in interviews be very very modern, have a book without a story, composed principally of emotions she succeeds here there s very little intellect between these covers and full of technological, scientific reference It s the last aim that fails utterly and makes parts of this book cringey Jenny Turner captures this exactly in her LRB review Winterson is terribly uneasy about science and technology She s too attracted to leave them to writers who know what they re talking about She s too repelled to grasp the images firmly and think them through Some of my personal repulsion to her metaphors is probably simply due to our generational differences and as well to the fact that this book was written in 2000 to me there s an incredible embarrassment to her unfamiliarity to the internet, which is perhaps why her persistence at using World Wide Web analogy so irritates me Her science poetics are inexcusable, but not very unusual for students of exclusively humanities the pull of the quantum ooh er things aren t really anywhere nothing is anything everything s at random deep down light is really particles and waves gosh darn, you damn do educate me Jeanette paired particles that s a bit like lovers and DNA, particularly in the selfish vain A.S.Byatt s done it see, I think, Babel Tower and I adore her it s always confused me that she said that scientists, particularly biologists told her they loved her science bits, but then I guess macrobiologists tend ed towards a wishywashy world view None of this is a very connected flowing review just a collection of the points of my thought on the book I did enjoy reading the book hence the two stars, along with the fact that I genuinely enjoyed the myth type ministories cover versions, she called them in her own gushing over used word in this context, but here precise coverslip blurb Weight is composed entirely of these and enjoyable, of a book , mainly because I read it for a book club and so was busy criticising it the whole way through, which is much fun when you dislike the book.Another point Julian Barnes A lot of the gobbits were repeated, in part, whole or altered intra referencing Barnes does this see Flaubert s Parrot , Love etc , Talking it over The last two even do it across books to a wonderfully informal and very comic effect Winterson s gobbits are repeated in the way of ancient truths new cliches, but often than not have none of their underlying truth are banal, and as I said at the beginning, meaningless It jolted me when I looked Jeanette Winterson up online 3 4 of the way through the book and read that she d had an affair with Barnes wife Pat Kavanagh , although it s doubtful that this really affected anything it s quite possible that not many people would instantly make the repetition connection it s probably not that strong.Final note autobiography much How many biographies does one author have to write for herself Oranges was frankly as good and, as far as I can remember from 5 yrs ago, very good it was too as it was going to get, and beyond getting in her adulthood albeit in a much vaguer manner than the detail containing Oranges That s another thing I dislike about this book utter lack of detail I m fairly sure she did this on purpose she said somewhere that paraphrased due to my forgetfulness we should not keep on writing Victorian novels followed by how she s pioneering the modern novel, or something along those lines there s not that much to add This was my problem with Weight as well good story telling, induced some genuine laughs, but inexplicable lapse into I sections Written on the Body appears to be autobiographical as well, although I don t mind this it s not repetition and fits I m not interested enough in her life her life is not interesting enough look at that it could almost be one of her own meaningful meaningless pretty little statements The book is about love, myth and stories Interactive stories written between Ali, the writer, and her lover, a married lady who she meets online every night Together they are writing the story of their courtship, or is it mostly Ali I loved this book The prose is sparse but it s beautifully written, like poetry, and the descriptions of Paris, Capri and London are almost like walking in these places on a summer s evening There is the stylised dialogue and sparring wordplay between the lovers, I guess meant to symbolise online conversations, at least the ones a clever writer might have And as usual there is something about Jeanette s childhood and once again a few great Mrs Winterson type scenes with her mother There are also fairytales and myths about love, all retold to feature elements of Ali and her lover s story But, in the end, the book is as much about love itself, love of life and stories and places, as it is about the nebulous relationship around which it centres. Very gently the Princess lowered herself across my knees and I felt the firm red head and pale shaft plant itself in her body A delicate green tinted sap dribbled down her brown thighs All afternoon I fucked her Jeanette Winterson Oh, how I love you so When I read your books, I find myself totally immersed in them, and I find myself completely unaware of anything else around me, until of course, I m rudely interrupted I was introduced to Winterson last year with Written on the body That book affected me than I thought it would This book was a little different, but still with the same beautifully haunting writing style The Powerbook talks about sexuality, love and gender Love is the general theme in the majority, if not all of Winterson s novels, and I have to say, nobody writes about passionate and chaotic love, quite like Jeanette Winterson You see, Winterson has this talent, where she can make the reader feel like they are part of the narrative The amazing characters are relatable and I really feel their emotions We see what they see, and we feel what they feel I began forming an attachment to some of the characters, and I really didn t want their beautiful little stories to end When I finish a book by Winterson, I always feel shortchanged Shortchanged in the sense of not wanting the book to end I feel like I want to bathe in her words, for as long as reality will let me. Jeanette Winterson is someone who can write sentences paragraphs passages that absolutely rock my world, yet she consistently fails to write a novel that I love in its entirety It s incredibly frustrating I would say in general you d like this novel less the of her books you ve read, because yet again she s taking on the subject of being in love with a married woman, and she s done that plot powerfully elsewhere If, however, you haven t read many of her books, this is a good one to try because it s paced quickly and it feels particularly modern and immediate And, of course, if you re on target to read all of them sooner or later, then like me I would think you d probably give this one 3.5 4 stars in the end I will say that the idea of Ali writing stories for a variety of readers isn t as vital to the story as you might hope certainly not as much as I hoped because we very quickly find her obsessed with this one recipient Winterson could have had of a tour de force as a writer if she d shown Ali writing for half a dozen clients, changing voices and perspectives as adeptly as we assume s he might, and being affected emotionally or not by each one I respect it if Winterson didn t want to showboat at Ali s expense, but I feel like so many of Winterson s readers are people who like to feel Winterson s presence in her books that it is reasonable to expect that she would be writing for the very specific readership her talent and voice have cultivated over the years, and we would all be happy if she were to show off a bit of the pure literary magic while telling Ali s story, too.In the end, Winterson s writing is still enough to carry this book and warrant a couple of re reads and many dog eared pages.

Novelist Jeanette Winterson was born in Manchester, England in 1959 She was adopted and brought up in Accrington, Lancashire, in the north of England Her strict Pentecostal Evangelist upbringing provides the background to her acclaimed first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, published in 1985 She graduated from St Catherine s College, Oxford, and moved to London where she worked as an assi

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  • Paperback
  • 244 pages
  • The Powerbook
  • Jeanette Winterson
  • English
  • 22 December 2019
  • 9780099285434

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