Tuesday, September 25, 2001

"Love is not the easy thing
the only baggage you can bring
is all that you can't leave behind."

- "Walk On" by U2

i was listening to this on the bus as i was reading sandra bernhard's semi-autobiographical book "Love, Love and Love." these words from bono echo sandra's book. in the book, sandra's characters all fall in and out of relationships: bisexual, straight, gay, the characters are desperately finding that elusive thing, that emotion called love, they can't afford to bring in any baggage than they can carry in case they have to move on quickly. in many of the stories, i don't think the characters even know what love is. they try to approximate it, but every single one, not any less emotional than the other, because even if they don't know what love is, they don't give any less of themselves.

this book to me, reveals sandra bernhard as a person. she doesn't really write fiction, even though some of the stories are really fictional. one gets a sense that the characters are thinly veiled versions of herself. names dropped like flies, labels on parade and luxury items enumerated, catalogued and expounded upon. it's all very much a desperate, ravaged, fabulous lifestyle.

the book is kinda hit-or-miss. some of the vignettes are incredibly powerful, but some are just tedious. the paperback included a section of stuff that was supposed to be the pieces that she "left out," but left in to reveal to us the process in which she chose the pieces that ended up in the book. this section is a train wreck. incredibly bad stuff littered with misspellings, bad grammar and 5th grade musings but ultimately revealing. if these were the raw pieces, i hope her editor got paid a lot of money, because the final product had no resemblance to this dross. the book, despite its skim milk approach to literature, had a kind of liquid gloss to it. the bad stuff was just plain bad--clunky (as in tin cans, not shoes).

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