19 posts tagged chuck klosterman
Fitting, as The Visible Man, wrestles with who we are when we’re alone, and what constitutes “being there.” It’s particularly hooking because of his entire body of work, this is the least I’ve ever felt his presence. He gets criticized for his voice being too recognizable, too present when it’s thought it shouldn’t be — but in this book, Klosterman vanishes.
There’s one part, one sentence where you see him. A brief glimmer from behind his cloak — the bottom of page 179. His voice, is there.
It’s a meditation on solitude, how when we’re alone we’re in a holding pattern for the next moment when we’re not — all while it’s the only time we’re our authentic selves. Very few people, he conjectures, are content when they’re alone. TV. The internet. Shameful secret pursuits, all fill that void.
“In other words, the internet was doing two things for Bruce — it allowed him to separate from the exterior life he hated, but also allowed him to stay engaged with an interior life he wanted.”
There may be more content loners than he posits, though. I have a black belt in alone. That and vanishing, the book’s second concept. Leaving your body present, and your will elsewhere. Spend any amount of time where you’re forced to perform, and it will happen. Your body shows up onstage, or for the promotion board. And the real Visible You watches it, bemused from the corner. It’s useful and odd.
But if the only time you can be seen, be present, is when you’re alone, it stands to reason. People can’t see what they don’t know is there.
(I don’t know if I liked it. It made me think. It made me turn the pages. It left me unsettled. Of all of my recent attempts at reading fiction, this was the best. It may be too prickly to revisit, though. But I like that I’ve seen this part of his mind; that he put on his invisibility suit and told this bizarre story. I feel like I’ve seen him, just a little bit more.)