Sometimes I wonder how something outrageous makes literature a bit more interesting as in life. In Kotzwinkle’s Nightbook, a combination of ideas from ancient Greece with modern subjectivities often confronts me with shocking possibilities. I mainly remember sexual aspects of this book, which I have not read lately, but I remember a few parts of it from years ago.
Reading Kotzwinkle’s Night Book is fast, insightful, weird and eccentric. My first attempt on reading this sort of novella makes my forehead furrow and leaves me with confusion enough for me to ask myself the question of reading it or not. Having no idea of the constantly shifting point of view and narrative makes me feel irritable about it. The second try makes me hope that it would become interesting as I first hate it and in the end, it thus leaves me utterly satisfied. The novel is about a combination of ideas and folklores from ancient Greek using themes which are more familiar in any of us living in this present day. Although its acceptance in every society is not much clear as it is before. Themes mainly of pleasures like incest, bestiality, voyeurism, homosexuality, masturbation, transvestism, sadism, masochism and the likes. Kotzwinkle’s prose assures you that he is a brilliant writer even though with such themes that he carefully analyzes with sensitivity and connecting it with our lives. The writing which I predict to be confusing for the first time somehow makes me fall flat while I read, unexpectedly making me stop to savor on how well accomplished he constructs the story leaving me with wide admiration.
There is no question that Kotzwinkle -as the blurbs on the back cover of my paperback copy- is one of the few interesting and insightful of writers. It is not arguable to call this novella erotica but I have to stop myself for the brand’s connotation, for in here, indeed he makes erotica to be of literary use. And I would probably read anything from him to experience once again what I’ve savor just from reading this small and witty masterpiece.
Opening Sentence: “Did you ever eat a girl?” she asked quietly.
Ending Sentence: “I can’t use it.”