I Tone Schunnessons debut novel “trip reports” are the young protagonist on the verge of a breakdown. The book begins in Bangkok, where she has traveled in a kind of parody of the self-realization journey alone in a foreign continent with almost all white middle-class young people, sooner or later, undertakes, when you should “find himself” and “gain perspective”. But the first-person narrator in “trip reports” are no eye-opening insights to fetch; rather, she falls deeper and deeper into himself, his alcoholism and his looping memories.
And what she remembers then? Men she’s had relationships with: the love Andreas who hated her and was unfaithful; the karaktärslöse Jani who did everything for her and that annoyed her to death; Nikita was as destructive as herself. She remembers her childhood in a home where everyone was “tired, ugly, thick of alcohol and prescription drugs” and an adult life in Stockholm in loneliness and desperation, young and unemployed. She steals from family and friends, ends up with the Enforcement Authority, support themselves by masturbate in front of the web camera, manipulates and exploits, crack off borrowed money.
Schunnesson writing a poetic, impressionistic prose that sometimes falls apart in the lyrical line breaks, with a deeply personal, often catchy appeal. There are places fearless and talented. Why no editor has deleted some of the book’s too many drömmiga roadtrip poet isms, however, is a mystery, but unlike a lot of other literature esteticeras and romanticized in any case not decadence here; it is liberating dirty and pathetic, and sometimes drag to the tragicomic. It is also the release of a female roman person who is so unsympathetic, self-absorbed and osolidarisk as the narrator’s – a rare and therefore more than welcome figure in literature.
One could understand novel self decadence as despite the action, a rebellion against the need for productivity and efficiency – in a similar way, she seems at least myself looking at it: “it’s bittersweet to choose the accident and loneliness, for it gives me a sense of superiority / … / loneliness makes me to the elite. “for our health fixated culture, where our body is both a temple and a private company we imposed responsibility to keep in good shape, and that constantly need to be wage labor sacred rituals available – what is considered more shameful coated and irresponsible than choosing destructiveness?
to believe that this will lead to relief seems on the other hand be to idealize individual resistance meaningfulness based on an equally neoliberal logic. The main character confirms the contemporary structures as much as she rebels against them; caught in the insulating individualism, in economic thinking where relationships are only meaningful if they provide direct personal benefits and where one’s emotional life is so reified that it is only seen as a means to manipulate the environment: “memories, I just return to when I need to cry to get that I want. “
the problem is that I do not really get any deeper understanding or feeling for the protagonist. The anxiety or pain portrayed not enough depth for me to understand what attracts the destructive, nor the sublime intoxication. A story about her critical relationship with her father flickers by temporary, but may not anchor in the text. There is no forward movement, no internal development or inflection point, no lessons are learned something, which makes the text static and monotonous.
It is as if Schunnesson both want to write in a kind of heartfelt and intimate écriture féminine -tradition, while shaping an experience of alienation, for which words do not mean anything, or just a game – two approaches are contradictory – and I finally get the feeling that I do not trust the main character too many straggling and osammanhållna descriptions of herself, she places just babbles.
“What I’m trying to move on, at there?” asks the main character, and I can not answer that, because I have already tired.