[PDF / Epub] ☃ Trick Mirror By Jia Tolentino – Agedanna.info
Jia Tolentino s Trick Mirror is particularly difficult to review It failed me, but I know with total certainty that it will be praised as precious in many quarters So I have to appreciate it for what it is, and not what it didn t do for me It will appeal to a large and specific audience, and that needs to be recognized in any review of it I learned this from Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, who, to my young amazement, gave an Arnold Schwarzenegger film their thumbs up, knowing that it had no plot, terrible writing, poor acting and no redeeming values But they recognized it would be a blockbuster film that satisfied millions of fans, who would quote it endlessly for months There was no point judging it by any other standards So while what I say next can be construed as criticism, let me plant the firm notion that it is not criticism It is description.The book is a collection of nine new essays They are founded in memoirs, and flower into surveys of the literature and associations on the topic Most of the topics are feminist The essays often wander, but rarely dive They skim they remain largely superficial Tolentino loves to drop names from pop culture, which readers should still recognize today, and relate to, but which will make the book unreadable in a few years, as all those people are forgotten She doesn t like introducing people or giving their credentials, but finds them authoritative nonetheless She interviewed no one for this book.Tolentino goes broad but usually not deep She is all about headlines For many readers, this will be revelation enough, but Tolentino breaks no new ground, leaves no lasting suggestion, and will change no one s perspective It is rather a demonstration of her ability to assimilate the state of the culture, and she demonstrates it very well She writes with a firm hand.She doesn t demonstrate a new way to look at the world There are no new takeaways from this book It largely lacks humor, except perhaps for the essay on weddings Tolentino doesn t stake out a persona for herself like other feminist writers do Outside of her continuing defense and mourning of Hillary Clinton, she remains fair and neutral for an admitted left leaner.The best chapter is the one on sexual harassment She explores it from numerous vantage points, discusses a major case of false claims, and the conundrum of how to tackle the problem, which her own school failed at, famously and miserably though it won 3 million in a suit against Rolling Stone.There is a chapter on fictional heroines, where Tolentino often resorts to simply listing books that have heroines She quotes fictional heroines as if their lines were Truth The essay shows she is an avid reader, but not much .She was a contestant in a TV reality show while in high school, and doubles the length of the essay about it with endless pointless synopses from the show, which has been long forgotten along with the cable network that aired it Once, she was recognized in a store in a mall.This is the second book I have reviewed of memoirs from someone too young to write them Tolentino is now 30 The other was 27 I don t think people under 30 have the perspective to do justice to even their own lives Basically, it is too early to wax nostalgic about the 2000s.Too predictably, Trick Mirror focuses on growing up in Houston , the internet she was hooked at the age of ten , school a Baptist megachurch , college UVA Charlottesville , the constant pressure to look good, drugs party variety and weddings she has spent 35k on other people s weddings A typical middle class American life Sadly, there is only a page on her perspective changing year in the Peace Corps in very Islamic Kyrgyzstan It would have made the best essay To her immense credit, Tolentino uses these events and eras as launch pads to go on rants and tirades about religion, date rape, feminism, and politics So farthan simply memoirs, Trick Mirror adds value Not new value, but value nonetheless.David Wineberg I ve been waiting for this book She s written so many great, important things, but my favorite is still this review of Trick Mirror Is An Enlightening, Unforgettable Trip Through The River Of Self Delusion That Surges Just Beneath The Surface Of Our Lives This Is A Book About The Incentives That Shape Us, And About How Hard It Is To See Ourselves Clearly In A Culture That Revolves Around The Self In Each Essay, Jia Writes About The Cultural Prisms That Have Shaped Her The Rise Of The Nightmare Social Internet The American Scammer As Millennial Hero The Literary Heroine S Journey From Brave To Blank To Bitter The Mandate That Everything, Including Our Bodies, Should Always Be Getting Efficient And Beautiful Until We Die Fantastic The nine essays in this razor sharp collection circle around the notions of identity and the self that have become all important and inescapable in the Internet era With remarkable clarity and her formidable intellect, Tolentino highlights the distortions and self delusions that have festered on digital platforms and begun to spread into our analog lives and she considers the intellectual rewiring that might be necessary to free us from our overinflated selves Highly recommended full review hereAdvance copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley all opinions are my own. I had to take breaks between these essays They are so sharp and juicy and confronting, and needed time to absorb This is the kind of book that makes you want to avoid reading anything else for a while, so that its ideas can keep ping ponging around your brain undiluted Between the waves of dread and horror at what the world andspecifically, my own generation has become, this book has also given me a thread of hope and clarity as to how I might change my habits, expectations, and values for the better, attempting some degree of escape from the raging mess that we all watch and participate in almost constantly through our screens.. I don t know if I m going to have the time to write about this in the depth I would like, so I will just say that I finished Trick Mirror feeling I d probably read any article Jia Tolentino writes about any topic, and I d definitely read her memoirs The personal stories woven through these essays bring the book to vibrant life The autobiographical essays tend to be the strongest, particularly Reality TV Me , in which Tolentino revisits her experience of competing on a TV show at the age of 16 this essay could easily pass as a brilliant short story We Come from Old Virginia , in which she reckons with the controversial history of her alma mater, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville and Ecstasy , about religion and drugs, in which she writes hypnotically about the woozy hip hop subgenre of chopped and screwed Chopped and screwed mimics the lean feeling a heady and dissociative security, as if you re moving very slowly towards a conclusion you don t need to understand It induces a sense of permissive disorientation that melds perfectly to Houston, a place where a full day can pass in time lapse without you ever getting off the highway, where the caustic gleam of daytime melts into a fluorescent polluted sunset and then into a long and swampy night I can t remember the last time I read non fiction and came away with such a fierce sense of the author as a person, which, I think, is partly because Tolentino is so unlike the cliche raised in an evangelical megachurch in the American south a straight A student as a teenager, but also a cheerleader and a reality TV star blithely, unapologetically open about her past and current drug use It s not just that she s a happy extrovert though this in itself is unusual enough to stand out as memorable but that this aspect of her character shines bright through her writing without obscuring it Indeed, it s not the subjects of the essays that really leave an impression, but the way Tolentino writes around them, and the impression they create of the author as a luminous person, full of impossible confidence both as an individual and in her craft someone I am ravenously jealous of.So, yes, this is a collection of essays about modern society and pop culture by a young female writer, and there are many other examples of that kind of thing You might feel there are already enough of them in the world that this one doesn t need your attention But I can also honestly say I have never read anything quite like Trick Mirror.I received an advance review copy of Trick Mirror from the publisher through NetGalley.TinyLetter Twitter Instagram Tumblr Jia Tolentino has been the realest deal for a while and this book cements it She s like Cheryl Strayed s intensely empathetic understanding of humanity meets what it means to be a millennial remember, we are aged 25 38 now , and the connections she makes are affirming and scorching at the same time Jia has a long track ahead of her and this is just the start Should be noted I work for the publisher but this is my personal opinion. 3.5 stars I am bumping this up a half star for the moments of charm and personal stylistic flair that shine through from time to time in this collection In general, this is a perfectly enjoyable essay collection for those interested in topics surrounding pop culture, media, and gender, and I would recommend this to anyone with those interests I m not sure that this totally comes together as a collection, however, which keeps this from feeling like a stand out work That said, if you ve read enjoyed Tolentino s work previously, I don t think this will let you down Looking forward tofrom this author in the future Recently my rad friend B and I got into it about Roxanne Gay s Bad Feminist, which I loudly do not like B argued that it was wrong of me to judge it so harshly because I was not taking into account the deep biases I bring to my own reading I remain unrepentant because those essays are extremely bad, but I do acknowledge that I am only a combination of my life s influences I grew up solidly middle class, I am a cis het woman and a Jew of European heritage, I went to a good liberal arts college, and traditional white American intellectual values are the waters in which I have always steeped So, perhaps when I say something utterly subjective like those essays are extremely bad, I do only mean that they re bad to me, and if I were a queer black woman like B, raised and taught and influenced in different ways, all my opinions would be completely different Be that as it may, I still am me, I still have the same brain and biases, and I will tell you this Jia Tolentino is exactly everything I fucking love This book to me is basically perfect devastatingly smart and endlessly fascinating and filled with essays that work, that interrogate the modern condition from every angle and leave you gasping with new comprehensions They are deeply researched and wildly illuminating and also even funny, sometimes, when they re not devastating or brutal or so intense you have to put the book down and go take a dazed walk to let your brain synapses cool their firings.Anyway, you don t really need me to tell you about Jia s brilliance, right I mean, she s got 100k Twitter followers, a bad ass profile of her just came out in Elle, and she s written and edited everywhere, from the Hairpin to Jezebel to now the New Yorker which excerpted one of this book s best essays Losing Religion and Finding Ecstacy in Houston.But you re here, so go ahead and listen to me someIn one essay she writes about how the internet has fundamentally reoriented the truth so that what s important now is only what s important to me The everyday madness perpetuated by the internet positions personal identity as the center of the universe In another, she dissects the perpetual burden of being an ideal woman in the days of self optimization, managing to tie together chopped salads the perfect mid day nutritional replenishment for the mid level modern knowledge worker , Barre classes the rapid fire series of positions and movements resemble what a ballerina might do if you concussed her and then made her snort caffeine pills , and athleisure tailor made for a time when work is rebranded as pleasure so we will acceptof it She writes explosively about the harrowing history of racism and rape at the University of Virginia, her alma matter, linking the recent ill fated and retracted Rolling Stone piece about fraternity rape all the way back to Thomas Jefferson and Saly Hemings in fact, no, all the way back to ancient European youthful war bands wealthy young men who donned wolf hides and roved the forests looking for maidens to snatch, until they came of age and went home to find wives She also writes about difficult women in a piece that considers everyone from Kim Kardashian to Madonna to Hope Hicks I feel as if feminist praxis has turned to acid and eaten through the floor It s as if what s signified sexism itself has remained so intractable that we ve mostly given up on rooting out its actual workings She also writes about the lie of the literary heroine, the history of the conman, the Fyre Festival, her time on a reality show as a teenager, corporate feminism, recoiling at the idea of marriage, and who even knows, everything else under the fucking sun She is so smart and so savvy and so, so good, and I hope she s already at work on her next collection, because I cannot believe I ll have to go back to reading other people s essays now. It took me a while to get used to Jia Tolentino s style of writing the essays jump around a bit at times and get a little stream of consciousness y but there are some real gems in this collection For me she s at her best when talking about social media, gender, women and media, but I found something to admire or enjoy in almost all of the essays in this personal collection Thank you Netgalley and 4th Estate for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review.