You Do Not Talk About Fight Club

17 09 2008
You Do Not Talk About Fight Club: I Am Jack’s Completely Unauthorized Essay Collection

by Read Mercer Schuchardt (Editor)
September 2008, 224 pages, $14.95

By Derek Beres

It’s not surprising that while this is a book of essays contemplating Chuck Palahniuk’s runaway hit 1996 novel Fight Club, that the focus seems to be just as much, if not more, on the 1999 movie of the same name—the essays were compiled by a co-founder of Metaphilm, a blog dedicated to critiquing and waxing poetic over cinema. It also brings up the visual nature of American culture as a whole, and how we perceive the reality around us; essentially, how words are pictures too, and how the pictures that are painted will be different for all of us.

This knowledge would not be lost on Palahniuk, who also contributes a short though outstanding foreword to this collection. It is not the headiest piece of the bunch, but it is certainly the most heartfelt. He knows what the movie did for the book—a book that was already visual and visceral to begin with. His minimalist arrangements of words and mental images, coupled with his uncanny ability to pick out few scenes yet give them major significance, lends itself to both the big screen, as well as the fulfilling, if not dangerous duty of philosophy.

For the writers of this collection, subtitled I Am Jack’s Completely Unauthorized Essay Collection, take massive liberties with the text. Some of them work well and illuminate the text. Others read like the writer is merely trying to hear himself think on paper, connecting abstract dots along a graph that inevitably concludes as an image that no one can recognize or understand.

Read the full review on PopMatters




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