Saturday, September 2, 2017
Book Review: Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A biography of a body. What has been done to it and what continues to be done to it.
The author hates being human in a sense. She laments having an animal body that stinks, sweats, accumulates fat, which can be assaulted, and more importantly can be seen as an "object" to others. But we are nothing more than our bodies and everyone's body, as a matter of fact, is a matter of public record.
We are bodies moving through space and having a body means we can be seen, which is always going to be traumatic.
Sartre refers to The Look as the first step towards apprehending “the Other”, and thereby the self. He says “I see myself because somebody sees me . . .” and “It is shame or pride which reveals to me the Other’s look, and myself at the end of that look. It is the shame or pride which makes me live . . .”
There's no escaping the gaze of others.
And that's the real problem isn't it, how to keep the gaze of others from objectifying us? It's everyone's problem really, not just the authors and certainly not just the problem of the obese, even though they may experience it more acutely.