Sirk TV Book Review: STRANGE BODIES [Farrar, Straus & Giroux]
The notion of a reverse structure of self always takes into account the struggle for the Id. In “Strange Bodies” [Marcel Theroux/Farrar, Straus & Giroux/384pgs]. the pursuit becomes literal as the true notion of identity becomes an exercise in confusion and futility. The lead character here, against his own will, stumbles upon a secret possibility, quite possibly a by product of Soviet era engineering . This advancement allows a person’s consciousness to be copied onto a secondary vessel, an almost corpse one might say. What is interesting here is watching the main character, in all his wants and needs, as a professor intrigued by this procedure both be witness to it as a 3rd person, and then, by no will of his own, apparently becomes a victim of it himself In this turn of events, he finds himself face to face with his other self but looking at it with all the memories and emotions of the original. It takes the clone procedure more into a sense of “Frankenstein” with all the rough edges that brings. In most parables, this would be ultimately very depressing but even when he is detained at a mental hospital, there is still a sense of hope. What is interesting about the prose is its ability to be both disjointed and cohesive at the same time. The man here is clearly confused but just inside his mind we can just see what he wants to do. His kids are never far from his mind but the question becomes: “Are they my kids”. These existential questions are what makes the book engaging though ultimately experimental. You are stuck in someone’s mind without a clue to their primary thinking which itself is an exercise in existence.