Shez – review of “Far from his absence” by Ilan Sheinfeld

Israeli author, reviewer, critic, and activist in the Tel Aviv writing community Ilan Sheinfeld reviewed Shez’s newest book on his blog in 2010. You can find the Hebrew original here: Sheinfeld review of Shez

Here’s a very very rough translation via the Google Chrome translation service:

“Far from his absence” is a story about a woman trapped in a prohibited relationship with her father. Relationship began when she was a child, and over the years managed to weave around her father’s happening almost total control over her, her identity, her feelings. This ongoing exploitation, made with the cooperation of the mother determines her fate, her identity and sense of self of the narrator, speaking here in first person.

“I know for a fact I never imagined, never imagined: He washed my brain, he hypnotized me, I was a prisoner in his prison camp since I was a little girl. I had to do everything and I loved him and he also educated me, yes, brought me to believe I was filth. almost I want to ask him: ‘Tell me again, tell me again Tinoft’. ”

The narrator reveals different aspects of attitude to the father. Her hatred of him and love addiction and dependence on him, the desire to be far from him, kill him or kill herself, and longing for internal cleaning and life that her father is not in them, along with the painful recognition that it is not possible. She reveals her eating disorder, the tricks which she tries to slim down more and more, not because she wanted to die, but because she can not put food in your mouth, previously served as her father’s satisfaction.

Like previous works, the narrator of Shez says many times things and their opposites, blurs statements and truths, exposed and then withdrew it. Those who experienced this strategy, typically writing it, should know that this duplicity, of telling the truth and sedation associated with a psychological phenomenon called ‘Dissociation’ a survival strategy of victims of sexual assault, she is used to hide her pain, her secret, for fear will happen to her, and learned to hide it so much that she no longer sure of herself what is right or wrong, what is true or false, what is real and what ‘film’.

Shez previously rebelled against the way this writing, and I tried to put her face questions honestly. Was or was not, I asked her, once and for all tell me what was and what was not. She never told me anything specific. We could close again and connect only gave over the desire, to know the truth. Because with the help of fact I learned, for victims and victims of sexual assault blurred sense of truth. Because it is better to obscure the truth, embrace the challenge of self-identity, as identity or the truth find it difficult to contain the components of childhood trauma.

The entire book is told in first person, present tense. This is the right choice, for many reasons. She Mncihh this horror story, the narrator and her father, a kind of extended present, in front of her reader, and thus makes the reader forever sterile situation. Sterilized, because he can not do anything but to witness it. So apparently these things happen in reality.

We see something, we think we see something obscene, but we are not sure of it, And more often than not dare mingle with their family or mates, and let evil take. Selection in the first person present tense also makes clear, in fact, that the horror of the narrator’s childhood has never ceased. Even if the mother dies, and biographical reality the father was dead, continued and ongoing harm, creating a split in his daughter’s identity, a split can never mend another, and a wound that does not allow her to love and experience love.

Writing in first person and present tense, but with keeping the split between the narrator and of fact, a figure of the writer, appears also in the book, but twenty years older than the author, is indeed the result of lack of personality, dissociative, events, sadly, many times among women who experience rape. But here he becomes not only a chilling of incest, but also a tool for literary, ward committees, which allows a writer to split itself among several characters, including the psychological, and even some male characters in the book, and write about difficult things are within touching distance, which enables touch, through a mask of another character.

Therefore, Shez’s book is not just a book for women, who experienced similar traumas, is primarily a book for writers. Because of fact could do something here, he’s an important lesson for each person writes. Writing in first person and present tense could have enslaved all the details of the reality of her life, like a train ride, sitting in a cafe, caring and even participation in the writing workshops she runs into the story. All material reality, those that allow writing tangible, specific and precise, making it the hardware way legitimate story, which shapes the world of fact.

Limited scope of this book. Is short and narrow-ranging book. Like drilling in, the excavator into the wound Shez write it, and take out new things.

Each and every one of us has a place from which he writes and he turned to writing. For the most part this is a wound. We can try to keep away worlds, large-scale books and expanding one. But in the end we are condemned to write it again and again. The question is how we repeat ourselves, and how we manage to break the patterns we relate to him. Shez was this challenge well.

Of fact, “far from his absence”, published by Am Oved, 2010


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