Laura Gonzalez


18 May 2015

Libra by Don Delillo****


Reading dates: 28 December 2014–17 May 2015

Don’t be fooled by the amount of time it took me to read this book. I loved it and I think it is a masterpiece. I savoured every intricate moment of the life of Lee Harvey Oswald told through the impeccable prose of Delillo. I wish this is how history was told. The book shows a lot of research. Invention too, for it is a work of fiction. Like when I read La Fiesta del Chivo, I was amazed at how accurate the account is, how much factual checking has gone into this work. Yet, I did not give it five stars because my criterion for that is whether I would re-read, and I am not sure I could go through the paranoiac roller coaster of Libra again. Whereas Vargas Llosa’s account of assassination is heart-wrenching but somewhat removed, Delillo is an expert at the psychological and, at times, I felt so involved I had to pinch myself to remember that it was only a book. I could not always read it before bed because it would play tricks on my dreams. This is precisely the power that makes it so accomplished and unique. It is definitely a reading experience, a good insight into conspiracies and the American mind and a beautiful historical account of a troubled time, culminating in a couple of bizarre days that changed the world. Can you imagine what it must have been like to live the events of 22–24 November 1963?

Posted in Blog, Book Reviews, Reading

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About Me

I am an artist and writer. My recent practice performance, film, dance, photography and text, and my work has been performed, exhibited and published in many venues in Europe and the US. I have spoken at numerous conferences and events, including the Museum for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Medical Museum in Copenhagen, College Arts Association and the Association for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society. When I am not following Freud, Lacan and Marx’s footsteps with my camera or creating performance works as part of my Athenaeum Research Fellowship at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I teach postgraduate students at Transart Institute.

I am currently immersed in an interdisciplinary project exploring knowledge and the body of the hysteric. In 2013, together with Child and Adolescent Mental Health practitioner Frances Davies, I co-edited the book ‘Madness, Women and the Power of Art’, to which I contributed a work authored with Eleanor Bowen. My book ‘Make Me Yours: How Art Seduces’ was published by Cambridge Scholars in 2016. In this text, investigates psychoanalytic approaches to making and understanding objects of seduction, including an examination of parallels between artistic and analytic practices, a study of Manolo Blahnik’s shoes as objects of desire, a disturbing encounter with Marcel Duchamp’s last work, and the creation of a psychoanalytically inspired Discourse of the Artefact, a framework enabling the circulation of questions and answers through a relational approach to artworks.