Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

I do not entirely comprehend why male writers output such jibbering rubbish in the midst of a woman’s body? Is there some kind of mental deficiency that takes over when invoking the female form?

Yesterday I had a page 160 or page 161 moment with Alberto Moravia and his Boredom, to which I have now returned to for a third attempted summit. He has redeemed himself mildly with an exchange about dying in the midst of a bathroom sink on p173, but this man’s Boredom is becoming tedious where it previously fascinated. Somehow he is too easily satisfied in his prose, Moravia that is, in what he decided for it and where else it might have peaked (piqued). I’m finding this man Dino’s obsessive neurosis and  jealousy combined with increasingly cardboard Cecelia (afforded at this point about as much complexity as a bunny with an itchy foot)  … well wearying. Somehow I want the unexpected and p’haps this is not the literary land in which to find it.

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Moravia’s Boredom

I have been reading Alberto Moravia’s Boredom intensely during some sleep-disturbed nights and long sick-bed days. I started it sometime ago, but read over to Breton’s Nadja and much else before finally coming back to meet it encore a few days ago.

100 pages in, I went back and read the introduction written by a friend of Moravia’s who used to take walks with him. Moravia the essay explained walked because of sciatica and boredom. I don’t tend to read introductory essays because i prefer to read the writer’s work as it was intended read in the first instance. But in this instance I was glad whatever sent me to it did, because what I learnt tied in with some of the motivation and query behind my deciding to read this particular book in the first place.

I have to say of it that it’s compulsive and like crochet. The character he depicts in the first person is very familiar, almost uncomfortably familiar. You may be surprised how familiar he is. Perhaps it’s not the he or the character that’s familiar but the agitation and grinding nature of his dissatisfaction, his numb distance and flattened affect. There’s something universal in that. That’s what he’s captured — the grinding unease — in this portrait, despite the specifics of class and privilege and culture in this Roman depiction.

I am not quite finished the novel yet, so on va voir where else it goes. Would love to have seen Moravia write a second version and invert this novel and retell it from the perspective of Cecilia. (Boredom Deux perhaps). A response to Dino perhaps.

Boredom – Alberto Moravia