It is a strange land, devoid of normal human connections. What is normalcy anyway? We deal with estranged devices, people who are unmasked, lurking in lost identities. Cees Nooteboom’s Self-Portrait of an Other (translated by David Colmer, Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2012) is a terrifying tale of living ghosts, outside and within. When was the last time you remembered yourself?
Strangers, lovers, enemies collide in a Kafkaesque maze of their own bodies. It is beautiful and it is very dangerous. Also there are images, images that are utterly wanton in nature, stripped off their dignity, stripped off their skin, crawling out of the sheer paper, laying bare for your eyes only. This book is the dark side of man’s consciousness, the dark side of the real moon. It assures of a quietness that you may not be accustomed to, but have been desperately seeking. You can only feel the disputed love, that I so abundantly feel, for this (un)prepared disrobing of life’s faux sweetness. Rare treat.