By Peter Waldman
This impressionistic autobiographical inquiry is an try and attach the non-public with the socio-historical-addiction with habit; it's also an try and reveal that wisdom construction may be generated via substantially non-traditional skill. Narrative serves as strategy and technique in a normally first individual account of a fictional open AA assembly. A suspicious hermeneutics is utilized to habit, to AA, and to the phenomenon of overall medicalization, which the writer and narrative eventually succumb to, within the curiosity of wondering logic assumptions approximately those issues, and as leaping off issues for literary and philosophical exploration. Highlighted is the semi-fictionalized storied nature of mirrored upon lived experience-the own cell video game of (Paul Ricoeur's) narrative identity-and the function of associations like AA in grafting onto lived event new narrative kinds that permit for brand spanking new methods of structuring self and identification. the entire made-up facets of the narrative-the multi-tracked narrator's voice, shifts in point-of-view, and the semi and infrequently completely imagined characters encountered on the assembly and elsewhere-are the fiction the writer makes of his own background as an addict and newcomer in AA, which complicates the relation among knower and recognized (author and reader) whereas enriching and enlivening the narrative, drawing the reader right into a literary illustration of imagined and lived adventure
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Extra resources for Educating Desire: Autobiographical Impressions of Addiction in Alcoholics Anonymous
I’m gay. Or Jewish. A professional person. A member of the clergy. Too smart. Or too uneducated. ” The ostensibly Jewish narrator of this silly tale realizes that alcoholics can be Jews too and vice versa when he spies the famous Levy’s Jewish Rye ad in the New York City subway of all places, the one with the jolly Irish cop munching on a pastrami sandwich. This bit of nonsense, which borders on caricature, contains two other significations for George: that Irish cops, besides enjoying pastrami sandwiches just like Jews, are also a metonym for total alcoholism en masse.
Nobody told me what was going on. So he has panic disorder, so they say, and something called dissociative disorder and he’s on all kinds of meds in addition to what 27 CHAPTER 6 is now a major problem with heroin. ) Right. I forgot to mention that. I should have said that first, right? He started with painkillers like me, but now he’s moved on. He called me last summer to tell me that he was shooting it in his veins, but that I wasn’t to tell anyone. As I speak I pick at a small chip on the surface of the desk with my thumbnail revealing a beautiful dark wood the blotchy blue paint is obscuring.
BUD: As I live and breathe! Peter, old friend! JEFF: Hey, Peter, how’s it going? ] Hi. JEFF: I’m Jeff, how you doing? ] More important, I’m Bud. ] PETER: Okay. JEFF: Don’t mind him. BUD: Are you kidding? Mind me, mind me! ] So what’d you think of it in there? Bob’s a heavy dude, no? PETER: Bob is a heavy dude. ’ I love it! ’ Bob’s got a lot going on, a lot of knowledge to draw from. But Primary Purpose People are like that, the ones I know. JEFF: Really? Bob’s one of a kind to me. BUD: Well, yeah, of course he’s one of a kind, but he’s also a type, no?