The Unconsoled

Reading The Unconsoled I found Ryder had all of this anxiety around his piano performance. Like whenever anyone would talk about the performance specifically he would always start worrying about it. So, I was thinking about this quote from Slavoj Zizek where he is talking about what Lacan said about anxiety. “…anxiety is the only emotion that does not deceive: all other emotions, from sorrow to love, are based on deceit. […T]he feeling of guilt is a fake enabling us to give ourselves over to pleasure—when this frame falls away, anxiety arises.” (Zizek, Puppet and the Dwarf, 57). So, when I think in terms of The Unconsoled, I think of how people come up to Ryder and ask if Boris is his son and he never quite answers it directly or how everyone complements him for being such a great musician, but when it comes to performing he is really uncomfortable.

Also I was thinking about how in the scenes that take place in the hotel and with Gustav talking about tradition I thought it could be a tradition of trauma, like what Ryder is going through is actually a long family history of I don’t know if it was abuse or neglect but something.

I’m not sure if this gives any answers to what the book is about, but I don’t to know about the author’s intentions for writing this book. There seems to be a message but not a meaning and I think that’s what makes the book successful.

I think we were talking about in class how this is like Kafka, but I disagree. I think The Unconsoled is too personal for Kafka. If this is Ryder’s unconscious or something to do with him that is different from Kafka, who the characters serve some other purpose instead of in The Unconsoled were it seems like the reader is getting what Ryder is going through. Also Kafka’s characters are dropped into mysteries that are never explained or developed, but in The Unconsoled even though the whole book might be a mystery it seems like somethings add up. Like Ryder can effect the world.

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