I spent half the afternoon perched on a foldable fishing stool at my local outdoor laundromat, reading someone’s essay on autoethnography. From what I understand, the author felt it was ‘an act of will’ to cut through taboos of relational ethics by writing about his sexual abuse while in foster care.

It left me wishing I could go back to my comfort reading of Maxim Gorki after this, or failing that have a couple of stiff drinks.

I am ready to vomit vicariously, that’s for sure. However, what leaves me fuming is that as a dual postgraduate, or as CoE priest for that matter, the author has in the UK university system not been introduced to tools beyond flat descriptive reflection, including that of procrastination. Is Wittgenstein to blame, or is Wittgenstein merely an early symptom of the stunted mindsets in an insular people?

PS – it is possible to look at the story the person told as courageously told with an open ending – exposing the reader to the risk the author took: living and telling. However, the incompleteness needs to be heard, not speculated about, in order to achieve change.

~ by Barbara S on May 25, 2021.

One Response to “arid”

  1. Since I wrote this, I have re-read the end of the autoethnographic essay I was referring to and felt one could interpret the painful paradox and screaming injustice of what the boy was left with – described as in a kind of cliff hanger as a brave attempt to tackle the issue. A debate to be had still.

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