The Daily Create: Melissa Broder

The World As She Sees It…

From the inception of Broder’s novel, I was intrigued by her writing style and the way her words webbed together: for one to begin a novel with such a controversial statement: Bringing a child into the world without its consent seems unethical” and then to maintain a high level of controversy, ostentation, and explicitness throughout one’s entire novel is an feat that, for me, is very difficult and almost insurmountable. Throughout her novel, Broder tackled aspects of life that I have never seen written in such vivid, brash and raw details. Though I do not see the world through the same microscope as she, Broder, I still appreciated her ability to scribe – and scribe successfully – topics of the mostly-societally unspeakable nature.

Dr. Travis notes that “Broder is crafting a careful persona that hides and reveals.” This persona is seen in many places and spaces in her novel: especially when she writes about someone else. In terms of solely revealing, in her I Want to Be a Whole Person but Really Thin chapter, Broder divulges the way she eats in a plethora of methods: each paragraph begins with “I am an eater” and it reveals the spectrum in its entirety of her food consumption while reminding us of what is at the core of these revelations: the way she eats. In this chapter, I found the highest level of relatability with Broder: statements like “I am an eater of numbers”, “All I’ve ever wanted is peace”, “I want to live in a body that is so far away from being fat that it has room to gain weight and still not even rub elbows with chubbiness,” truly worked for me because I saw me and felt me in them.

Broder hides and reveals in her Love Like You Are Trying to Fill an Insatiable Spiritual Hole with Another Person Who Will Suffocate in There chapter. And boy does she reveal aplenty! There was a point in her rendition of the sext game that I had to stop reading, take a step back, breathe, live in the real world, and then resume reading! The overwhelming sexual revelations in this chapter bordered on too much for me but yet I was left lacking. Why? Because Broder was so very careful in her crafting that she never once gave a name to her lover of virtual origin. Broder also did not reveal the name of her husband (or make much mention of him!). The give some keep the rest game that Broder played in this chapter, and in other former and latter chapters, added to her uniquely bizarre writing style and made me appreciate her more for said uniqueness and bizarreness. For me, there is no instance of only hiding in Broder’s novel because she reveals so much in such limited space.

In terms of Broder’s Twitter page, I only perused the bare minimum of her tweets and I can see that they are similar to her novel’s content and chapter titles. The initial anonymity of Broder’s tweets helped to raise the levels of mystery and intrigue in her followers which then, along with the tweets’ content, launched her into success and stardom.

All in all, I enjoyed Broder’s novel in bits and pieces; I don’t see the world as she does but I admired her honesty, her clarity, and her confidence/boldness to write about what she wants to write about. The ultimate good that I can take away from Broder’s novel is the high level of confidence and the ability to channel that confidence into something very real and very tangible…

“Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged” – Jalaluddin Rumi


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