28 Aug

I read a book yesterday, and I am still trying to understand why does that book exist.

The book in question is Spent by Joe Matt, technically it falls under the category of a Graphic novel or sequential art or illustrated novel or a comic (whichever term you are comfortable with).

But for me it is none of above, true it has panels, there are characters, dialogues everything but the question that still begs to be answered is why?

It is not a unsatisfying book either, it was fun to read, it had its poignancy, witty conversations, character definitions, everything that a conventional book should have but the question still remains why?

So many whys?
Let me explain the plot in brief so that you can understand my confusion better and hopefully as I write it I would be able to fathom its rationale and its raison-d-etre (i hope I spelled it right).

The book is about the author’s obsessive-compulsive behaviour and the twelve years he spent in Canada as an illegal resident there.

These are just some facts, the book does not delve on all of these facts.

It is primarily about the author and his personality. It starts from no where (actually in a book store where author is with one of his friends and he discovers one of the comic books that his friend is fond of and he buys the only copy available to infuriate him) and is focused on the author’s addiction to pornographic movies and masturbation.

Joe Matt has projected himself as a loner due to his unnatural addiction,unable to find a steady girlfriend (he made his last one leave to pursue his self-afflicted carnal pleasures). He spends most of the time editing porn movies to have the purest collection of the best scenes and the best basest women. He is the miser to the extent of not eating food,staying in a sub-human dingy accomodation, he is a socio-path to the extent that he keeps jars to pee in his room, so that he doesn’t have to meet his landlady or other inhabitants in the paid accomodation (they share a common loo). He does this despite being decently off. He refuses to spend any money, tries to fleece his friends and has only two pre-occupations, thinking about sex and money.He is so very addicted to these that he even compromises his career (as a graphic novelist) and has not done anything for years (he apparently spent lots of years on this book, which could have been possible in months).

Nothing wrong, these all can be and are interesting premises to create an interesting story (which he has).

So why I am perplexed or disturbed by this book?

What I am unable to fathom is the extent to which the author willing to depreciate himself in the public eye. He is not ashamed to embarass himself and lay bare his darkest thoughts. He is willing to show (it’s a graphic novel) his sexual organs, the way he masturbates, his selfish focus on himself and his needs.

All laid bare for public ridicule.

This humilation is so dark, so stark, that the fact suddenly seems fictional.

Is it real or an alternate fiction diguised as a biography?

I wonder and I reel.

I will clean the puke from my carpet in the evening.

One Response to “Spent”

  1. Idle Thoughts October 5, 2007 at 12:35 pm #

    all biographies, especially autobiographies are fiction.

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