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Book Review: Weird Monologues for a Rainy Life (irreverent ramblings from the end of the world) by Lorette C. Luzajic

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Lorette C. Luzajic's retrospective volume spanged through the letterbox some days ago and a DC Comics Wonder Woman note-card dropped out of the foliage immediately after opening. Whether the image on the note-card was carefully chosen or random is unknown, but the following parallel would later illuminate the forefront of my mind: Luzajic, much like Wonder Woman, is her own institution.

Professor of Aesthetics Boris Groys recently pointed out in an introductory essay for the artist Peter Weibel that the termination of art institutions leaves the artist “with but one possibility: to found an institution of his/her own, making themselves an institution.” Although Groys was talking specifically about Peter Weibel, his statement will resonate with artists across the world who find it increasingly difficult to obtain prolonged adoption via the artistic infrastructure and, faced with annihilation, turn to themselves for answers.

The egalitarian effect of the Internet has facilitated opportunities for artists away from the cronyism and nepotism of the traditional gallery or press. For better or for worse, Internet technology is building parity between what Groys distressingly referred to as the “beholder” and the “creator.” Similarly, for worse or for better, the boundaries begin to blur between the reader and author. Luzajic is a product of this transformation as artist, publicist, journalist, editor, exhibitor, poet, essayist, blogger, reviewer and biographer. Always under the umbrella of creativity, a creativity that connects the white spaces of Weird Monologues, Luzajic has become her own institution, and Weird Monologues is the institution's archive.

A mashable concoction of journalistic excursions reminiscent of an interview portfolio, a counselling session and excessive cultural exposure, Weird Monologues is a co-operative between personal experience and the material under scrutiny. I don't know if Luzajic has a magic lasso, boomerang tiara or bracelets that can deflect gunfire, but Luzajic certainly carries in her arsenal an astute, steadfast dedication to the written word expressed in articles such as "Six of Swords in The Shipping News," which blends the art of the Tarot with a Luzajic reading of E. Annie Proulx's novel; or "Stranger than Fiction: Poor Little Rich Girl Danielle Steel," a deference piece on the romance novels of the aforesaid author. The death of a partner, pirates, drug addiction, insanity, depression, Madonna, religion, and sex are all topics covered with pop sensibility, worldly temperament and as a presentation of ability Weird Monologues functions well.

If we move beyond the function of Weird Monologues as a compendium, then its raison d’être quickly disperses. But beyond its “irreverent ramblings”, and I'm sure Luzajic would agree, it merrily serves no purpose. It is a product of entertainment culture and consequently is imprisoned by it, for better or worse. It is a product of a woman's insatiable drive to create and realise literary ambitions that so many hold but never actualise and for that reason alone, the Institute of Luzajic should be commended.

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About Paul Robinson

  • http://carolinehagood.typepad.com/ Caroline Hagood

    Your writing does justice to your complex ideas. This particularly resonated with me as a writer/artist: ” Although Groys was talking specifically about Peter Weibel, his statement will resonate with artists across the world who find it increasingly difficult to obtain prolonged adoption via the artistic infrastructure and, faced with annihilation, turn to themselves for answers.”