A creative nonfiction essay-novel set for release June 6, 2017, aptly, D-Day's anniversary, by a writer acquaintance, fully realizes at last what other critical readers and I'd advised two books ago. This, the tenth book.
Critics, advance review readers, and publication screeners note an overly personal mien to the prior works, asked for less personal involvement for those. Nonsense, I advised, the danger-close personal essay is the art of creative nonfiction. Instead, I advised that the personal inclusion tended toward fan and vanity fiction's writer surrogacy conventions of self-idealization and self-efficacy and hollow self-deprecation.
Not too personal, rather, not personal enough! How? he asked. By revealing self as socially flawed and frail and victim of the unmerited misfortunes from overtly trivial though covertly, personally, privately meaningful self-errors, that is, honest self-effacement, not per se self-deprecation. That latter is too easily dysfunctional self-justification of self as central before others, is a codependent who begs for attention and praise or at least commiseration, as like misery loves company. Anyway, self-deprecation rings hollow.
So the writer fully realized independently, with a mite of prestaged outside coaxing, not offered for credit, the pinnacle phase of full realization for personal essays, personal prose overall: apt, judicious, timely, natural, and necessary, true self-effacement at the self's expense. And, I might add, is a full-on satire about masculine-type competition contraposed by feminine emotional expression.
David Gessner. Ultimate Glory: Frisbee, Obsession, and My Wild Youth. Riverhead Books, a Penguin-Random House imprint. New York. 2017. 352 pages. Print, Kindle, Nook, and Audible.