Memories of My Father Watching TV
Only in America, and only since the 1950s, has the watching of television become the communal ground, often the battleground, of fathers and sons, as well as the place through which the rest of family experience is played out, fought out, remembered, misremembered, and made into myth and trauma—the shows watched and loved, the shows that became the trigger for resentments, the box of shadowy caves that washed over mute bodies in the TV room (formerly known as the living room). In the background, as children fit or did not fit into the family mythology of good and bad TV, their budding imaginations recorded every hurt, near hurt, or imagined hurt which silent, depressed, nearly catatonic fathers could inflict upon them.
Memories of My Father Watching TV has as its protagonists television shows, around which the personalities of family members are shaped. The shows have a life of their own and become the arena of shared experience. And in Curtis White's hands, they become a son's projections of what he wants for himself and his father through characters in "Combat," "Highway Patrol," "Bonanza," and other televisions shows (and one movie) from the 1950s and '60s.
Comic in many ways, Memories is finally a sad lament of a father-son relationship that is painful and tortured, displayed against a background of what they most shared, the watching of television, the universal American experience.
Title Memories of My Father Watching TV
Author Curtis White
Title First Published 01 June 1998
Nb of pages 168 p.
Publication Date 01 June 1998
Nb of pages 168
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5 in.
List Price $12.50
Current American fiction has not been lacking in its awareness of television's grim effect on families, but nowhere has this theme been exploited quite so well as in Curtis White's new novel
White's work has a surrealistic, hallucinatory quality. More specifically, it's absurdist in the tradition of William Burroughs, Joseph Heller, and Terry Southern . . . By using humor in
This is wild and rousing stuff, with weird associative tangents, disjointed at times, but always entertaining. White does a fine job of using visual devices to make reading the book a
The existence of a novel like Curtis White's Memories of My Father Watching TV may be adequate grounds to justify the formation of a flotilla of barges, tugboats, and little
Readable experimental fiction is hard to come by, but Curtis White has achieved something remarkable here. This slim volume flies out a dozen tangential windows to bring back its
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Genres : Fiction : Movements and Schools : American Postmodernism
Genres : Fiction : United States and Canada
Countries : United States of America