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Remake ❴BOOKS❵ ⚦ Remake Author Christine Brooke-Rose – What happens when you try to find not only meaning but pattern and form in seventy years of a life It's not a simple process of chronological remembering It entails a Remake to capture not facts but t What happens when you try to find not only meaning but pattern and form in seventy years of a life It's not a simple process of chronological remembering It entails a Remake to capture not facts but the contents of those facts the feelings of a war time child the textures of her clothing the tastes and smells the tones and the touch of her mother the felt absence of her father and the gradual transformation into womanhood The facts are simple birth in Geneva; bilingual childhood in Brussels then London and Liverpool; work in Intelligence at the Bletchley Park decoding centre during the war; marriage; Oxford; London; literary journalism; the emergence of the novelist But what do facts add up to Remake is an autobiographical novel with a difference It uses life material to compose a third person fiction transformed in an experiment whose tensions are those of memory distorting and partial checked by a rigorous and sceptical language which probes and finds form underlying the wayward impulses and passions of the subject Remake is a fascinating and original book by one of our finest modern novelists.

7 thoughts on “Remake

  1. Scribble Orca Scribble Orca says:

    Bifografy is always part fiction John continues First in the singulative birth then in the iterative background then in the singulative splits Inchoherent inchoative incognitially punctuated A situation an event another situation Hero meets donor is tested receives a magical auxiliary brains for instance is translocated to fight this or that dragon and returns incognition to perform another impossible task like emptying a river with a sieve for recognition then the whole cycle can start again and does the recognition of desire being the desire of recognition Lack on Pretty redundant eh?Pretty how?RedundantYes A joke Sorry But girls in fairy tales are never hereoes girls must be either Cinderellas or marry the prince girls are a statue a tower prisoner a block of ice a pillar of salt a deep sleep until a man comes alongNeither men nor mentors can endure othernessMentors are sometimes tormentorssometimes mentowersthe last of the mentors never like one of the toppled but a tower of strength not a tour de forceChristine Brooke Rose was asked to write an autobiography by Carcanet and her first reaction was an uneuivocal Non pas du tout Serendipity chanced along in the form of an idea as a means to deflect dreaded writer's block bounded by numerical symmetry she had produced three sets of four works of fiction and one set of four works of non fiction and she decided that an autobiography constituted neither fish nor fowl but was a completely different species Happily for us since she wrote down her entirely life read what she had written nothing than remem oration her own label and tossed it Almost Given her uniue predilections for novel constraints she unmade and remade the narrative demolishing not just eye nowns the exception is the sadly schmerzig Chapter Three in which she partly removes her rule because the chapter is based on a diary and because intense personal emotion is key and contrasted but all personal pronouns and possessive adjectives The result is the written in by now familiar present tense but not in the sense of omnitimeplace but with the active gerund thus privileging a the abolition of gender power and possession and b the time of discourse the historical mode is implied but not articulated delightfully light hearted and arch commentary at a distance viewed through lenses of various incarnations and the memories of the memories of the mechant loop infinitively applied which provides elouent insights into the events influences and persons of significance in her life No thin disguise of facts exists here and Remake combines and highlights the theoretical and ethical concerns that threaded through and shaped Christine Brooke Rose' life suggesting an identity as playful and exuberant as the woman behind it Remake produced someone or other I felt happy with Identity in other words is a fiction made of language and like all good fictions open ended and slightly unrealAlthough Life End of is available as an e book it's a much poignant consideration of her life and does not automatically make the most empathic entry into her oeuvre The second autobiographical work makes use of earlier material but is much focussed on pain the pain of old age the pain of decreptitude the pain of loss the pain of memories no longer kept distant by other distraction; it's not a meditation on what might have been but what was revealing a slight bitterness not present in Remake but all the anguished for its context hence my musical meview As a first glimpse into Christine Brook Rose Remake is wholly accessible witty and inventiveChomsky's John Not only John iteratively represents fragments of memory regarding self and memory but comes to represent each of the mentors figuring in Christine Brooke Rose' life from childhood onwards Regardez Such jostling Js ThruOut Between? the bifografical narrativeGerman for varnish Or Lacan Or laconic Take your pick

  2. MJ Nicholls MJ Nicholls says:

    Remake is a canny künstlerroman written with CB R’s usual pronounsense and experimental élan Narrated by the Old Lady from her retirement and filtered through various text twitterers named John CB R is Tess in this tale and the action scopes largely on her childhood and wartime experiences speeding through her flourishing as an academic and novelist honing on the hardships Apart from the moving third chapter PRO NOUNS about her mother the nun’s death in a convent the story uses a third person detachment and compacts the facts of her life into no nonsense punny précis Any re imagining of her life is a fiction a remake so CB R becomes by proxy a character in her own fiction Wry amusement and caustic wit is the pervading tone along with a sharp unsentimental eye for the emotional bumps in her life dumped suitors escaped husbands but the overall effect of the book is to make a fiction forge a narrative from the chaos to impose a shape on the unshapeable data of her life In her own words Memory is necessarily self centred For other people are fogs alter ego et galore Memory does not reconstruct points of view only personal reactions and all portrayal is betrayal Only art reconstructs points of view artificially the novel the film the play the staged confrontational interview In memory all the parts are played by actors called John in self confrontation And memory can invent memoriesMemory can uantum along from notion to notion The meeting of particles are events and vice versa The void before the Big Bang is a nil mass not a nothingness the void has a structure and gets transformed But memory is not an accelerator of particles eitherNor is memory a digging a fishing a lucky dip or a pinball machine or a sundial showing only the light hoursMemory is like intercepting and decrypting thousands of messages missed or captured but not decrypted and even the captured and decrypted now burnt or not released Memory intercepts the messages of a mysterious invented enemy unseen giant knight or flaming dragon the intercepter a speck in time facing the immensity of confrontable selves p172

  3. Jonathan Jonathan says:

    A proper review to come hopefully tomorrow But for now I will simply say this is a masterpiece not just in the construction of its many marvellous sentences but in the rigorous honesty and self criticism with which she remakes her past Facts are meaningless unless reconstructed by experience Reconned Or remakes of old records putting in the cracks of verisimilitude Isn’t life a story? No A story is arranged Life is a file A lot of files mostly erased the diskette to be copied erasing the diskette receiving the copy The old lady can barely admit let alone reconstruct the retarded mental and physical age of Tess at sixteen the ignorance the innocence the non connecting of things the permanent being elsewhere not the elsewhere of religion or art or grand designs but a haze a fog Memory can uantum along from notion to notion The meetings of particles are events and vice versa But memory is not an accelerator of particles either Nor is memory a digging a fishing a lucky dip or a pinball machine or a sundial showing only the light hours Memory is like intercepting and decrypting thousands of messages missed or captured but not decrypted and even the captured and decrypted now burnt or not released Memory intercepts the messages of a mysterious invented enemy unseen giant king or flaming dragon the intercepter a speck in time facing the immensity of confrontable selves

  4. Stephen P Stephen P says:

    A 70 year old woman a fiction though some biographical facts are in line with CBR looks back on life through a fictional character named Tess written by Christine Brooke Rose and read by a reader both who also are fictional accounts In this Bifografy it is made clear that any biography must be a fiction comprised of fictional pieces glued and mortared together to create a convincing whole but in the end a betrayal The subject as with any friend or otherwise we claim to know must be a betrayal since there is no way to know them We witness their public behaviors and crafted conscious or otherwise personas but have little encounter with the reality of the complexities of their selves and if we do it is run through the sieve of our own distortions of memories and prejudices in part constructed to balance our own personas reflected through that of others Remake is then a remake of CBR's life by CBR?Tess from an early age is abandoned by her father and emotionally abandoned by her mother who like Tess is often mostly elsewhere Early on Tess learned well how to deal with the uninteresting world from this vantage point by acuiescing or abandoning herself owned by everyone and no one when having to be here rather than elsewhere It didn't matter It didn't make sense Her address zip code was elsewhere Here she felt protected and did not cower in any fear of being swallowed upMarried once but the distant relationship ended in divorce Over many years she worked during WWI in the WAAF where secret German information was decoded helping the war effort greatly when inner politics did not get in the way and secretiveness was held as the highest necessity for survival Her success at this job where she was eventually promoted to the rank of officer was fueled by a lack of fuel Due to being withdrawn and elsewhere the war made little sense to her and carried less interest Much could be said for the workings of the world and the trivial values misinformed There was no advantage in working for the drama of the war or individual prestige In the world of elsewhere where Tess carried no Pronoun of self it provided no intrigue or reward She did her job as it was presented to herThe Old woman narrator carries not even a name In an Ouilipian sense this no Pronoun demands of CBR she demands of herself to have to deepen her thought of and creative implementation of her writing Further the Pronoun acts as a substitution a simulation discarding avoiding the reality of the many selves of the subject blotted out by the Pronoun selves in profusions of conflict with each other The Pronoun promotes the looking away from the complexities of an object a person a self reducing it to something easily digestible with no need to search any deeper than the sheerness of the immediate veneer Although language may be a set of symbols removed by a step from the reality of what it attempts to symbolize the removal of the Pronoun may also create a structure to explore what is and what is not fictional about ourselves to ourselves as well as an invitation of investigation of what lies beyond language itselfA five star book losing a star due to; pairing together the decimation of her marriage with news of the war funny and crafty at first but soon to become old and the great length of the work spent on the years in WAAF and its many details It could be argued that the time spent here underscored the development of Tess The Old Woman CBR ? as someone whose character was infiltrated daily by the necessary skills of decoding what was between lines and words patterns unseen at first but never the less there and the explicit need and value of secrecyThough there are signs of a gaining sense of independence in affairs participated in during her 22 year unmarried relationship with Janek his greater dependence on her his insecurities it is not until she ends the relationship and takes off on her own that she separates into who she is with flourishing enjoyment She has already written what would not be accepted in novel form breaking past the comfort of not having to think deeply explore accept a shorthand proclamation and would now continue to do so Commercial interests fame had no locations in elsewhere Their assertion of false values lit no lights or entrenched any unuestioned interestsWhat I hoped for waited for with building suspense generated by yours truly was what motivated this uniue individual form of writing? What was its genesis its goals? The inner battles it rose from? The Pronoun less inner struggles in its myriad variations it incurred Was it how the words came to her and she was the clerk writing down the decoding of a messaged manuscript? Possibly it was no than this was who she became and the vagueness of secrecy was not only her idiom but who she was and could be Tess's origins augmented or possibly poignant CBR's adamant refusal to be steered away from the search for a substantial reality well beyond the treats of accepted conventions While the novels remained out of the public eye her many other publications of criticism and theory earned her well established teaching positions and a financially secure life and position in the academic world of the times However poor little me wanted to know about this interesting style of writing novels the writer of such novels while she was writing them placing meaning beyond the rewards dangled before her So little was said It created not only a hunger for depth in this area but for me it created an imbalance in the book However maybe in her secretive way she has gone into all this in another book If anyone knows about such please let me knowNow it is time for me to return to the lifetime pursuit of decoding myself Without knowing myself how am I to know anyone else? Do anything else of a genuine nature? Remake has fueled this and thus provided than I might have hoped for It is a book that left me sweated soaked drained of self complacency despite the aesthetic pleasures of its writerly skills It provoked thought and what may lay beyond thought Perhaps she should have pushed harder for publication to further spread access to her profound thinking to push against the publishing industry of her time rather than acuiescing to consumerism's wreckage and the unuestioned unexplored domination of white men's rule underlying their insecurities and fears of women's talents strengthsThen there would have been less time for thinking for writing Maybe I want too much from heroes

  5. Nick Nick says:

    Top 5 CB R status cemented If you're looking for CB Rs worth your time do NOT skip this one Astonishing accomplishment

  6. Jonathan Norton Jonathan Norton says:

    CBR's novelistic autobiography of 1996 recreating her life as Theresa Blair Hayley and brekign off to debate directorial points with John an authorial device engaged in debate with the old lady who is constructing Tess' lifeThe first surprise is to realise that all those potted biographies that go born in Geneva educated at Oxford conceal a background of genteel poverty of only just being on the border of the respectable set Mummy had to take her 2 girls back to living in Britain in 1936 after Daddy died and they weren't expecting to get any education past 16 first she had 2 years doing office jobs in Liverpool then joining up in the WAAF getting sent to Bletchley Park because of her knowledge of German The 2 chapters set in BP which include the disappointment of her misguided 1st marriage are superb the affair with an American lawyer is referred back to again in Life End Of ten years later CBRTess is one of the many thousands of ex service men and women to benefit from the new government's generosity with university grants making possible an education she never even thought of in 1939There's a great deal of material that turns up in the novels here as well Serena's sister Stella is clearly Tess' sister Joanne though the relationship is bitter here than in The Middlemen Alfred Hayley of The Dear Deceit is simply reused as Daddy in the remake and we are told that the male narrator of that book was the voice of her 1st wartime husbandI can't remember where I read it but a chapter was cut from this book for publication due to legal problems; I presume that was the one describing her 3rd marriage which isn't mentioned in the final edit at all This is a great journey through the 20th century and a story of broadening consciousness a uiet person slowly finding ways in to the world as the expected roles are broken down around her It has meditations on memory and the fine detail of how it all happened in Britain over the past 100 years

  7. Antonomasia Antonomasia says:

    Margaret Drabble in her introduction to the British edition of Thoughts of Sorts by Georges Perec has this to say about CBR who was a friend of hers I thought the increasing number of CBR fans on GR might be interestedThe text is Drabble's but I'm happy for someone to paste my transcription to a appropriate thread if they like Geneva born Christine Brooke Rose b1923 was certainly highly conscious of the OuLiPo group's presence; she is bilingual lived and taught for many years in Paris and has written novels that deploy a variety of semantic devices More significantly when planning to write a memoir she felt compelled to find an alienating persona She told me this as I recall in 1991 when we were visiting Bletchley Park together that home of codes and crossword puzzle addicts where she had worked during the war with Angus Wilson She said she found it impossible to write simply in the first person She eventually solved this by referring to herself in Remake 1996 as 'the old lady' as well as employing other concealments and replacements and pseudonyms Bletchley Park of course instilled into its workforce a habit of official secrecy that went very deep Although the war occupies only a section of her memoir mental disciplines acuired during it affected her thereafter I remember at the time being puzzled by her inhibition and have much sympathy with it now Deviousness is forced upon us In Life End of published in 2006 she describes the growing afflictions of old age she is no longer the 'old lady' she has become one of the 'OP' the Other People the Old People and her last line is a heroic pun in French 'les jeux de maux sont faits' maux misfortunes rather than mots words

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