Review: The Melancholy of Anatomy

Shelley Jackson’s The Melancholy of Anatomy

I first fell in love with Shelley Jackson when I first came across her hypertext: The Doll Games, her surrealist exploration of the grotesque and the sexual hit a level of writing that I was keen myself to explore. The Doll Games enthralled me, as did the author’s intent of playing with dark subject matter, displaying it as a wide open narrative for to journey with her through the dissection on her topic of interest.

The Melancholy of Anatomy is by sure written in the same grotesque, blunt and naked mannerism. The effervescence used in Jackson’s descriptions are liberating, they impress and intrigue and surely do brand the memory. She is a true surrealist and true maniac of horror, of course of the genius and brilliant variety.

Despite this, I found this novel difficult to complete, now I hold this down to my own lack of understanding in this genre, it is not one I know how to read and one I cannot even fathom to write. There are things here that I found difficult to interpret quite was Jackson was attempting to portray. I think the longevity to Jackson’s description and the wild free flowing hard and fast temp to her tangents have lost me and I tried to intercept the pages and when I cannot engage with the metaphor or subject matter beneath, I find it hard to keep my attention in the book.

This does not diminish my love of the author’s creative and genre defying use of language and exploration. this is an author that truly inhabits the world of both writer and artist and I am upset that I points I was not able to follow with this one quite the paths she was enjoying. Though I encourage the book is well worth a look into, both for those that will enjoy and interact fully with the text, but also for those who may not, like me, that will still be able to ravish in her eloquent and experimental use of literary technique, the words and the images will roll from your tongue and lead your head into a horizon of sharp and tart provocative enlightenment.


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