Thursday, June 27, 2013
Song of George: Portrait of an Unlikely Holy Man by Jesse S. Hanson
Toggling between the believable and illusory is what by and large made this work as intriguing in all of its opaqueness. The shorts written in clipped (often painful) broken dialogue to project the prisoner's voice was affecting. Reading the next page over, or paragraph down about a dream or nightmare jostled my psyche a bit too, though this didn't make the tales, even those left unfinished to those who out-right admitted they weren't telling the truth, any less daunting, or how about any less influencing. I did, however, have to keep reminding myself I was reading fiction, or was I?
The interviewers (in the story) really play on the senses too. Being an integral "professional" element to the story, and in the way they too were swept up into the illusions proved enigmatically convincing, of which playing on all of this, and at the very heart of this story is the largest mystery--George.
If this all sounds confusing, it was... to the contrary of an engaging tale, hygienically in some respects, being easy to follow. *Oh, here is where I forgot to add,* ...this is a story about convicted felons held in mental prisons sharing, in fragments (straightforward for some, and not so straightforward for others) their stories to three men conducting a research project "...to support the advancement of science, as it applies to the treatment of prisoners and the implementation of prison policies.”
'What's the price of insanity?' proved to be a staple point of the story. The way that incident played out best explains what I'm describing here. Yes, I did get it, and still this is an illusion best explained by first hand experience. In other words, you must read the story for yourself.
Those engaged in the social sciences especially may want to check out Song of George. And certainly if you're looking for astounding poetry, or evocative philosophical quotes, then this here is your book!