Post Number: 473
|Posted on Friday, May 25, 2007 - 07:23 pm: |
I've read a few books since the end of the semester, not all of them were good. Anyway, I just finished My Life of Absurdity: The Autobiography of Chester Himes. My Life of Ansurdity is the second book of Chester Himes autobiography, and its one he should have kept to himself. As much as I love his books, I'm afraid I'm going to have to cut the hell out of him for this one.
The book should have been more aptly titled: My Life Is Not As Absurd As You Are For Buying This Book. If Himes was alive today, I would cuss him out for this book. All Himes told me, he could have done in two pages (front and back) and been done with it:
1.) I don't like black people, including myself.
2.) I don't like America, nevermind the fact that I should be famous and worshipped in America. I don't like America because of its racism, for not hailing me as a literary hero (even though I live in Europe).
3.) I don't like myself, and am pissed at all of you who don't find me fascinating.
4.) I write books for the money, yet I don't tend to the business of selling books because its beneath me, but I want you to buy my books because I'm broke.
Himes could have said all of this on the back cover of his book, I would have read it and put it back on the shelf, but damn, I would have had more respect for him. Himes spent 3/4 of the book telling me where he went, who he saw, and what he ate! Nothing to justify an autobiography. I kept reading for the hopes that I would at least get one or two chapters on the making of the movie, Cotton Comes To Harlem, or even some insight into where the movie Come Back Charleston Blue (Am I showing my age or what? BTW, if anyone got a copy of that soundtrack PLEASE let me know I want a copy!) came from, foolish thoughts on my part I assure you.
Forget the famous people he met. There is no insight on them. I guess I was wanting SOMETHING of substance. It's not there. I read more about the trouble he had with a 1957 (?) Volkswagon and his wife's cat Groit (who loved riding in cars) than I did about Wright, Baldwin, or even what he thought of the Civil Rights Movement, which by the way he did not mention AT ALL! I'm still stunned over that one! He's the black man who hates racism so bad that he goes to live in France to escape it, and when the social movement starts and happens in the US, not only is he AWOL, he did not give it a single solitary THOUGHT!? Wright has an excuse, he was dead. Himes...well not so much.
So My Life of Absurdity...all I can say is: Himes, no truer words have you spoken.