Never before have I read a book quite like BLUETS by MAGGIE NELSON. I finished it yesterday on the plane as I was seated in 10D, a window seat, which allowed me to look out the window at the clouds encased by blue. And in that moment, in reading passage 168, I understood Nelson's reference of words attributed to Cézanne: '"If I paint all the little blues and all the little browns, I capture and convey his glance," he said of painting a man's face."
So to paint clouds, I don't need to paint them. Just the blue that surrounds them.
I don't want you to think this book is only about a dreamy sky and puffy clouds and cliches that filter reality. She actually detests cliches and the stupidity of sentiments like "We're only given as much as the heart can endure." And the rage that is felt when sentences such as that one is said to a person who is becoming a quadriplegic. Find a different sentence, or no sentence at all, for fuck sake.
The book is about Nelson's ideas about pain, writing, fucking (as opposed to love-making), love-making (as opposed to fucking), writing, not writing (while talking about writing), and more. It's philosophy. Poetry. Prose. It's five pages shy of 100 pages where every page, every paragraph, every sentence, every word, every syllable intersects with shades of blue, and how in those intersections we are able to honestly ponder the things we know but hesitate in discussing lest they become diluted from the point pondering to pronouncing.From this point forth, I know that among things I am, I am also without a doubt, a Bluet.