Review | The Somniloquist...profoundly moving...
The Somniloquist comprises live recordings of Swans/Angels of Light/Body Lovers prima mobile M.Gira reading his short stories. Some of these are from The Consumer, a collection of his prose from the 80's and 90's, while the rest are of more recent vintage.
All are of consistently high literary quality: meticulously, impeccably crafted language; profoundly moving, revelatory subjects addressed. At its core, Gira's prose breaks the circumstances of life, the mechanics of living, down to their constituent parts,, exaggerates those elements to the Nth power, then looks at the underlying elements which emerge: hard truths most of us would prefer not to consider. Some of his images are pointedly horrific Â shock treatment to allow us to view the commonplace with fresh, more acute vision. Perhaps even scarier is the sacredness revealed thereby, holiness we overlook or reject as a matter of course.
The plots here mainly hinge on relationships: between lovers; TV to its audience, to the people objectified via their stardom in the medium; men in prison; employer to employee and vice versa. Issues that are usually unconscious, that are taken for granted,. We are shown how all the above involve sexual attraction, power structures, the need for submission and/or domination. Concepts that are an implicit undercurrent in a lot of the above are enacted to extreme but logical ends, typically with grotesque results.
The ultimate impact is to force us to think through our underlying motivations and consequences of our reflexive, socially sanctioned behavior, to become self aware of our surroundings and our effect on them, and our own lives. Of our own bodies and minds and their workings from second to second. And if that doesnÂ¹t put immense power in your hands, fucking nothing will.