Reading Brooke Shields: The Garden of Failure
This dialogue about depression and culture constitutes Canadian author Eldon Garnet's "confessions" as a failed cultural critic who, after writing all his life, is faced once again with the desire. Awakened from semiretirement by a magazine commission on Brooke Shields, an icon of virginal perfection, Garnet has his narrator weave a dark tale of professionalism, the abyss of failure that remains when the fifteen minutes of fame have long since dried up. The "subject" of the narrative, Brooke Shields, becomes an untouchable, idealized figure in a world of personalities and faces. It is through the very absence and untouchability of this fetishized celebrity icon that Garnet describes the vicissitudes of his narrator's decline. Sinister, comical, and profound, Garnet's novel is a work of cultural politics and radical honesty.
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