by Fiona Place Print book : Fiction
Publisher's Note to First Edition   (2010-04-25)
Local Consumption Publications is attracted to the novel Cardboard because it is something of a landmark in experimental writing. From a theoretical point of view, it uses semiotic theory to advance a case, in the guise of fiction, for a language-based therapy of anorexia. Anorexia, it seems, is not just a ‘slimmer's disease,’ nor a problem confined to young girls seduced by media propaganda about desirable looks. It is rather a kind of ‘communication disorder’ which therapists can respond to, if they take this book seriously, by equipping patients with the ability to decode the ‘subtexts’ of conversational exchanges. People with anorexia suffer from being bound to literal interpretations of language and, by extension, society. As a work of experimental fiction, it is not so esoteric as to be beyond the grasp of most readers, but the main interest for the critics and readers whose ideas extend beyond the notion of a general humanising function of literature will be the use of poetry as it intersects with the prose narrative, providing a counter-point to the positioning of the narrator, and thus describing the very process of an emerging subjectivity as it dramatically engages with the discourses of psychiatry, medicine and institutional bureaucracy. In this book different languages and points of view engage in a stimulating battle. The narrative is organised around the `self-liberation' of a repressed and distressed young woman, and the culmination is a kind of joyful release. Friendship, trust and intelligence are celebrated—independently of institutional affiliations. The control is good—no lurching into sentimentality. It is a fictional work which deals in a sound manner with a social problem of our times.
The book is back in print under the title Cardboard: A woman left for dead ISBN-10: 1450502024
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