“Fun Home” and aesthetic cohesion (featuring possibly offensive cartoon breasts and implied cartoon cunnilingus)

I’m a bit late to the party on this one, but I’m certainly glad I picked up Fun Home. It had been on my radar for a while, but I had managed to miss picking up a copy, which was rectified via a loan from a friend who was also borrowing it from a friend, (thank you, Megan and Zeke) and so, while we might be clogging up Alison Bechtel’s revenue stream, (although only temporarily, since I plan to get a copy myself when it comes time to re-read) we are definitely supportive in our evangelical zeal to share this thing with the people around us (and in my third parenthetical address of this sentence, I urge you to buy and read this book). Fun Home is a quick but rewarding read, another creation of one of those singular minds that both impress and intimidate me in their ability to not only create simultaneously detailed literary work and vivid visual artistic representation, but to take full advantage of the fact that the same mind is responsible for both and to create that kind of self-like resonance between the two that I always associate with siblings who harmonize their genetically and environmentally similar voices together especially well.

It’s a fantastic book that regales us with a strong sense of story and idea, Bechtel shaping her life via literary devices and narrative structures pulled from the literary canon. The art is simple and perfectly suited to the material, intensely personal. The plot progresses inevitably and perfectly, never leaving us hanging unsupported or jarred and always marching to the foretold conclusion. It’s a simple family story told with the nuance and gradations of impossibly complex reality.

Recommendation: Read this book, unless you are offended by cartoon depictions of breasts and insinuated cunnilingus, like some shithead freshman at Duke apparently is.


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