Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Jan Peck Biography - Personal to David Randall (1972–) Biography - Personal » Kathrin Perutz Biography - Kathrin Perutz comments:

Kathrin Perutz Biography - Kathrin Perutz Comments:

book marriage tried america

(1972) The only general theme (or background) of my books is America. Mother Is a Country is a direct parody of certain American dreams (the acquisition of power and the desire to become a commodity); A House on the Sound charts the distance from reality to where rich liberals have their camp. Beyond the Looking Glass, a nonfiction book often fictionalized, examines preoccupation with appearance in America, where people have the hope of seeming what they have not yet become, and where self-knowledge is replaced by concern over minutiae of deception.

My first three novels also concern sub-rosa relationships, the area of self that is undeveloped or suppressed. The Garden presents a love affair between two girls, not lesbian (both girls are young and boy-crazy), but of an essential intensity to contradict fears of not existing. A House on the Sound shows different manifestations of embryonic love—homosexuality, incest, masochism—never acknowledged by the characters. The two main characters of The Ghosts have not reconciled themselves to the sexual roles, male and female, they are supposed to play, and often parody or pervert these roles.

But mainly, each book has been my attempt to learn more of the craft. The first was a simple diary; the second tried, in six hours, to cut through time past and present, more similar to movie techniques than traditional flashbacks. The third book tried to give a sense of development, over the space of a year. The fourth, a satire, was deliberately "surface," a board game played over true but generalized emotions. My fifth book presented problems of journalism, in organization of material, tone, pace, and the creation of a personal, but abstracted, narrator.

(1976) My last book, Marriage Is Hell, is an essay on the institution of marriage as it exists today in the West, particularly in America. It deals with the anachronism of marriage, its false expectations, its imprisonment of personality and distortion of both privacy and personal liberty. The book, which is strongly opinionated, attacks marriage from many perspectives—legal, historical, anthropological, sexual—and then goes on to suggest reform and finally a turning that will make marriage possible again. I consciously tried to keep the style loose and colloquial, the better to let readers argue with me, and literary experiment is superseded in this book by political, or pragmatic, aims.

* * *

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or