Friday, December 24, 2010

Cleaving is Cloven

I did finish listening to Cleaving by Julie Powell. For those who don't know - Cleaving is a memoir in which Julie Powell ruminates on her destructive extra-marital affair while conducting a butchering apprenticeship and random world tour to meat-loving locations.

As I've said I was enjoyably scandalized by Cleaving. I do agree with criticsim that the book is a bit rambling and incoherent though. This might be a result of the publication timeline. The memoir's events end in February 2008 and Julie Powell's blog says she submitted a first draft to her publisher in July 2008. So she must have started writing as the events were happening or had a five minute tea break before jumping on the lap top.

As a result, I think Julie was still a bit confused and emotional about it all.

After all, if I'd written about Year 10 International Nerd Camp in Year 10 I probably would have said: "I am suffering through a tremendous loss, aching over the chasm of continents and seas separating me from my soul-mate in South Africa. My life is halted, and pointless until we meet again."

Writing about it now I would say: "Nerd camp was fun. I had a crush on a South African boy. I never saw him again. He's probably an accountant now."

That's not very grippng is it? Julie Powell's willingness to put it all out there made for an entertaining read.

At the end of the tape there was an interview with Julie who also narrated the book. She said she found narrating Julie and Julia more emotionally difficult than narrating Cleaving. On the other hand, while she was writing Cleaving she would shake uncontrollably at the end of every day. Having heard the whole thing I can understand why.

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