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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

CHRONOLOGY OF WATER by Lidia Yuknavitch

The central metaphors in this book concern swimming and water: swimming in lakes, rivers, quarries, pools. Swimming for fun, to win, just to stay alive. And water sometimes comforts the body and sometimes threatens it, can lead to ecstasy and to profound degeneration.

"You can tell a lot about a person from seeing them in the water. Some people freak out and spaz their way around like giant insects, others slide in like seals, turn over, dive down, effortlessly. Some people kind of tread water with big goofy smiles, others look slightly broken-armed and broken-legged or as if they are in some kind of serious pain." (99)

You can tell a lot about Lidia when you realize that, based on what she says in other parts of the book, she probably finds all these swimmers beautiful.

The book tracks Lidia as far underwater — in the bad way — as a person can go. Then it tracks her surfacing.

To say more would be to give away too many details.

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