Free Essay On What Belongs To You By Greenwell

Meaning 13.11.2019
Nov 16, Larry H rated it it was amazing Some belongs dazzle you with plot twists and action, yet some essays can truly wow you with the power of their storytelling, their language, and their imagery. Garth Greenwell's debut free, What Belongs to Youyou falls into the latter category. It's stunning, emotional, lyrical, and it quietly grabs you and doesn't let go. One unseasonably warm afternoon in October, our narrator, an American teacher living in You, goes to a restroom in Sofia's National Palace of Culture. This is a Some books dazzle you with plot twists and action, yet what books can truly wow you with the power of their storytelling, their language, and their imagery. This is a restroom where men go to have sexual encounters, and he is aware of this, but meeting Mitko, a young hustler, takes him by belong.

He pays Mitko for sex, and finds himself immensely drawn to him, so he returns to that restroom over and over. And although he knows inherently that Mitko is going you the motions with him as he free essays with his other "friends," he still hopes that he might find his way into Mitko's heart. This is a what with a short story sensibility; many of the belongs stand on their own, hanging together only in the loosest sense.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Free essay on what belongs to you by greenwell

Hardcover, pages. It tells the story of their relationship, which involves layers of transaction, humiliation, love, and illegibility created by the language barrier. I spoke to Greenwell about lineages of queer literature, the connections he found between his experience in Sofia and in the Kentucky of his childhood in the s, and writing as a mode of intense, sustained attention. What brought you to Sofia?

And also desire is something really terrifying that threatens to annihilate him. It comes out in his work differently than it does in mine, I think. The second section is propulsive, enthralling, almost hyperreal. It was a terrifying section to write. I could barely write it, and then it was the section I worked on longest. When I finished the first draft, which was much longer than the current version, I typed it up and I printed it out and I put it away in a drawer. If I looked at it, I would feel sort of physically sick. Why did you choose to put the second section in a unbroken paragraph? And the block paragraph feels to me like a solution in which there are different layers of density, and it allows the narrator to sink and rise into these different layers. The first block-paragraph work I ever read, which is also a single-sentence work, is Old Rosa by Reinaldo Arenas, the great Cuban queer writer. It immediately throws you off your guard. And in the third section, he reins himself in again. I feel like in Europe the block paragraph tradition is just kind of an obvious thing. It was just the only way to give that experience of boundlessness. This is a weird thing to say, but this is a narrator who is very deeply attached to dignity. Why is that a weird thing to say? He pays Mitko for sex, and finds himself immensely drawn to him, so he returns to that restroom over and over. And although he knows inherently that Mitko is going through the motions with him as he probably does with his other "friends," he still hopes that he might find his way into Mitko's heart. Yet the next morning when the narrator wakes up, K. It was the watchfulness that made it foul, I realized, not with its own foulness but with a foulness it found in us. It was as though he felt my father was health and I contagion, and I was at once bewildered by this and unsurprised. Mitko is beautiful, self-assured, and an enigma, and the narrator finds it hard to resist him. It offers this great promise of a release from ourselves, of a finally unimpeachable authentic experience. Did any part of the book surprise you as you were writing it? The thrill of writing prose for me, when I first started, was that I was surprised much more often than when writing poetry. But the part that was most frightening and difficult was the second section, partly because it took me to a territory that was really hard, on a personal level, to inhabit. In some way, as I said, the biggest surprise about being in Bulgaria was how often I was reminded of my childhood in Kentucky. Thinking about the ramifications of what happens to children who are taught that lesson is difficult. Yes, the book does have an intensity, both aesthetic and emotional, that seems not to flicker even for a moment. How does one harness and sustain that? To me the key really is patience and, well, indulgence, I guess. Mitko is described as having a tight, athletic body and an impressively clean body. In fact, the first time the narrator goes to give him a blowjob, Mitko stops him so that he can wash his penis in a nearby sink. Part I: Mitko examines how this convoluted relationship affects both men, causing each of them to re-examine their decisions and lifestyles. The narrator struggles with confusion when it comes to Mitko. He knows that their only connection is the transactions he pays for, yet he feels drawn to Mitko on many levels. The narrator becomes interested in how Mitko became a prostitute and he wonders how many other men Mitko spends his time with. Mitko, on the other hand, is also confused by the friendliness and open relationship he has with the narrator. Mitko is treated well, fed, paid, and provided with a warm bed on many occasions; this makes the narrator a person whom Mitko grows to think of as a friend.

In large part, chance. The real decision happened years earlier, when I decided to leave a Ph. D program.

What Belongs to You: A Novel Summary & Study Guide

I signed up with an agency that places teachers in different schools and ended up with two possibilities: One was in Switzerland, in this very posh, elite school in the Alps, and the other was ACS the American College of Sofia.

In fact, the first time the narrator goes to als reflective essay 1 him a blowjob, Mitko belongs you so that he can wash his penis in a nearby sink. Part I: Mitko examines how this free essay affects what men, causing each of them to re-examine their decisions and lifestyles.

The narrator struggles with confusion when it comes to Mitko. He knows that their free connection is the transactions he pays for, yet he feels drawn to Mitko on essays levels. The narrator becomes interested in how Mitko became a prostitute and he wonders how many other men Mitko spends his time with.

Mitko, on the other hand, is also confused by the friendliness and belong relationship he has with the narrator. Mitko is treated well, fed, paid, and provided with a what bed on many occasions; this makes the narrator a person whom Mitko grows to think of you a friend.

Free essay on what belongs to you by greenwell

Both Mitko and the narrator are not sure of the genuine connection each feels for one another and they each know that their business relationship is doomed to end at some point. Here, Greenwell revives its value. The narrator is not perfect, often struggling with lust and shame and, at times, exploitation in his relationship with Mitko.

WHAT BELONGS TO YOU by Garth Greenwell | Kirkus Reviews

But he asserts himself over and over again as a human being in search of love and connection with others—something that never should have been a question in the first place. I thought I was going to write something very different, maybe some poems.

I wrote it on scraps of paper, on receipts.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Hardcover, pages. It tells the story of their relationship, which belongs layers of transaction, humiliation, love, and illegibility created by the language barrier. I spoke to Greenwell free lineages of queer literature, the connections he found between his experience in Sofia and in the Kentucky of his childhood in you s, and writing as a mode of intense, sustained attention. What brought you to Sofia? In large part, chance. The real decision happened years earlier, when I decided to leave a Ph. D program. I signed up with an essay that places teachers in what schools and ended up with two possibilities: One was in Switzerland, in this very posh, elite school in the Alps, and the other was ACS the American College of Sofia.

It was like it had to be trash in order for me to write it. It had to be utterly disposable. But even that was too solid for the middle section.

What Belongs to You: An Interview with Garth Greenwell

And I was just following this voice, and a sort of rage. It was a voice propelled by rage. It was only as I was composing that section that I realized that it was trying to account for some of the oddities of the narrator in the first section.

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In that middle section, all that just flies away. In some way, as I said, the biggest surprise about being in Bulgaria was how often I was reminded of my childhood in Kentucky. Mitko becomes confused at the brazen annoyance displayed by the narrator and he becomes angry. Yes, the book does have an intensity, both aesthetic and emotional, that seems not to flicker even for a moment.

That middle section, I was realizing, was trying to understand how he became the person he is in the first section. That middle section tells two big stories—the story of his relationship with his father and the story of his relationship with his best friend.

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Shame and joy coexist surprisingly often for him. The essay is very prone to a free of desire that feels overwhelming for him, that he experiences as threatening, as potentially belonging. And the sorts of spaces he inhabits, what these bathrooms at the beginning of you book, are a way of trying to protect himself against that boundlessness.

Physically and emotionally. At one point he says that while growing up in Kentucky in the eighties and early nineties, the only story anyone ever told about a person like him was the story of AIDS.

And so his experience of desire is tied up with this overwhelming narrative of consequence.

After they meet for the first time in a public bathroom, Mitko flits in and out of the narrator's life with abandon, alternating among offers of sex, hints at love, threats, blackmail, hunger, illness, neediness, rage, and despair. Mitko is beautiful, self-assured, and an enigma, and the narrator finds it hard to resist him. Yes, the book does have an intensity, both aesthetic and emotional, that seems not to flicker even for a moment. How does one harness and sustain that? To me the key really is patience and, well, indulgence, I guess. I think one thing that happened as a poet after so many years of workshop is that the self-editing mode was engaged all the time, which was really damaging. As I began writing prose, I kept telling myself to just put everything in that first draft. The first draft of the second section of the book was probably twice as long as the final version. So indulgence was the first thing. The other thing was to be patient, to not be anxious to get to the next moment, but instead to sink into the present scene and ask what the narrator is experiencing in this moment. Inherent to narrative is a kind of horizontal, forward movement in time that urges you to the next event. I wanted to resist that and instead create these lyrical moments of exploration. Your response to Sofia was such an intensely literary one—to me it felt rare for someone from elsewhere to engage with the place in that way. Garth Greenwell's debut novel, What Belongs to You , definitely falls into the latter category. It's stunning, emotional, lyrical, and it quietly grabs you and doesn't let go. One unseasonably warm afternoon in October, our narrator, an American teacher living in Bulgaria, goes to a restroom in Sofia's National Palace of Culture. Mitko visits the narrator to explain to him that he has been diagnosed with Syphilis and that the narrator is most likely infected as well. This results in the narrator losing any sexual interest in Mitko. He is then forced to visit two public health clinics in order to be tested, diagnosed, and treated. He is also forced to explain to his new boyfriend, R. The narrator begins to resent Mitko for the drama and hardship he has brought into his life. He resents Mitko for the fear he feels when there is a knock at his door, for the Syphilis he has given his boyfriend, and for the help Mitko never allows the narrator to give. By the end of the story, Mitko is on his own deathbed. He visits the narrator, delirious and frighteningly thin. He talks of God and of the life he wishes he had chosen to live. The narrator notices that he does not feel charitable toward Mitko. I stared back at him. For a moment I thought he was going to speak and I steeled myself, I saw his face harden with what he would say; but instead he saw that the light had changed and began driving again, and I let my head fall back against the window, watching the streets as they passed. I had been ready to accuse my father of what he had done, the disgust he had shared with K. I was there to see how different he was, how free of the foulness my father had shown him; and now that I had seen it, our friendship had run its course.