How to Read this Book
“Never trust the teller, trust the tale”
Study epistemic rhetoric.
I warn you that this is not an easy book to read, not because the language is difficult, but because it requires you to search deep inside yourself and find emotions that you may not realize you have had. There are some parts of this book that can be read out of order. For example, but I highly suggest that you read the book from front to back. After you have read it cover-to-cover, you can re-read this with any of these processes: by randomness, by decoding, or by skipping sections. You will not be able to see the light if you cannot see the dark. This book is not published for money, but for understanding. If you do not seek understanding; if you cannot bear to read what is necessary before going on to that which is less taxing on your nerves, then do not read this book, for it is not written for you. I do not want this book to be treated as Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was treated in classrooms:
“High school teachers and college professors who discussed this book in thousands of classrooms over the years tend to do so in terms of Freud, Jung, and Nietsche; of classical myth, Victorian innocence, and original sin; of postmodernism, postcolonialism, and poststructuralism. European and American readers, not comfortable acknowledging the genocidal scale of the killing in Africa at the turn of the century, have cast Heart of Darkness loose from its historical moorings. We read it as a parable for all times and places, not as a book about one time and place. Two of the three times the story was filmed, most notably in Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now [sic], it was not even set in Africa. But Conrad himself wrote, ‘Heart of Darkness is experience…pushed a little (and only very little) beyond the actual facts of the case.’ Whatever the rich levels of meaning the book has as literature, for our purposes what is notable is how precise and detailed a description it is of ‘the actual facts of the case’” (Hochschild 143).
Read this book with care. You hold in your hands not a book, but a life. It may be difficult to read, as life is difficult to read, or as War and Peace is difficult to read. The more there are explanations, the more there are questions. In this book I have attempted to condense an entire life or at least the bildungsroman part of my life. I have learned that America is not the only culture, and I prefer to take a writer-oriented Chinese approach to writing, meaning that I do not assume that readers are lazy, as American writers have been taught to assume. I also know that in 2003, the total number of languages in the world was estimated to be 6,809. Out of that, 46 languages have just a single speaker. I warn you that it will be more difficult to read just because you will have to learn to read with my idiolect. I have elongated a few sections in order to prove the authority I have to say what I do (See “Rebirth,” “Credentials,” “The Goth Culture,” and “Me: My Great Depression”). I am a deconstructionist—the reader is not forced to decide on a meaning—the ambiguity is an intrinsic value of the text. I am also a New Critic—the reader is not supposed to have outside word from the author, so do not ask me if you meet me in person. This is because it fits my value of individuality. Keep this in mind when you read: No character is a villain or protagonist. If anyone dares to hate anyone in this book who I may not have presented in a positive manner, if anyone dares to lay a hand on anybody in this book by justifying that I had presented him or her in a negative manner, may a curse be upon you.
- Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold’s Ghost. New York: Houghton-Mifflin Company, 1998. 143.
- Sex Offenders and the Swamp (thejoyvictory.com)