Lauren’s Not Lying About Lying

I just realized that chapter one is only two words. I thought it was a dedication, only without the name of whom the book is being dedicated to. The author and narrator Lauren isn’t lying, ironic statement in reference to the memoir’s title; she states, “I exaggerate”(3) and as read so far all we see is a variety of exaggerations, making things appear different than they realistically appear to be. If so far the book is about her lying mother and her first stages of epilepsy, would it be safe to say that the first chapter uses the element of foreshadowing to refer to this?

Lauren states, “from my mother I learned that the truth is bendable”(5). I find this statement to be true in regards to both the story’s mother and daughter. We see Anita lie about her life on numerous occasions. She proclaims to be a “thunder”(18) pianist, a new “house”(14) owner, and a busy painter. While she lies about the carnal things of life, Lauren experiences new “smells”(6) and the sight of “sounds”(7), symptoms usually associated with “epilepsy”(23). Though she may not be consciously making these things up, her mind sure is lying to her.

I like how Lauren describes the “secret world”(9) she enters as “dreamy”(9). She describes what she sees when phasing out into her epileptic states as “beauty [that] lived beneath the supposedly solid surface of things”(9). It was beauty beyond the concrete things we see in the life. A regular air flight turns into a spiritual moment of “getting closer to God, and gold”. She sees beyond what a non epileptic might see.

***This book reminds me of a combination of the other stories we have read so far. “Two Kinds”-the piano playing, Anita’s desire to change her daughter’s life/”The Yellow Wallpaper”-Lauren’s experiencing things the other characters have not/Lolita-like Dolores, Lauren is somewhat of a tomboy***

1 thought on “Lauren’s Not Lying About Lying

  1. I like the connections you have made between this book and the other texts we have read this semester. I also always think of “Two Kinds” in relation to Lauren’s mothers’ expectations of her!

    I hadn’t made the connection between the narrators’ internal (perhaps delusional) states in ‘Lying’ and “The Yellow Wallpaper” … great point!

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