” What a metaphor expresses cannot be said directly or apart from it for if it could be, one would have said it directly. Here, metaphor is a strategy of desperation, not decoration” (169). Lauren expresses her epilepsy in both biological and spiritual explanation. Lauren states ” The biological explanation of my epilepsy is that a small scar formed on the left temporal lobe of my brain; the spiritual explanation is that God, in sculpting me from paste” (169). The only physical explanation is the scar from her surgery. But since Lauren’s surgery she never had any outburst of seizures, just feelings of auras. These auras lead Laura into writing, which took up most of her time to express her feelings for only a brief amount of time. Lauren eventually joined an AA group, were she met new people and convinced them her epilepsy was just like AA.Lauren began to accepted and loved, which is what she desperately longed for. Lauren’s desperation for attention drawn her to be apart of the AA group where she was a decoration instead of an actual member with real alcoholic drinking problems. Even though Lauren did participate in the AA group she really could not relate to the struggle the rest of the group had problems with. That is why when asked how long she had been sober for she did not know what to say,then questioning even herself why she was there. Lauren used her epilepsy as an excuse to join the AA group but all she wanted was attention.
“I am toying with you, yes, but for a real reason. I am asking you to enter confusion with me, to give up the ground with me, because sometimes that frightening floaty place is really the truest of of all” (163) I feel like this what that the author was trying to convey through section three. She wanted us to feel the same confusion that she was feeling. This whole section to me felt like a very long, intimate, and disconnected section. We no longer see the attachment with her mother since she is hardly mentioned in this section. However, we see her striving for the love and attention of another. It’s like the narrator is trying to feel a void and emptiness inside of her. Through trying to pursue this “love” that she felt for Christopher she became convulsive. In her attitude and in her writing.
I felt a lot of confusion in this part. Not because i didn’t understand the text, but because I truly felt what the narrator was experiencing and going through. she doesn’t have any rea friends and she doesn’t have her mother or her father around, shes just going on with life. It all felt king of like a haze to me as I read. Which all lead to the confusion. Where is her mother? Why does she feel so careless? and what is with her obsession of pleasing and getting the approval on this older man. It also felt very wrong to read about their relationship since she was so young and he not so much. (reminded me of Lolita.)
“…but you will break ranks. Mark my words. You’ll break literary ranks” (124) Christopher tells this to Jean Lauren and I felt like it became true. The author really does break literary ranks when she publish Lying. Here we have a novel that might fall in between fiction and non-fiction, a novel that uses a metaphorical memoir to convey what she actually feels inside. I feel like whether the a actual events are true or not do not matter. What matters is what a specific person experienced in a specif moment, it might not match reality. However because the person experienced it, it has some truth behind it.
“I have neither Munchausen’s nor epilepsy….fell in love with tall tales” (161) I felt like this one section right here felt like the truth as appose to the other possibilities the author laid out. I just think its so interesting how she acknowledges the fact that she is writing Lying through out the novel. How she can differentiate herself as a narrator. but at the same time create a connection between the narration and the author. “I talked about wanting to someday write a whole book about my epilepsy and my surgery, a book called Lying” (119) Here she connected the narrator from the story line with the author. However, this novel trully is not about her epilepsy or her lying, even though that what she talks the most about. The lying and epilepsy is her way of conveying her real message. One which im still trying to figure out.
This part was…interesting. I believe more than ever that Lauren is lying about the epilepsy, shes so explicit about the fact that shes lying just not about the specifics. She recollects for an entire month’s events then blames the epilepsy for the fact that she cannot remember the next event. I found it interesting that she was so open about the events with Christopher. She says them so nonchalantly like theres nothing wrong with what is happening.
I believe she is very smart. She knows exactly what to do to get what she wants. She provokes seizures to get out of uncomfortable situations and doesnt care about how it makes her look. She reapplied for the writing program under a different name knowing that she would get in. She even made up an age. Everything seems to work out for her; or so she makes it seem. That is, until Christopher enters her life. For the first time she encounters a relationship and it is totally twisted. i think that relationship is a metaphor in itself of how her life goes down the drain when she separates from her mother. Or how she has to find a way to exist successfully without her mother.
I also found interesting the whole Cherry Tree idea. The fact that after she gets the surgery she starts to remember things in episodes is amazing to me. I believe that may have been the way she got epilepsy and her mother doesnt want her to know so she doesnt think of her as a bad mother.
“Voices,” I said.”I hear voices. I hear a woman calling me,” and she was calling me, this woman, standing by a brick house in a long forgotten place.” (140)
I found this to be a symbol of her mother calling out through the illness, what I mean by this is that the voice is what is currently happening to Ann. It was triggered by Dr. Neu “stimulating the brain” by him stimulating the brain it moved Lauren smell to taste then finally visualizing what the illness is triggered by. The visual was finally shown after Dr. Nue started stimulating the visual cortex which Lauren wanted to find out who this woman was which brought her sadness.
“If only Freud could witness this, the material id”(141)
This interested me because Frued was a psychologist who studied unconscious, fixations, defense mechanisms and dream symbolism, you might wonder exactly how these ideas fit in together and what influence they really have on contemporary psychologists. So Dr. Nue is suggesting that Lauren problem was of the psychology issues which suggest that her unconscious is giving clues to the root of the problem by Dr. Nue cannot determine it through physical means but only by mental specialist.
“In the far corner i saw another woman, altogether happier looking, a baby snoozing in a car seat by her side.”(150)
When I read this at first I thought it was another fact that it was Ann but the child was a boy so it was no way that child could of been Lauren. So I continued to look for this woman which brought me up to “After the woman left, though, I felt rage inside of me” which brings me to another state of recognizing it as Lauren is getting angry not finding out who this person is. Then she attempts to force a seizure to try and meet this woman again so she can get to the root of the problem. Well that was all of part 3 reading but now the author is introducing these up and coming woman, maybe one of them is the fable person Lauren is seeking.
Part three the convulsion stage can be summed up by saying that this is Lauren’s Mature state well beginning of maturity after Lauren’s surgery of course.
I don’t believe Lauren as much when she is talking to Dr.Neu about her Auras, as a professional he stated that “of a person who has more auras after a corpus callostomy, and I’ve also never heard of having auras without a seizure following.”(109) Knowing Lauren by now I feel she’s using her Auras as an excuse for the new feelings she’s now experience, and the changes going on in her body. She’s now 17 years old and those tingling feelings are her arousals, sexually. Its kind of odd that Lauren still wants to hold on to her innocence by referring to her vagina as “down there” and “you know where” even though when she was 15 in Acapulco on a vacation David the son of a family friend touched her “sexually” and she enjoyed it. But this part seems to me made up by Lauren just to make us feel that she’s not such a goody too shoes as she comes off to be.
It was cute, the whole Christopher Martin Phase, if that even is his real name because Lauren doesn’t really give it to us as fact but a mere play on words. Lauren’s sexual desires sparked with Christopher, just the mere sight of him gave her ‘tingling’ feelings all through her body. I don’t know if what Christopher did to Lauren in page 130 would be considered rape or just Lauren hesitating on something she truly wanted or just wanted to get over with. Her reaction to having sex with Christopher Lauren wouldn’t even let him near her which Is strange. yet she allowed herself to be in a relationship with a man that will never love her, that is only using her because he’s connected to her words. Lauren reminds me of Lolita in a way, seeking sexual satisfaction yet knowing that with the person they are with it can never be achieved because they are over reaching something that can never be obtained. I don’t know if Lauren loves Christopher but in fact loves the feeling he gives her a feeling she doesn’t yet understand and still calls them Auras. I don’t find it odd that Christopher left Lauren after he found out about her epilepsy. But its kind of sad that after all the things that Christopher and Lauren did together she in fact was left with just being one of many women in his life.
on a side note I love when the girl called Lauren ” My fathers slut!”(153) Had me in tears laughing!!
“I was falling into whiteness. A terrible silence surrounded me. I wanted to mark the page, but I couldn’t think of a thing to say, or who I was, or even how to spell my name, now that my stories were gone” (164).
When Lauren mentions “falling into whiteness” (164), she is saying that she’s becoming nothing. She no longer has any lies to write down in her notebook and in turn no more stories. She knows she’s a writer; a writer with no stories is nothing. By trying to make herself better and trying to stop lying, she loses who she really is. She may have a habit of lying, but her lies are her stories, and her stories are what make her up.
While Lauren is having a sexual relationship with Christopher Marin, she starts to plagiarize. She does this because she feels that she is not good enough for him and she needs to do anything to “keep him impressed” (152). She wants Christopher to focus on her and not have “a life kept separate” from her (152).
While trying to keep an impossible relationship with Christopher, Lauren loses herself. She is “spiritually bankrupt, a liar, a thief, a plagiarist” (157). She was once again “falling into whiteness” when she started to plagiarize and it is because of this that she has a “real seizure” (157).
It seems as if Lauren is made out to be this perfect liar, the effect of having both epilepsy and a “crave”(101) for attention.
While we already know of her epilepsy, her obsession for attention is officially revealed when realizing she had not been the only one in Dr. Neu’s life; it appears that Dr.Neu has a family. Lauren states, “his world was so wide, I was just a tiny piece”(96). Lauren seems to want to play that special role in someone’s life. She thought Dr.Neu needed her as his forever “patient”(94), which she comes to also think she was the only one in Christopher Marin’s interest. Much to Lauren’s dismay, she comes to find out that Christopher is in support of all his students; it appears while Lauren was in efforts of playing around with Christopher’s flirtatious remarks, she had forgotten “he had other students”(124). That moment was a heads ”down”(124) event for her.
I like how we get this origin of the author through her character in the story. Lauren states, “I talked about wanting to someday write…a book called Lying”(119) based on her life as an epileptic. We as readers get the feel of the start of her writing career as she developed them while at a young stage of life. The main idea that stood out to me was her connection between “epilepsy, auras and creativity”(112). These three elements in Lauren’s life identify the reason to why she speaks with such a metaphoric tongue. Her auras are described as these “feelings and tastes, delights and despairs”(110); all placing her into this “dreamy”(110) world of seeing life as this big metamorphic image. She describes her view from outside her window, “Oranges, blood red and drooping from trees. The delicious scent of burning leaves…”. It’s a big use of metaphor in words and imagery for setting. She states that “it was in an aura that I discovered my creativity”(119).
This whole chapter involves Lauren’s growth. I think the surgery is a metaphor too, that divides Lauren child/innocent before the operation and the more mature 17 year old girl after the surgery. After the surgery her seizures were less, and less intense. Her body matures and she starts with auras, one of then happened while typing that lead to an orgasm “I had an aura that ended in an orgasm”(111). Then we are introduced to her sexual live that began with Christopher. “In my brain there was a gap where Dr. Neu had separated the sides, and in my body there was a gap, barely stitched together rip, and all you had to do was press its seams and it would split..”(132) Lauren compares Christopher and Dr. Neu, who created a hole in Laurens brain, and Christopher who breaks her body.I never thought about it, but what Laurent says its true “ ..only human beings can lie”(133) not verbally speaking, but we are the only race that can fake, feelings emotions.
In the beginning of part three Lauren started to lie. It was very hard to follow her lie and follow her truth. At the conference Lauren made up a lie about her her name. While going to the conference she started to think of name she will go by. ” Jean levy” i said to myself over and over again on the peter pan bus going to bread loaf”(p116). As the reader have know that Lauren is a very good lier and will lie about anything. she was not admit to the conference but still went. she made up a lie just she could go to the conference.
Eventually she went by the name of Jean Levy to impress christopher main. “Did i hear you yesterday, during sign-in, say your name was, was jean levy”(p121). She did wanted to tell the true about her name but did not tell anyone her real name. Lauren feel that she need to lie at the conference to cover her real identify. she was only seventeen when she went to he conference and the age limited was nineteen year old to attend.
She made up several lie while she was at bread loaf conference. One lie after another while she stay there for the summer. Her lies made it harder to believe her story.
“I was seventeen, but matters of sex so embarrassed me that I could only speak of our God-given anatomy in terms like ‘you know where,’ and ‘down there.’ One day, when I was typing a story for an English class, I had an aura that ended in an orgasm. I pressed the Q key, and heat went through me; I pressed the U key, and the heat turned to a sweaty shiver.” Lauren describes anything that relates to sex as embarrassing, yet she says she had an aura that ended in an orgasm. Last class we discussed if Lauren is a reliable person. I don’t think she is lying. Her exaggerations may not have been the exact way something in her life occurred, but I believe that the things she exaggerates are the things that are the most important to her. Just like how the first chapter says “I exaggerate.” Going back to where the book is called a Metaphorical Memoir. This basically just sums up how her exaggerations are similar to comparisons to key events.