Inventing the Self


November 5th, 2013 by Samantha Gamble · 3 Comments

When I read autobiographies, I often try to find a connection to the character. I try to figure out in what ways is this individual or the situations that they have faced similar to my own autobiography. In Matias Viegener’s book, it was difficult to find anything that I felt connected to.

The only theme in Viegener’s book that was familiar was love. When he wrote “At the time, everything about you was about me too. I couldn’t keep them separated. When you weren’t feeling well, I felt it too. If you were angry at me, I was angry at me too.” I think almost everyone knows the feeling of being deeply in love.

Miller states that “identification can also mean the desire to rediscover yourself across the body or under the skin of other selves, people who are nothing—seem nothing—like yourself, to time travel, to get away, to take a much needed vacation from….you” (13). In this way I can see the identification in disidentification. Although I did not have any of the same experiences as Viegener, I found his book very intriguing. I wanted to know more about the “you” he was referring to and the relationship between him and “you.”

Tags: Uncategorized

3 responses so far ↓

  • Jason Tougaw (he/him/his) // Nov 6th 2013 at 9:01 am

    Interestingly, Viegener is now working on a series of lists of “25 Things about You.” Did you notice how toward the end, he mentioned a couple of times that he was tired of writing about “me” and wanted to write about “you”?

    By “you,” I think he means various other people–and possibly the world in general. So far the new lists seem to be “about” individuals, though it’s not always clear who those individuals are.

  • Yitian Liao // Nov 6th 2013 at 11:47 am

    I picked the same sentence from Miller, I think it is very true when I read the 2500 things.
    Even though things Viegener writes are random, it is still so difficult for people actually write down 2500 of them. IT’S TWO THOUSAND AND FIVE HUNDRED. For me, I can only write up 25 for a day, and rest of them have to be a “self-discovery” journey. You said “it was difficult to find anything that I felt connected do”, I have the same feeling when I read him. I think behind that, there is also a self-discovery process conducted. The feeling of “not like him” helps me understand “me” more. Something he mentioned but I was not thinking before now becomes a new question for me to think.

  • Kristina Bodetti // Nov 6th 2013 at 12:53 pm

    I agree that the style of the book made it difficult to connect to the book but at the same time made it very interesting.
    Some of the things Viegener say, like the line you picked out are a lot deeper and more profound then you’d expect to find from a facebook list.

Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message
Skip to toolbar