Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"Humiliation" by Wayne Koestenbaum

ISBN: 978-0-312-42922-5 A Picador Paperback Original

“Humiliation” by Wayne Koestenbaum (A Picador Paperback)

 I don’t have many, but the few humiliations that I went through in my life I have totally erased them, except I do remember, but it’s so deep into my consciousness, it’s like a ghost thought.  On the other hand, Wayne Koestenbaum faces up to his humiliations as well as pointing out other artists and public figures who experienced the terribleness of being exposed to the most fearful humiliation possible.  I’m a fan of Koestenbaum’s writing, which is everywhere on the map of literature.  His shot Penguin biography on Andy Warhol, is one of the best books on that subject matter, and I also enjoyed his essays focusing on the 1980s.   “Humiliation” maybe his best book, because it is something that we all can share with - that feeling or point of time, when the unmentionable happens and how we deal with it. 

WIth the subject matter of Humiliation, Koestenbaum finds the perfect personalities to accompany that pain. Michael Jackson (great take on him), Jean Genet, Liza Minnelli, Alec Baldwin, and of course, himself.  As I read this book, I feel a tinge of pain.  That, comes with the territory.  Superb book. 

- Tosh Berman

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