Sunday, December 9, 2012

Silence Is Multicolored in My World

Silence is Multicolored in My World

by Red Haircrow


This is an unusual, somewhat mysterious book, but well worth reading.

First, it's not a novel. It's a collection of first person essays, maybe originally blog posts, about an unnamed young man, collected and edited by his partner, after his death at the age of 31. Nothing is stated outright, there are only vague hints. Here's what we know about him: profoundly deaf at a young age due to illness, he escaped the horrors of a Russian orphanage and ended up turning tricks on the street as a teen. An older foreign man bought his freedom, and brought him to Berlin, where he settled. His rescuer was first his friend, then his lover, and eventually his legal husband. We never find out how he died, it's only mentioned in passing in the foreword.

The book is divided into sections, with essays on various topics. The first section talks about his deafness in a very moving, poetic way. I found it super devvy! Especially the chapter where he describes going to a concert to feel the vibrations of the music. The descriptions of his daily life in a country house are also quite beautiful. Later sections give his opinions on homophobia, sex abuse, and gay culture. He describes trips to the US, and comments on American and German culture. The essays are refreshingly outspoken and personal. It's obvious too that English is not his first language, but I found the unusual word choice poetic, creative, and thought-provoking, not at all an impediment to understanding.

In all, he comes across as a fascinating, deeply sympathetic person. Reading through what in many ways feels like his private diary is moving but also slightly unsettling, because it is so personal, and in the end we know so little about him. Ironically, many of the later essays talk about his need for privacy. But in printing his thoughts, this book invites more questions about who he was and how he died. I would have liked at least a little more solid information.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for taking the time to read and review the biography I wrote about my friend.

    Regarding your expression, specific details such as his name and how he died could easily lead any reader to be able to recognize his surviving partner as well as other close friends, which would compromise our personal privacy.

    Again, however, I greatly appreciate both your review and the theme of your page.