I’ve been meaning to write some book thoughts on Anne Garretta’s amazing book Not One Day since I finished it, last month. However, I had been finding it quite difficult to find the right words to express the many thoughts that came through my head as I read it. What I can say with most certainty is that through out the whole book I found myself stopping and rereading parts out loud because they were just too delicious not to hear. The way Garreta writes amazes me. Now, I know this is a translation but I am comforted to know that Garreta worked with Emma Ramadan to translate it from the French to English. I find comfort in this because the way Garreta’s sentences are constructed and the way she elaborates on her desire are as close to what Garreta intended in its original French. In all, I was very seduced by the words.
But let me tell you what this short book is about…
A non-fiction confessional exploration on desire as Garreta thinks back on past lovers and flings. An exploration, where she contraints herself to write for five hours everyday for a month about a woman from her past, then setting them in alphabetical order. Written in second-person, my personal favorite perspective when done right, and with such breath taking sentences where you find yourself being seduced by them. This book was an experience for me, and since I’ve finished it, I have been coming back to it for inspiration.
Reading this book made me think a lot about the lost art of seduction and the patience it takes to fully enrapture oneself with the thrill of desire. Now we have dating apps that do all the work for us. The rules of seduction have been cut down to whether or not one swipes left or right, without ever even speaking to the person whose photo you are looking at. Most of the time, this book made me feel nostalgia for a more romantic time, not romantic in the sense of “finding the ONE” but romantic in terms of finding a connection with someone through glances and conversation. Garreta even touches on the attraction of conversation in this book as well, being attracted to one’s personality and/or intellectual. That stuff may sound cliche but I have experienced it as well, many times, so I know it to be true. How someone moves or speak and what is said can most definitely fuel the desire.
This tiny book isn’t a novel or whatnot but a writing exercise the writer has chosen to share with us. One where we can learn a lot from. I am a huge fan of unconventional and experimental and this tiny book made me an avid fan of Anne Garreta. Yep, I’ll be reading Sphinx, next.
Let me know if you’ve read this and what you’re thoughts are, I’d love to converse about it. 🙂