What if I finally would start writing a review for Anthony Martignetti book titled “Beloved demons: confessions of an unquiet mind”? I might say that I have never written thoughtful pieces about books I’ve read. But I guess it is a right time to start doing so.
I will start with a little pre-info. C. Anthony Martignetti, PhD, is a writer and psychotherapist with a private practice in Lexington, Massachusetts. Anthony is not well-known author, but he definitely is known by some people. I would love more people to discover his books. Especially that now there is a chance to purchase an e-book which solves problem for most non-American readers.
(that is a print screen I made while watching live stream of Amanda Palmer’s salon)
“The world isn’t created of atoms and molecules, but of stories. Maybe I wanted to create a world. A new one… where I, and we, could be happy and safe.
Making stories from memories… I think it has something to do with looking back and fabricating meaning in events that, at the time, just happened”
(from a touching and powerful story “Sign”)
“Beloved demons: confessions of an unquiet mind” is the second book of Anthony Martignetti. The first one is “Lunatic Heroes: Memories, Lies and Reflections”, I’d like to read it as well, but there are no digital copies.
To be honest I suck at using clever words and making an analyse of a literature. But that book was a profound read for me. Both like an intimate whisper and solid punch in a face. It takes you into a poignant and dark journey deep through the lanes and alleys of a human soul. A soul brave enough to let guests in without cleaning up and hiding certain things.
(it is a video from the release event of the “Beloved demons”, here Neil Gaiman reads an introduction he wrote for the book and Anthony reads the story “Sign“)
Did I say that “Beloved demons” is a memoir? It is a collection of stories which happened to Anthony during his adult years. It is a collection of feelings that fought with each other deep inside of his soul. It is a collection of mind twists and hungry thinking. It is a collection of people Anthony met on his way. It is a collection of things that people usually prefer to hide and pretend they are normal in a way that is acceptable by a society in general.
Thing is that each one of us (no exceptions really) is more complex and twisted from inside than rules of morality let to identify and legalise. We can’t shrink into humanity-approved size without pain. We need to be really gentle to each other. And try to get rid of assumptions and fixed schemes. Otherwise we will continue to breed demons inside of us and inside of our beloved ones.
“She had become human in the worst possible meaning of it. She shrank into life. It was the greatest example I’d ever had that the death is real. She, the mad one… she, who was always and only young… fell under the deflated world… the weight of years… money, marriage, children and cocks gone old and cold”
(from one of my favourite stories “Mad”)
Anthony spills out his feelings, his fears, his thoughts, his regrets, first it’s suffocating. Then you start to give names to your own demons. And reading becomes painful, but very honest and cleansing. The crucial point for me was that Anthony doesn’t accuse anybody. He accepts. And shares.
I would say that we all should read such memoirs. Maybe we should privately write our own. We need to spend time thinking what excites us, what makes us go on with our lives. What made us who we are, how should we deal with who we are. We need to be curious and searching. Unquiet. Always. Otherwise our life will become “a cheerless case of utter domesticity”. It is not that I am against building families. I am against creating a family and then ceasing to live.
“And then I began to learn too much, have too much in my pile; that’s when I found one of the great rugs under which I could sweep all of it.
The magic carpet of fantasy.
And a new life began, a secret one. And it’s been grinding in my chest and groin ever since.
A 100 percent pure life. The very best. I know, I write it myself.”
(from a very observing story “Swept”)
From birth to childhood, from childhood to teenage, from teenage to adult age we deal with everything inside us and around us. Anthony’s book spoke to me about the issue I see too much here and there lately. It is an issue of child abuse and humiliation. I never thought how deeply our childhood influences our adult life. Sometimes it is unbearable to think about. Those connections and consequences are so much bigger than us. And we go on living nevertheless.
I would say that “Beloved demons: confessions of an unquiet mind” is a song glorifying life and humanity. But it is a song from a B-side. Not everybody is patient with life and continues to listen so far, because they got stuck on the juicy bestselling tracks of an A-side.
In the very end I would love to share this indie short film after another story “Box” by Anthony Martignetti. I don’t know if it was published. But I meditated over it for quite a while.