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Trick Mirror
Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino
118 posts | 52 read | 8 reading | 56 to read
A breakout writer at The New Yorker examines the fractures at the center of contemporary culture and identity with verve, deftness, and intellectual ferocity--for readers who've wondered what Susan Sontag would have been like if she had brain damage from the internet. Jia Tolentino has become a peerless voice of her generation, tackling the conflicts and contradictions and sea changes that define us and our time. Now, in this dazzling and entirely original collection of nine essays, written with a rare combination of give and sharpness, wit and fearlessness, she delves into the forces that warp our vision, demonstrating a stylistic potency and critical dexterity found nowhere else. Trick Mirror is an enlightening, unforgettable trip through the river of self-delusion that surges just beneath the surface of our lives. This is a book about the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly in a culture that revolves around the self. In each essay, Jia writes about the cultural prisms that have shaped her: the rise of the nightmare social internet; the American scammer as millennial hero; the literary heroine's journey from brave to blank to bitter; the mandate that everything, including our bodies, should always be getting more efficient and beautiful until we die. Gleaming with Jia's sense of humor and capacity to elucidate the impossibly complex in an instant, and marked by her desire to treat the reader with profound honesty, Trick Mirror is an instant classic of the worst decade yet.
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Chelsea.Poole
Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino
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Newest #audiobook on #libby. I've been waiting on this for awhile and ready to see what Jia has to say!
#nonfiction #essays

72 likes2 stack adds
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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

Last line: Here, as in so many other things, the “thee“, that I dread may have been the “I“ all along.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

NTS: kakistocratic

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

...deliciously twisted empowerment...

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

...cultural consumers...

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

...reading celebrity lives like tea leaves.

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...creating the idea that harsh criticism of a woman is itself always sexist, and furthermore, more subtly, that receiving sexist criticism is in itself an indication of a woman's worth

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

I wish I had known...that the story didn't need to be clean, and it didn't need to be satisfying; that, in fact, it wold never be clean or satisfying, and once I realized that, I would be able to see what was true.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

....chimera--a grotesque, mismatched creation; a false way of making a real problem visible.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino
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Who is Antiope? Or is this a typo?

Butterfinger I had to look her up on Wikipedia. 6d
nanuska_153 It's correct, just one of the many victims of Zeus. There is a very famous play written by Euripides about it if you are interested in old Greek tragedies 6d
20 likes2 comments
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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

Good intentions often produce blind spots.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

...I dreamed about living in a mysterious future in which I would wear wool sweaters and write for a newspaper and spend my free time in coffee shops cultivating a rigorous life of the mind.

[didn't we all?! haha]

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

I tell myself that these tiny scraps of relief and convenience and advantage will eventually accumulate into something transformative --that one day I will ascend to an echelon where I won't have to compromise anymore, where I can really behave thoughtfully, where some imaginary future actions will cancel out all the self-interested scrabbling that came before. This is a useful fantasy, I think, but it's a fantasy.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

He was elected for the same reason that people buy lottery tickets. It's not the actual possibility of victory that you pay for; it's the fleeting vision of victory.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

...I have felt so many times that the choice of this era is to be destroyed or to morally compromise ourselves in order to be functional--to be wrecked, or to be functional for reasons that contribute to the wreck

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

He [Trump] did all this out of a sort of demented, maniacal salesman's instinct, grabbing rough handfuls of all the things that half-secretly thrilled his base most--violence, dominance, the disowning of the social contract-- and tossing them at crowds that roared and roared.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

Configured this way, success is a lottery--just as survival today can look like a lottery, too.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

NTS: monopsony

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Amazon...was originally going to be called Relentless.

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The problem is that it is so easy today for a woman to seize upon an ideology she believes in and then exploit it, or deploy it in a way that actually runs counter to that ideology.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

We got, instead of the structural supports and safety nets that would actually make women feel better on a systematic basis, a bottomless cornucopia of privatized nonsolutions: face serums, infrared saunas, wellness gurus...

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

AT a basic level, Facebook, like most other forms of social media, runs on doublespeak--advertising connection but creating isolation, promising happiness but inculcating dread.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

It can all feel like a mirage of wholeness....Everything we want contradicts the conditions or the consequences attached to it...

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NTS: hegemonic.

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Good and evil is organized so neatly for you in...childhood...

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But even when women get married, look beautiful, have children, etc., they are still often found deficient. (Rebecca Solnit)

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To herself, a woman is inherently central and essential. To society, she is inessential, secondary, defined on the terms of her relationship to men.

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Her life is a stretch of devastating disappointments studded with moments of wonder--

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The stylistic combination of economy and indulgence accrues into something addictive, a cognitive equivalent of salty and sweet...

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

Those girls are all so brave, where adult heroines are all so bitter, and I so strongly dislike what has become clear since childhood: the facts of visibility and exclusion in these stories, and the way bravery and bitterness get so concentrated in literature, for women, because there's not enough space for them in the real world.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

And surely part of what I love about childhood literary heroines is the way they remind me of that bygone stretch of real innocence-- the ability to experience myself however I wanted to; the long heavenly summers spent reading books on the floor...

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

...shimmering with rage.

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...that I grasped the fact that identify could govern our relationship to what we saw and what we read.

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The stories we live and the stories we read are to some degree inseparable.

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Our machines are disturbingly lively, and we ourselves frighteningly intert (Donna Haraway)

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Women are genuinely trapped at the intersection of capitalism and patriarchy-- two systems that, at their extremes, ensure that individual success comes at the expense of collective morality.

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There is an exaggerated binary fatalism to these stories, in which women are either successes or failures, always one or the other....

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To look any particular way and to actually be that way are two separate concepts...

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... work is rebranded as pleasure so that we will accept more of it....

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

The timidity in mainstream feminism to admit that women's choices--not just our problems-- are, in the end, political has led to a vision of “women's empowerment“ that often feels brutally disempowering in the end.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

...my emotions went fractal-- hysterical amusement and unplaceable panic combining and recombining in a kaleidoscopic blur.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

...when girl, overwhelmed by sudden expectations of beauty, transmit anorexia and bulimia to one another like a virus.

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It's very easy, under conditions of artificial but continually escalating obligation, to find yourself organizing your life around practices you find ridiculous and possibly indefensible.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

Today's ideal woman is of a type that coexists easily with feminism in its current market-friendly and mainstream form.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

Feminism has not eradicated the tyranny of the ideal woman but, rather, has entrenched it and made it trickier.

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...they took me to the used bookstore whenever I asked.

[imagine!]

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

My body felt so stuffed with good luck that i was choking on it.

IuliaCG Really nice this one 😃 6d
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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

I worry that all this self-monitoring has made me...too conscious...that I'm in danger of becoming a “character to myself“.

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Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino

First line: In the beginning the internet seemed good.

review
rather_be_reading
Trick Mirror | Jia Tolentino
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Mehso-so

I wanted to love this more but I just didnt. I dont necessarily blame the author bc part of it I think is the essay format not letting the book flow for me. Her writing is excellent but some chapters just went on forever and some I never saw a clear point. However, some of the issues she writes about def needed to be talked about.

Yoshi-and-a-book I jinxed 👉🏼. Nice 👍 pic. ❤️ 1w
68 likes1 comment