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Everybody: A Book about Freedom
Everybody: A Book about Freedom | Olivia Laing
4 posts | 1 read | 2 to read
"Astute and consistently surprising critic" (NPR) Olivia Laing investigates the body and its discontents through the great freedom movements of the twentieth century. The body is a source of pleasure and of pain, at once hopelessly vulnerable and radiant with power. In her ambitious, brilliant sixth book, Olivia Laing charts an electrifying course through the long struggle for bodily freedom, using the life of the renegade psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich to explore gay rights and sexual liberation, feminism, and the civil rights movement. Drawing on her own experiences in protest and alternative medicine, and traveling from Weimar Berlin to the prisons of McCarthy-era America, Laing grapples with some of the most significant and complicated figures of the past centuryamong them Nina Simone, Christopher Isherwood, Andrea Dworkin, Sigmund Freud, Susan Sontag, and Malcolm X. Despite its many burdens, the body remains a source of power, even in an era as technologized and automated as our own. Arriving at a moment in which basic bodily rights are once again imperiled, Everybody is an investigation into the forces arranged against freedom and a celebration of how ordinary human bodies can resist oppression and reshape the world.
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charl08
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Fascinating book. I will be thinking about her ideas and interpretations of freedom and campaigning for some time, I think.

Picture of the coast near Edinburgh. The sea was what came to mind this morning as I thought about freedom.

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charl08
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By insisting that there could be no positive discussion of homosexuality in schools, it [Section 28] ensured the opposite. Homophobia spilled up unchecked. Poof, lezzer, I hope you die of Aids: the torrent of playground language to which any gay or gender non-conforming kid was subjected. I can still feel my school years in my body, every muscle clamped and clenched, defended against discovery of the so-called family situation...

Susanita Hello, Florida 😬 2mo
charl08 @Susanita we (England) seem to be headed back this way with some of the government instructions to teachers about political commentary. ☠️ 2mo
Reggie @Susanita lol. It‘s true. Florida is crazy town right now. 2mo
38 likes3 comments
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charl08
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Having a few days away.
Fancy hotel room, generally lovely, but hopeless absence of reading light leaves me unimpressed.

Would it be weird to phone hotel in advance next time and ask for a room with a reading light?

Oryx I'm always annoyed by the lack of light in hotel rooms. Why do they do it? Not everyone wants mood lights! 😊 2mo
thegirlwiththelibrarybag Worth a shot, I think 2mo
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charl08 @Oryx I remembered (too late) my little portable reading light - will have to pack next time. 2mo
charl08 @thegirlwiththelibrarybag yes, just have to remember! 2mo
charl08 @Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks still good to get the uninterrupted reading in! 2mo
53 likes6 comments
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charl08
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These interviews revealed such a diversity of sexualities...that Hirschfeld's belief in the existence of anything so simplistic as two genders was eroded. No, the line between male and female, straight and gay was decidedly blurred. In 1910, he calculated that there were forty-three million possible combinations of gender and sexuality, a near-infinite spectrum of human possibility.... Imagine telling J. K. Rowling.

Suet624 Fascinating - 43 million possible combinations! 2mo
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