MEMORIES AND HALLUCINATIONS: A Memoir by D.M. Thomas

MEMORIES AND HALLUCINATIONS: A Memoir

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A self portrait by the author of The White Hotel, etc.: an often infuriating, sometimes shocking, occasionally humorous, and always challenging memoir. Framing his recollections with a series of psychoanalytic sessions that may or may not be something of a put-on, Thomas moves back and forth between the present and the past, incorporating bits of poetry, fragments of dreams, snippets of erotic fantasizing into a shifting kaleidoscope of words and images. The result is a minor but nonetheless intriguing work. For all the literary sleight-of-hand, the author is nothing if not straightforward about his life. Feminists may, in fact, be incensed by what can be interpreted as Thomas' unrepentant sexism. There are revelations concerning a failed marriage, an ""arrangement"" with a mystifyingly complacent mistress, passing affairs with female students that lead to all sorts of academic complications, visits to porn shops trod brothels. Through it all, the protagonist seems, for all his Freudian musing, unaware of his total self-absorption. The sellings here range from the Cornwall coast to behind the Iron Curtain, from Oxford to the American hinterlands (where he was promoting The White Hotel). It is Thomas' ""interior landscapes"" that interest the author, however, and it is in suggesting the linkages between intuition and inspiration, emotions and epiphanies, that he produces his most successful pages. Idiosyncratic, often elusive, never dull.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1988
Publisher: Viking