By Kevin Sampsell
“For good looks, honesty, sheer weirdness, and a haunting evocation of position, Kevin Sampsell is my favourite Oregon author. Ken Kesey, Chuck Palahniuk—make a few room at the shelf.”—Sean Wilsey, writer of Oh the consideration of it All
Kevin Sampsell’s A universal Pornography is a memoir, informed in vignettes, that captures the heritage of 1 dysfunctional American relations. An extension of a 2003 “memory experiment” of an identical identify, A universal Pornography weaves reminiscences of small-town adolescence with darker threads from his family’s tale, together with incest, insanity, betrayal, and loss of life. a standard contributor to Dave Egger’s The Believer and McSweeney’s, Sampsell has written “the type of e-book the place you need to thank the writer for assisting you're feeling much less by myself with being alive” (Jonathan Ames, writer of Wake Up, Sir! and The Double existence is two times as Good).
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Additional info for A Common Pornography: A Memoir
But we grew up during and after the Second World War and, to us, that conflict was very much a morality play, with the virtuous Americans and British fighting the wicked Germans (usually referred to simply as “the Nazis”). So, as part of our own war games, we ran about in schoolyards, backyards, and basements, “shooting” at one another with sticks and crying out as we keeled over in combat. I had my own solitary version of these war games as well. I played hour after hour with small toy soldiers—supplemented by blocks and a tiny cannon that could fire a toothpick.
In my case, its onset followed not long after I underwent a tonsillectomy, so it is possible that this operation was in some way the cause. But, of course, most children who have tonsillectomies do not begin to stutter. A better explanation, I believe, is that stuttering is genetically based. Afflicting about 1 percent of the world’s population, stuttering seems to run in families (for example, my uncle Murray Wittner stuttered) and in other groups with a limited gene pool (for example, the British upper class).
Although the Brooklyn Dodgers were the home team—rooted for fanatically by my peers—I became a Yankee fan. Why? I’ve forgotten. But my choice of team provided yet another factor that isolated me from the community. Despite my tendency to withdraw into the world of books and fantasy, I was not entirely without friends. During my elementary school years, these friends came from among the boys in my public school class, in my apartment house, and from neighboring streets. We hung out together, flipped and traded baseball cards, played board games, read comic books, experimented with chemistry sets, begged for glasses of water at the candy store, squirted one another with water guns, and explored vaguely dangerous places, like apartment house basements.
A Common Pornography: A Memoir by Kevin Sampsell