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Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4 
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Post Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
LOST MEMORY OF SKIN

Russell Banks

Part three, chapters; one, two, three and four



Tue Dec 20, 2011 6:32 pm
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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
In Ch. 1 the Kid answers our earlier question about the nicknames the offenders use. He says, "There's something tainted about their old names"......"a new name like Kid......can be liberating in a small way." We've seen how the Prof. also has assumed different identities in order to hide his various lives. I wonder who will turn out to be more duplicitous.



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Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
I see a new theme in Part 3 .. people's lives as a narrative .. in this case, the Kid and the Professor. The fact that neither of these characters have really firm narratives ... the Kid doesn't know who he is and really lacks a discernible identity and the Professor is several people at the same time, he is everybody and nobody .. this sets up the idea of life narrative ... what is the narrative of these characters lives and by association as readers, what is our life narrative?



Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:18 am
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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
Oops - got a feeling I commented on this 4th chapter on the wrong thread ... ha ha! I'm getting mixed up with this Part business.



Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:14 pm
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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
Anyway ... in chapter 4 of this PART, I got a very strong impression of the 'kid' really being a kid ... the professor and the map - he was so impressed with that. Even though the Prof really was only kidding him - 'the kid' was really entranced with the idea that it could have been a map from Capt Kydd's time.



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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
The Kid seems to behave in two extremely different ways, hard to believe they exist in one person. On one hand, he is gullible, naiive and childlike, too trusting, and on the other hand he is hardened by his life experiences and doesn't trust anyone. He seems to move between these two poles ... I think perhaps caused by not knowing who he is, lack of identity, lack of power to control his own life and lack of a story of his own past that he understands.



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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
I have just finished reading "Blindness" by Jose Saramago and in this novel the characters do not have proper names. The same is true for the characters in Cormac McCarthy's "The Road". Does anyone feel that these authors all have the same intent and want to portray their characters the same way? As the novel progresses the lack of names does invoke sympathy in me. It's almost like the men who live under the causeway have had their humanity sripped away and they are no longer human beings, they are only sex offenders. I can't help but think that Banks wants me to decide if these men are more than sex offenders that they are also human beings. Men in jail live better than these men do. They have been released from jail but live a sub human exsistance.



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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
Suzanne wrote:
I have just finished reading "Blindness" by Jose Saramago and in this novel the characters do not have proper names. The same is true for the characters in Cormac McCarthy's "The Road". Does anyone feel that these authors all have the same intent and want to portray their characters the same way?

I have not read Blindness but comparing McCarthy's and Banks' book/characters, I would say there is some similarity in that the authors created rather generic characters by not naming them and that these characters 'found' themselves in their relationship with the other unnamed character. The setting for this is completely different though. McCarthy's characters were struggling with the aftermath of a holocaust (I think) but Banks characters are struggling with the aftermath of their own choices. Sadly for the Kid, his conviction as a sex offender is equivalent to a holocaust in his life and I am seeing him more as a victim now than I did earlier in the book.

Strange that a book that has so much 'pervasive' sex, as noted on another thread, actually does not have actual sex scenes, as far as I have read anyway. It's all in the background, or in the past, or porn or just a potentiality ... I think this produces a strong sense of sex without intimacy, a disassociation of sex from normally attendant feelings.



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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
These 4 chapters moved slowly for me.

At least the Professor gave him the so called treasure map. Figure the Kid will now fantasize about finding buried treasure instead of other things. Those other things no longer appeal to him anyways.



Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:28 pm
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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
Wow Damifino, you're moving through this quickly. I hope you're enjoying the book so far. What do you think of the relationship between the Prof. and the Kid at this point? I'm still not trusting the Prof. He seems to be mocking the Kid.



Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:13 pm
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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
Hi Lindad, I am enjoying the book. Well I don't like the content of course but it sure is thought provoking that's for sure.

I can only read one book at a time so it may not be as fast as others could read it.

I read quite a bit on Saturday at work (sshhhh) and it may of been too much for this old noggen to take. I kept thinking about it through out the night at home.

Yesterday while visiting friends, ankle bracelets came up. I asked the 2 fella's if they thought that convicted and released sex offenders here wore the monitor. They didn't know. And then I started asking them if they thought sexual offenders could be rehabilitated. You could sure tell they really felt uncomfortable about the whole conversation and basically wanted to change the subject. Which they did.



Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:26 pm
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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
lindad_amato wrote:
What do you think of the relationship between the Prof. and the Kid at this point? I'm still not trusting the Prof. He seems to be mocking the Kid.


Sorry I just realized I didn't answer your question. I don't know what to think of the Professor at this point. I thought he was a sleaze ball while reading about him with his wife. She wants to know his history, his background and the things he has done prior to meeting her. And he's not budging. Which seems totally out of line. And I may even go so far as to say out of character.

He apparently wants to help people. He helps build homes for the homeless.

I really wanna know more about the Professor. In part 2 chapter 5 it is said that "his inner body and its needs are his secret life, which by and large he keeps locked away even to himself". Also I want to know why he dodged the draft. It wasn't because he was fat or a fag.



Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:05 pm
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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
Damifino wrote:
Yesterday while visiting friends, ankle bracelets came up. I asked the 2 fella's if they thought that convicted and released sex offenders here wore the monitor. They didn't know. And then I started asking them if they thought sexual offenders could be rehabilitated. You could sure tell they really felt uncomfortable about the whole conversation and basically wanted to change the subject. Which they did.

I don't think this reaction is surprising. Rehabilitation of sex offenders is not a topic most people would be comfortable chatting about in a casual group, but I think if we did talk more about it, there might be less unreasonable fear and as a result, more rational and humane ways of dealing with offenders.

We find out a lot more about the Professor and the Kid in Part III. I don't particularly like either of them but I do feel sorry for the Kid. I think he got the book thrown at him and that it was excessive. Overall, I just find the Professor kind of creepy. The strangeness of their relationship, if it can be called that, reveals a lot about how awkward and uncomfortable this sex offender subject matter is, at least to most people.



Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:19 pm
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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
I would be curious to know who reads this book more. Men or women.



Mon Feb 20, 2012 6:24 pm
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Post Re: Lost Memory of Skin, Prt. 3, chapters; 1-4
I would be interested in knowing that myself Damifino. I find Banks writing style to be excellent and because of this I was able to finish the book. Right now I am reading "Coudsplitter" by Banks, and his writing oftentimes is beautiful. Banks is a writer who can be powerful and effective writing about some difficult topics.



Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:01 am
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