Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Speak, Brag, Self-Love," or "The Four I's, Only One Of Which Matters (and it's not Italy, India or Indonesia)"

Well, Debpc, and Oprah, you big, manipulative, conquerer of all that is mundane, I do not find Eat Pray Love to be the book that changed my life, after all. When I started it a couple of days ago, I thought that Liz Gilbert came off as likeable, humble and brimming with well-told anecdotes of life as a cultural drop-out. Unfortunately, her tales have failed to live up to the hype. The portion of the book that she calls "Eat" is really about how fabulous she is at speaking Italian and how easily she makes friends and how she is supremely and uniquely capable of taking handsome lovers only to dump them later when they do not meet her high expectations (such expectations include the desire for souls to merge, among others). There's very little eating in it at all, although by the end of the "Eat" portion, she closes by saying that after four months of eating really yummy food in Italy, she now has put on some much needed weight because before she had been too thin.

BITCH. Them thar be fightin' words, lady.

We open the next portion of Speak, Brag, Self-Love with her making her way to India, to live on the Ashram of her Guru, whom she has never met. She tells us oh so humbly that she sucks at meditating, except that it's really the fault of the mantra, "Om Namah Shivaya". Yeah. She can't seem to make that work for her. So one fine day she switches to another mantra, and it is on this very day that she experiences KUNDALINI RISING!!! She no longer sucks at meditating. In fact, she is the BEST MEDITATOR EVER!

That's as far as I've gotten. I know that what comes next, the part she calls "Love", will be about her visit to an Indonesian Medicine Man, who upon meeting her once, sees something so amazing in her that, right then and there, he invites her to come stay with him in Bali.

But before I get to that, and I really want to, because it gives me something to bitch about, and rather like that sometimes, I will have to get through 35 more vignettes of Liz Gilbert's life in India, as she eats more than any girl of her skinniness and beauty while losing all the weight she gained in Italy (BITCH! Didn't I tell you to stop talking like that?) and refers to yoga as "yoking like an oxen" the discipline to work hard, or some such bullshit that I have never ever heard before as a definition of yoga.

It makes me want to go to an Ashram and NOT be such an egotistical, narcissistic beeyotch. If that's not a good reason to go to an Ashram while my kids are at camp this summer, I defy you to find one that is.



StevenCX said...

You tell 'em sistah!

DebPC said...

I don't seem to remember the words life changing coming out of my mouth (or any permutation thereof). I said she had an accessible, likeable and unique voice. Yes, she also has a pretty healthy ego. But I was really talking about voice more than anything else.
And if you google her you'll see that she has rather, uh, childbearing hips. And I thought she ate a damn lot in Italy. I was a little grossed out, actually.

Carl said...

Lauren, please read this.

Yoga Chickie said...

No,no,no...I'm not blaming you, Debby for taking me down the Gilbert Self-Love road. In fact, I was the one singing her praises two nights agao...and then I got further into the book. Yeah, she did eat a lot in Italy, a gross amount of fairly gross things. But she didn't eat anywhere near a much as she talked. And talked. And in all that talking, I never got a clear picture of her big big big depression, and yet, she refers to it as a guiding force in her choice to take the journey. Sure, she cried, she wailed, she got "too thin". But I didn't hear what I recognize as a real depression. So, assuming that she was seriously, clinically depressed, she certainly does not do a decent job of conveying it through her writing.

And Carl...what? You telling me I can't tell the difference between a black fly in my chardonnay and ray-ay-ayn on my wedding day?

V said...

I didn't think she ate that much. You guys are making it sound like enjoying your food is a bad thing!

Anonymous said...

That book was a great read, but I too felt it was somehow dishonest. I often wondered if she was trying to stick it to her ex, saying look at me now, ha!

Maybe check out Shantaram, if you haven't read that yet - you won't be disappointed.

Kristine said...

I certainly didn't think the eating was a big deal. And as for the depression, I thought it was well described. Especially the near suicide attempt. I certainly never got the impression that any of this was an attempt to "stick it to her ex". She went through a difficult time and ended up living the life that she wanted to live. She also wrote about herself in ways that were in no way flattering. For that I admire her.

Different people get different things out of literature. That's a wonderful thing.

samasthiti said...

I have to agree with you. I even thought the tile was nauseating.

floss69 said...

I felt exactly the same as you after reading this book twice. I am surprised by all the positive recommendations about this book. I found Liz Gilbert to be the typical spoilt, rich, self-centred types that gets everything handed to her in life on a platter ( eg Kundalini experiences, handsome lovers). In fact I am so annoyed after reading this book twice I considered throwing it out, but am keeping it to continue my self analysis of why I am so annoyed by this book !

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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