Autobiography of a Face Autobiography of a Face 评分人数不足

Personal Notes

Z!Qu

Reading Autobiography of Face reminds me of another narrative I read ten years ago of a Chinese young writer 子尤, who also had cancer at around 14 and died two years later. He became a small celebrity at the time for his tale子尤子尤riting at such young age. His works are mostly account of his experience with cancer and, looking back today, he’s not as excellent a writer as he thought, though he’s talented indeed. He is not as conscious to many issues he described as Lucy Grealy did. One detail I still remember to this day: During his later days taking chemotherapy, her mom and he once took taxi to the hospital, and on the way he felt nauseated and got off the car and vomited. He used a Chinese expression 很不争气 which means extremely disappointing ( for not being tough). Ten years later, I was struck by the similarity of Lucy Grealy’s narration of her cancer treatment and how much she cares about not crying for the shame of it. Also similarly, Zi You’s mom is like Grealy’...

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Reading Autobiography of Face reminds me of another narrative I read ten years ago of a Chinese young writer 子尤, who also had cancer at around 14 and died two years later. He became a small celebrity at the time for his tale子尤子尤riting at such young age. His works are mostly account of his experience with cancer and, looking back today, he’s not as excellent a writer as he thought, though he’s talented indeed. He is not as conscious to many issues he described as Lucy Grealy did. One detail I still remember to this day: During his later days taking chemotherapy, her mom and he once took taxi to the hospital, and on the way he felt nauseated and got off the car and vomited. He used a Chinese expression 很不争气 which means extremely disappointing ( for not being tough). Ten years later, I was struck by the similarity of Lucy Grealy’s narration of her cancer treatment and how much she cares about not crying for the shame of it. Also similarly, Zi You’s mom is like Grealy’s mom who are both tough and requires their child to be tough, too.

Lucy Grealy, in narrating, has recognized that the insistence on not crying is all because of the humiliation from outside. She recognized later that that can be just her mom’s protecting herself from painful experience of watching her kid suffering. But she did not know that at the time, just like Zi You took the shame for granted and only felt humiliation for himself and blame the timidness on himself. And for children like them, such mis-directed blaming and take-it-all burden are just too much that these would definitely affect their characters and identityies. The topic of self-blaming reappears many times during the course of Autobiography of a face, and I think it is one of the central aspect of how the spectacle of disabled or diseased body works.

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