‘Animal Joy,’ by Nuar Alsadir

“Animal Joy” is at once prose poem, manifesto, sociological study and therapy session. The first novel by Nuar Alsadir and psychoanalyst supports the liberating power of spontaneity, curiosity, humor. The book makes his speech easy. The exposition jumps for intellectual pleasure, hopscotching from literary criticism to philosophy and philosophy to political analysis.

Together, these elements are a powerful proof of cutting through the filters of justice wherever they are used – personal, social, work. To encourage readers to play, different parts of the text become a game for connecting the dots. The recorded image shows how humiliation, like instinctual actions, has a subversive purpose. If we ever needed a reminder of the power of humor to raise expectations and undermine the status quo, now is the time.

Our unique expressions – the jokes, jokes, dreams and direct experiences of children – are the real human being, says Alsadir. These are from the True Self, a concept borrowed from the psychoanalyst DW Winnicott, who appears in these pages as a hero.

The forms of anger are created as a way to our animal nature, that natural feeling that is not restricted by the social code and mental barrier. From this first place also the work is done; The book is a similar paean to art, which “restores the urgency of our original work … empowers life in the form of the body.”

Calling to mind songs, dreams and jokes, the author says that these are signs of the same feeling. That is, to approach the material, or comfortable, complex of the subconscious without the help of symbolism: its ability to say more with less.

As Alsadir explains, the best music – like the best humor – is the shortest form. The mind runs unspoken between the signposts in seconds. We experience a rush of pleasure (technically, dopamine) when we get to a song or a punch line. The moment we “get it,” he said, “the court will be four!”

To describe the genre, he offers a taxonomy of humor, including Sacha Baron Cohen’s “undercover character comedy” (which “draws real people into the fictional scenes they believed to be useless in order to express their true – immoral – thoughts and beliefs”) .

Along the way, he discusses the nature and use of humor, as deflection, pressure valve, social glue. Laughter is perhaps the most versatile human trait: It can express distress or love. It can be true or not made up or included, ridiculous or insulting. Alsadir described many examples of the latter, during the time of the former President Donald Trump, he made fun of the victims, especially women, to horrified laughter from the crowd.

Indeed, to show the end of public discourse composed of isolation, calculation, hypocrisy or racism – the opposite of truth – Alsadir often calls Trump as an ideal figure very. He looks at his rise to the presidency from many angles: as an act, a lie and a journey of immigration.

Regarding the 2020 Colin Powell-Trump tiff, he wrote, “When a liar decides our present, call another liar who decides our past.” to call him a liar, the joke is on us.”

Elsewhere, Alsadir joins the famous figures of the intellectual world, including Nietzsche, Sartre, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida and Mikhail Bakhtin. However, with just a pen, these pages are easy and beautiful to fill out. Freud, Jung and Winnicott doing it again; A series of poems and novels, including “Anna Karenina,” also depict her class conflict. Although the ideas are sometimes confusing, they are not written down, and after finishing this book, the reader may have to thank the author for clarifying some vague ideas.

Not everything is advanced or esoteric. The stories revolve around personal stories and romantic experiences. He attends clown school (seminal, fascinating) and laughter yoga (painful, silly). She records several problematic events of decline called othering, one of which is directed at her as a woman from an Arab family. Even more enlightening are the lessons taken from her mothering of two precocious girls who taught her the wisdom of speed. Keenly correct, their observation is born of the true rebellion of the youth. Find that newness again, the book begs.

The book is a gift to the brave. It provides an opportunity for self-reflection and growth, which, according to psychoanalysis, must compete head-on with pain. It is not possible that Alsadir carefully establishes the roots of empathy in the mirror neurons to facilitate the first need for treatment. The image is based on reality and serves the same function, that we are “moved by experiences that do not belong to us.” Mindfulness means you don’t think but feel.

“Animal Joy” makes me do both. The author practices two different methods – poetry and psychoanalysis – which he says are similar. In a practical way, his book creates a simple bridge between art and reason.

“Our co-sleeping is a disaster,” Alsadir said. This book is warm, resounding with the “holy intensity” of poetry. Wake up happy, begging, before it’s too late.

Melissa Holbrook Pierson is a critic and author of “The Place You Love Is Gone,” among other books.

Animal Fun: A Book of Humor and Recovery

By: Nuar Alsadir.

Publisher: Graywolf Press, 320 pages, $16.99.

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