A Bewildering World: On Max Porter’s “Shy”

A Bewildering World: On Max Porter’s “Shy”

IT'S THE MIDDLE of the night, and Shy is sneaking out of Last Chance. His backpack is filled with rocks, and he's headed for the lake. There's a singular compassion at the center of Max Porter's work. His fourth , named after its eponymous subject and published earlier this spring, features the troubled Shy at Last Chance, the rather haunted home in the English countryside whose aim is to rehabilitate young boys like himself. When we meet Shy, though, rehabilitation is far from his mind. Instead, Shy wishes for his last chance to have been taken; he wants it to be over, to be past. Porter doesn't provide much in the way of context, isolating the reader with Shy in the moment—he is, simply, leaving. Shy briefly removes his backpack at one point on his journey and feels the relief, “[s]omething that was hurting for a long time briefly not hurting.” That's Shy's hope on his journey out of Last Chance: to find a relief that's not so temporary. As the night progresses and Shy makes his way to the lake, though, it's not the harm he plans for himself that fills the troubling and troubled pages of Porter's novel. We don't witness Shy's nervousness, his fear that he will not be able to go through with what's ahead of him. Instead, it's Shy's past, and how he feels that past—his perplexity toward himself and the random and violent things he has done; the boys, and the adults, who have added rocks to his pack, or occasionally lightened his load; his love of music, the music that gets him through. Porter refuses to conform to conventions of narrative —even of the ways text is traditionally arranged on the page—which perfectly suits Shy's chaotic mind. The book is playful despite the heaviness of its subject matter; from its opening pages, Porter includes variations in type that communicate the ridges and valleys of Shy's psyche, bouncing between memories, fears, feelings of shame that he just can't get past. Occasionally, Shy's mind will catch on an idea or a story, and […]

Click here to view original page at A Bewildering World: On Max Porter's “Shy”

© 2023, wcadmin. ©2023. All rights reserved, Writers Critique, LLC Unless otherwise noted, all posts remain copyright of their respective authors.

0 Reviews ( 0 out of 0 )

Post your Prose and Poetry NOW! Songwriting, Screenwriting & Stage Plays [coming soon] Post
A note to our visitors

This website has updated its privacy policy in compliance with changes to European Union data protection law, for all members globally. We’ve also updated our Privacy Policy to give you more information about your rights and responsibilities with respect to your privacy and personal information. Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our updated privacy policy.

small c popup

Let's have a chat

Get in touch.

Help us Grow.

Join today – $0 Free

Days :
Hours :
Minutes :