Friday, December 30, 2011

Carrie Fisher: Shockaholic

Thoroughly enjoyed Shockaholic (2011), Carrie Fisher's newest memoir. There's a little something in it for just about anybody. There's the pop culture stuff: musings about celebrity and wreckage, "the shine" and the pit. Senators are in there, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Fisher's parents Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. This is all intertwined with Carrie Fisher's personal complications, and depression, and her turning to Electroconvulsive (aka electroshock) therapy (ECT) for survival: "I wish I could explain . . . the seemingly unending, ongoing, relentless, inordinately intense, pathetic fixation I have with my feelings . . . demanding my attention and externally taking my emotional temperature." (Shockaholic, pages 16-17).

ECT probably saves her life, but at the expense of memory gaps: a lot is forgotten of the weeks or months before and after each treatment. I had a college student like this years ago who needed a map and detailed notes to find the way to class. Luckily it was a writing class, so subject matter could come from anywhere, and said student was a good writer. With Carrie Fisher, depression is kept at bay, and she can still write, too -- in a pithy, self-deprecating and effective manner. If you're looking for something a little different, Shockaholic is a quick, interesting read. 

Today's Rune: Harvest.  

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